PEOPLE V CONRAD MURRAY JANUARY 4TH 2011 KENNY ORTEGA

These are summaries taken from the Official Court Transcripts

 KENNETH ORTEGA

(Co-director/Creator. THIS IS IT tour, Producer of TII Movie)

 

CALLED AS A WITNESS BY AND ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE, HAVING
BEEN PREVIOUSLY DULY SWORN, WAS EXAMINED AND TESTIFIED AS FOLLOWS:

 

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR WALGREN:

QUESTIONS WERE ASKED TO WHICH REPLIES ARE NOTED AS FOLLOWS:

 

KENNY ORTEGA: I AM DIRECTOR, CHOREOGRAPHER, WORKING IN FILM, TV AND THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS SINCE 1980, 1970’S., MET MICHAEL JACKSON IN A PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY IN 1991, WAS ASKED BY MICHAEL TO START UP A CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP, DEVELOPING AND DIRECTING  TOURS FOR MICHAEL. DANGEROUS WORLD TOUR. IN 1992.

 

I STAYED IN TOUCH WITH MICHAEL RIGHT UP UNTIL 2009, MOST OF THE TIME SAW MICHAEL AT REHEARSALS. MICHAEL TALKED ABOUT IN ADVANCE OF STARTING UP THIS IS IT. MICHAEL WOULD OFTEN CALL AND SAY, YOU KNOW , IM LISTENING AND LOOKING WAITING FOR THE RIGHT THING.

 

MICHAEL HAD DINNER COUPLE TIMES WITH ME, ACTUALLY ATTENDED A CONCERT DIRECTED BY ME, WITH HIS CHILDREN.

 

I WAS INVOLVED IN PRELIMINARY DISCUSSIONS OF THIS IS IT FROM APRIL 09, AND CAME ON TO THE TEAM TO BE TO BE CO-DIRECTOR, CO-CREATIVE, PARTNER..

 

SAW MICHAEL 3/4 DAYS OF THE WEEK TO BEGIN WITH, THEN 4/5 ONCE PRODUCTION BEGAN.  MICHAEL CALLED ME TO BE A PART OF THIS IS IT HE FELT GREAT, WANTED ME TO BE THERE, WAS EXTREMELY EXCITED THAT THIS HAD TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL. MICHAEL SAID HE HAD MANY GOOD REASONS FOR DOING THIS IS IT HIS CHILDREN OLD ENOUGH TO APPRECIATE HIM, FOR HIS  FANS THAT HAD BEEN LOYAL OVER THE YEARS,, TO REMIND OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ENVIRONMENT, PLANET AND EACH OTHER.

 

AT REHEARSAL MICHAEL ASKED ME IF HAD BEEN TO INDIA,, THEN SAID WE WILL GO, YOU HAVE TO DROP EVERYTHING AND COME WITH ME, IT’S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE. THEN ASKED IF I HAD BEEN TO JAPAN, AND SAID WE MUST GO TO ALL THESE PLACES TAKE THE SHOW THERE MICHAEL FELT AFTER 50 SHOWS—

 

CHERNOFF: OBJECTION: NARRATIVE

 

KENNY ORTEGA: WHEN MICHAEL FINISHED TOURING HE WANTED TO DIRECT MOTION PICTURES, HE REALLY LOVED FILM MAKING, WANTED ME TO BE A PART OF IT.

 

I WAS PART OF REHEARSAL AT CENTER STAGING FROM END OF APRIL, BEGINNING OF MAY, MICHAEL WAS AT LOCATION TOO. REHEARSALS THEN MOVED TO THE FORUM LA IN JUNE, , THEN STAPLE CENTRE ONE WEEK PRIOR TO JUNE 25TH, THE REHEARSALS HERE WERE ON A LARGER SCALE. I WAS ON LOCATION EVERYDAY,

 

MICHAEL WAS ENERGETIC, EXCITED ABOUT THE TOUR, SAME DEMEANOR AS BEFORE, VERY EXCITED. GENERAL SCHEDULE WHILE REHEARSING WORLD BE:- STAGGERED  CALLS.    SOMETIMES THE DANCERS WOULD COME IN EARLY AND WORK ON THINGS, THEN THE BAND WOULD JOIN US.   THEN THE TECHNICAL CREW WOULD JOIN US, AND THEN MICHAEL.

