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AEG boss calls Michael Jackson lawsuit a baseless 'extortion bid'


The head of a concert promoter told a US jury he believed a lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson's mother against his company was a baseless attempt at extortion.

The statement came during evidence by AEG Live chief executive Randy Phillips in Los Angeles.

Katherine Jackson is suing AEG Live, claiming it failed to properly investigate the doctor later convicted of giving her son a fatal overdose of an anaesthetic.

Mr Phillips said he did not believe his company bore any responsibility for the 50-year-old singer's death in 2009.

AEG has denied it hired former cardiologist Conrad Murray or could have known that he was giving Jackson an anaesthetic as a sleep aid.

Mr Phillips will probably be asked about numerous emails he sent and received about Jackson's health in the final weeks of the superstar's life, as well as any interactions he had with Murray.

Murray agreed to serve as Jackson's doctor for 150,000 dollars a month while he performed 50 shows called This Is It at London's 02 Arena in 2009 and early 2010.

AEG denies hiring Murray.