Dancer Says AEG Live Was Warned About Michael Jackson's Health
Dancer who worked with Michael Jackson throughout his career, Alif Sankey, testified on Jackson's wrongful death trial on Wednesday, May 8 that she talked to tour director Kenny Ortega about the singer's unhealthy look. Sankey told jury that she and Ortega burst into tears after Jackson appeared at one rehearsal in much thinner figure and he was wearing shoes that had holes in the soles. He told Ortega, "God keeps talking to me."
Sankey recalled on her way home from the rehearsal, she stopped her car to call Ortega, because she "had a very strong feeling that Michael was dying." Sankey told jury, "I said, '[Jackson] needs to be put in the hospital now.' [Ortega] kept listening to me because I kept going. I kept saying, 'Michael's dying, he's dying.' " She continued, " 'Please, please.' I kept saying that. I asked him, 'Why is no one seeing what I'm seeing?' He said he didn't know."
In the trial, Sankey showed jury an email she wrote to Ortega in early June 2009. She wanted him to do something about Jackson's health. She wrote, "Please help me help you to get him back into that Magical Light, please let me help you help him find what was lost, his GRAIL." Ortega didn't directly reply, but he tried to warn AEG executives about the singer's condition.
Ortega sent an email to AEG saying, "[Jackson] requires more attention and management. I truly believe he needs nourishment guidance and physical therapy [massage] for his fatigued muscles and injuries. He is not in great physical shape. I believe he's hurting."
Less than a week after that, Jackson died at his Holmby Mansion after his personal doctor, Conrad Murray, administered the anaesthetic propofol to help him sleep. Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, then filed the wrongful death suit against AEG Live, accusing the promoters behind her son's "This Is It" gig of ignoring Jackson's life-threatening health concerns and failing to investigate Murray.
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