TYPICALLY MICHAEL WOULD COME TO STAPLE CENTER LATE AFTERNOON. REHEARSALS WOULD LAST FOR APPROXIMATELY 6 HOURS., WHICH INVOLVED PHYSICAL PERFORMANCES SOME DAYS. MICHAEL WAS INVOLVED IN EVERY DECISION MAKING PROCESS. I WAS THERE TO OFFER SUPPORT/SUGGESTIONS.

 

JUNE 19TH WAS A GOOD DAY. MICHAEL ARRIVED DIDN’T APPEAR WELL AT ALL I AND OTHERS OBSERVED THIS, MICHAEL WAS SOFT SPOKEN, SEEMED YOU KNOW, NOT WELL, DID NOT TELL ME HE FELT UNWELL, I WAS CONCERNED, HE WAS NOT IN THE KIND OF CONDITION TO BE AT REHEARSALS. MICHAEL DID NOT REHEARSE, DID NOT WANT TO GO HOME, HE ASKED FOR THE CHOREOGRAPHER TO GO ON STAGE AND GO THROUGH HIS MOVEMENTS, HE JUST WANTED TO SIT AND WATCH.

 

HE SAT IN THE ARENA, I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS WRONG, HE APPEARED REALLY LOST, IT WAS SCARY, SOMETHING WAS WRONG, IT FELT SCARY, I SAID MICHAEL IS THIS THE BEST PLACE FOR YOU TO BE, OR WOULD YOU RATHER BE WITH YOUR FAMILY HE SAID WOULD YOU BE OKAY WITH THAT I SAID ABSOLUTELY, OF COURSE, I WOULD BE OKAY WITH THAT THEN HE LEFT, I HAVE NOT SEEN MICHAEL IN THAT CONDITION BEFORE.

NEXT DAY WAS A MEETING, PRODUCTION MANAGE PAUL GONGAWARE INFORMED ME TO GO TO THE HOUSE. AT THE MEETING WAS MICHAEL, DR. MURRAY. FRANK DELIO, MICHAELS MANAGER, AND RANDY PHILLIPS,

I KNEW DR MURRAY HAD MET HIM BEFORE AT THE HOUSE, I CAME TO MICHAELS HOUSE FOR A MEETING ON OCCASION, AROUND APRIL, MAY.

 

WHEN I CAME TO THE MEETING, I QUICKLY BECAME AWARE IT WAS ABOUT ME, DR MURRAY WAS UPSET BECAUSE I SENT MICHAEL HOME THE NIGHT BEFORE. DR MURRAY TOLD ME NOT TO ACT LIKE A DOCTOR OR PSYCHOLOGIST AND TO BE THE DIRECTOR OF THE SHOW, AND LEAVE MICHAELS HEALTH TO HIM.  DR MURRAY WAS SCOLDING TOWARDS ME.

I TRIED TO EXPLAIN IT COULD HAVE PUT HIM AND OTHERS IN DANGER, AND MICHAEL LEFT OF HIS OWN CHOICE.  HE SAID MICHAEL WAS PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY FINE,   AND WAS CAPABLE OF HANDING HIS RESPONSIBILITIES, THEN WE   HAD A LONG WEEKEND WITH NO REHEARSALS,

 

JUNE 23RD WAS A FANTASTIC DAY, MICHAEL WAS HIS OLD SELF, ONE WE ALL KNEW AND LOVED, HE TOOK THE REINS, HE ANSWERED CREATIVE QUESTIONS, MADE CREATIVE DECISIONS FOR PRODUCTION, HE WAS IN A DELIGHTFUL MOOD. JUNE 24TH  WAS THE SAME, HE ASKED ME IF I WAS HAPPY, I SAID IM VERY HAPPY I ASKED HIM THE SAME, HE WAS HAPPY, FELT THE DREAM . ASKED ME TO THANK ALL THE CREW/ARTIST HE LOVES/APPRECIATES  THEM. NEXT DAY HE WANTED TO REHEARS AN ILLUSION, THE EQUIPMENT WAS COMING INTO THE STATION,  HE WAS VERY EXCITED.

