Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, wept with relief after promoter verdict
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 03 October 2013
Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, has said he wept when he heard the verdict in the singer’s wrongful death trial which declared him fit to have served as the singer’s personal physician.
On Wednesday, a Los Angeles jury found that the concert promoter AEG Live was not liable for Jackson’s death. Though the firm had hired Murray, jurors said Murray was competent to treat the 50-year-old star during rehearsals for a concert series at London’s O2.
“I cried because, for once, the world was allowed to hear some of the facts at they pertain to this matter,” Murray told NBC’s Today, describing the conclusion of the five-month trial as “justice”. Murray’s lawyer, Valerie Wass, said the verdict would not help the doctor’s ongoing appeal against his criminal conviction, but suggested it may sway “the court of public opinion”.
Murray is due to leave prison this month after serving two years of a four-year sentence. Jury foreman Gregg Barden said he did not see the verdict as absolving the physician. “I would not hire him as my doctor. It’s not a vindication,” Barden said.
The lawsuit was brought by Jackson’s mother, Katherine, whose lawyers sought personal damages from AEG of $35m (£22m) for Mrs Jackson, and $85m for each of the singer’s three children – not to mention an estimated $1.6bn in economic damages.
Though they will not benefit financially from the verdict, in a statement the Jackson family claimed they had nevertheless secured a victory. “We have said from the beginning that this case was a search for the truth,” the statement said. “We found the truth. AEG hired Dr Conrad Murray, the man who is in jail for killing Michael Jackson.”
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