Michael Jackson was a ‘basket case’ who would ‘fall on his ass’ if he attempted one of his trademark dance moves, according to an email written by the production manager of the star’s planned comeback tour, a court heard.

In the message to AEG live director Randy Phillips, sent just five days before Jackson died, production manager John ‘Bugzee’ Hougdahl raised concerns about the singer’s poor physical and mental health.

He wrote: ‘I have watched him deteriorate in front of my eyes over the last 8 weeks. He was able to do multiple 360 spins back in April. He’d fall on his ass if he tried now.’

 
'A basketcase': Michael Jackson rehearses for the 'This Is It' tour. The producer of the tour expressed grave concerns over the singer's deteriorating health, a court heard

‘A basket case’: Michael Jackson rehearses for the ‘This Is It’ tour. The show’s producer expressed grave concerns over the singer’s deteriorating health, a court heard

Houghdal told Phillips how AEG live director Kenny Ortega had sent Jackson home early from rehearsal.

He wrote: ‘He was a basket case and Kenny was concerned he would embarrass himself on stage, or worse yet — get hurt. The company is rehearsing right now, but the DOUBT is pervasive.’

Ortega also wrote to AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips raising his concerns about the star’s ability to perform.

He said: ‘I honestly don’t think he is ready for this based on his continued physical weakening and deepening emotional state.’

He said Jackson was having trouble ‘grasping the work’ at rehearsals.

Ortega, who knew Jackson well and worked with him closely preparing his ‘This Is It’ shows, described seeing ‘strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior’ with Jackson.

Jackson would 'fall on his ass' if he tried to do a 360 degrees spin production manager John 'Bugzee' Hougdah, claimed in an emaill

Jackson would ‘fall on his ass’ if he tried to do a 360 degrees spin production manager John ‘Bugzee’ Hougdah, claimed in an emaill

‘I think the very best thing we can do is get a top psychiatrist to evaluate him ASAP.’

In his reply to Ortega, Phillips said: ‘Please stay steady. Enough alarms have sounded. It is time to put out the fire, not burn the building down.’

At an earlier hearing Phillips has explained that  by ‘burn the building down,’ he meant pulling the plug on the tour.

Michael Jackson died after Dr. Conrad Murray administered an overdose of anaesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009.

Murray, who agreed to work on the ‘This Is It’ shows for $150,000 a month, provided Jackson with propofol as a sleep aid.

Lawyers for the Jackson family claim AEG bosses could have prevented his death if they had heeded warning signs about his health and mental condition.

The suit contends AEG had hired, retained or supervised Dr Murray, however AEG denies this and claims it bears no responsibility for Jackson’s death.

On the day the emails were exchanged Phillips met with Dr Murray, Jackson and Ortega at Jackson’s home.

The Jackson family’s lawyers claim AEG used the meeting to put pressure on Dr Murray to ensure Jackson was fit to rehearse.

AEG lawyers argue that Dr Murray had assured the producer’s there was nothing to worry about.

The court heard yesterday from a doctor who treated Michael Jackson during a 1993 concert tour that had to be canceled when the singer entered rehab testified Monday about the signs that led him to conclude the singer had a problem with prescription pain medications at the time.

In videotaped testimony, Dr. Stuart Finkelstein said he was later asked by concert promoter AEG Live to act as Jackson’s personal physician during the ill-fated ‘This Is It’ tour in 2009 but wanted to know if Jackson was ‘clean.’

AEG executive Paul Gongaware said he didn’t believe Jackson had any prescription drug issues, Finkelstein testified.

Finkelstein’s testimony was recorded during a February deposition that was played for jurors hearing a negligence lawsuit by Jackson’s mother against AEG Live LLC.

Katherine Jackson claims AEG failed to properly investigate another doctor who later gave her son an overdose of propofol and that the company ignored warning signs about her son’s health.

 
Kenny Ortega warned AEG live's CEO over Michael Jackson's poor health
Randy Phillips, Chief Executive of AEG Live and promoter of Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' tour
 

Email exchange: ‘This Is It’ tour director Kenny Ortega (left) warned the company’s CEO Randy Phillips over Michael Jackson’s poor health five days before he died, a court heard

 

Finkelstein said he first suspected Jackson had a dependence on pain medications in 1993 while working on the ‘Dangerous’ tour. He recounted spending 24 hours in the singer’s hotel suite and administering morphine intravenously to deal with Jackson’s pain.

He said he gave Jackson morphine during their first meeting because the singer’s buttocks were scarred from previous unspecified treatments and he was concerned about giving an injection of the painkiller Demerol.

He said he also noticed that Jackson appeared to have a high tolerance for morphine and had on a patch that administered another opiate drug.

Finkelstein said he gave Jackson one other painkiller treatment before the ‘Dangerous’ tour was halted after what he described as an intervention by Elizabeth Taylor and others in Mexico City.

Jurors also heard Monday from Kenny Ortega, a choreographer and director who worked with Jackson on preparations for the ‘Dangerous’ tour and later shows, including ‘This Is It.’

Ortega was not present on the ‘Dangerous’ tour at the same time as Finkelstein and testified that he never saw Jackson take any medications. Ortega will resume testifying on Tuesday afternoon.

 
Michael Jackson's Mother Katherine Jackson (Pictured ) is suing AEG Live claiming claim AEG bosses could have prevented the star's death if they had heeded warning signs about his physical and mental condition

Michael Jackson’s Mother Katherine Jackson (Pictured ) is suing AEG Live claiming claim AEG bosses could have prevented the star’s death if they had heeded warning signs about his physical and mental condition

Finkelstein, who now specializes in addiction medicine and works for concert promoters treating injuries to performers, said he relayed his concerns about Jackson’s painkiller use to Gongaware, then a ‘Dangerous’ tour worker.

Gongaware is now a top AEG Live executives and a friend of Finkelstein, the physician said.

Finkelstein said he and Gongaware had five to 10 conversations in 2009 about working on Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ shows. Finkelstein said he wanted $40,000 a month and was not hired.

Jackson died after Dr. Conrad Murray administered an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. Murray, who agreed to work on the ‘This Is It’ shows for $150,000 a month, provided Jackson with propofol as a sleep aid.

 

 

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