 

NEXT DAY I SPOKE WITH RANDY PHILLIPS   WHEN I WAS ON MY WAY TO REHEARSALS, I KNEW RANDY WAS PICKING MICHAEL UP THAT DAY, THEY WERE MEETING FOR SOME REASON. I TOLD HIM TO PLEASE TELL MICHAEL I WAS VERY EXCITED AND GREAT I FELT ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS, RANDY REPLIED I THOUGHT YOU WERE CALLING FOR A DIFFERENT REASON, IM AT THE HOUSE THERE IS AN AMBULANCE LEAVING THE PROPERTY,

 

CROSS EXAMINATION BY ED CHERNOFF

 

MR CHERNOFF:

                      YOU HAVE GOOD REPUTATIONS PUT TOGETHER OVER 30 YEARS, A=SURE

 

SURVIVAL SUCCESS OF THE SHOW THIS IS IT WOULD EFFECT YOUR REPUTATION, A=NO

 

WOULD ENHANCE YOUR REPUTATION: A=SURE

BAD SHOW WOULD RUIN REPUTATION: A=DOUBT IT

 

CREATOR, DIRECTOR, IF SHOW WAS POOR IT WOULD NOT EFFECT YOU?? A=IT COULD

 

WAS IT A WORRY: A=NO

MEETING JUNE 20TH YOU SAID WAS BECAUSE OF YOU. A=PART OF IT WAS

WAS IT CALLED BECAUSE OF YOU A=IT FELT LIKE IT

WHO CALLED THE MEETING? A=DON’T NOW

 

LETS LOOK AT WHO WAS THERE, FRANK DELIO, AGENT A=MANAGER

WHY WAS HE THERE. A= ITS HIS MANAGER

RANDY PHILLIPS A= PROMOTER THIS IS IT

HE’S PRETTY HIGH UP IN AEG A=I BELIEVE SO

SO ONE OF THE TOP PEOPLE ATTENDING A=YES

 

JUNE 19TH MICHAEL WAS COLD, LOOKED SICK, YOU HADN’T SEEN HIM THIS WAY BEFORE A=NO

 

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME MICHAEL CAME TO REHEARSAL SICK. A= I DIDN’T SAY THAT

 

FIRST TIME HE LOOKED LIKE HE COULDN’T PERFORM A= YES

 

HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT BEFORE HE WAS SICK A=CANT ANSWER A SIMPLE YES OR NO

 

JUST ANSWER ANY WAY A= WE WERE HEADED FOR GREATNESS, MICHAELS VISION WAS BEING ACCOMPLISHED, BUT I QUESTIONED IT

 

WHY A=MJ DIDT SHOW UP FOR SHOWS, IT GAVE ME ANXIETY, WE NEED MICHAEL THERE TO MOVE FORWARD, HE HAD TO MAKE DECISIONS

 

WHAT THE REASON FOR HIS ABSENCE DID YOU KNOW A=NO

 

JUNE 19TH MICHAEL WAS SHAKING, WAS COLD? A=YES, SOFT SPOKEN, NOT HIMSELF, LIKE HE WAS IN PAIN, NAUSEA, NOT PRESENT

 

YOU WERE SCARED? A= PARDON, WELL THROWN,

 

THE MEETING OF JUNE 20TH WAS NOT EXACTLY BECAUSE SOMEONE GETS SICK FOR A DAY, LOTS OF PEOPLE THERE, INCLUDING HEAD OT AEG? A= RANDY IS NOT HEAD OF AEG,

 

WHO IS HEAD OF AEG? A=MAYBE PHIL LIWICKY

 

THIS MEETING WAS BECAUSE MICHAEL HAD MISSED TOO MANY DAYS? A=NO

 

THREE WEEKS PRIOR THERE WAS ANOTHER SIMILAR MEETING, SAME PEOPLES? A=I DON’T KNOW

 

PHILLIPS, GONGAWARE, DELIO, ? A= I DON’T REMEMBER

 

HOW MANY REHEARSALS DID MICHAEL MISS FROM THE TIME YOU WERE HIRED, MID APRIL TILL JUNE 19TH? A=IT WAS LATER HE SUDDENLY WAS MISSING

 

THERE WAS CONVERSATION WITH AEG, AND OTHERS ABOUT MICHAEL MISSING? A=YES

 

QUIET A LOT OF CONCERN? A= YES,

 

BUT THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW MICHAEL IN THAT PARTICULAR CONDITION WAS JUNE 19? A=YES

 

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYONE WITH DRUG WITHDRAWALS? A=YES

 

20TH JUNE YOU WERE YELLING AT MICHAEL, FOR MISSING REHEARSALS? A=NO

 

YOU REMEMBER TALKING TO KAREN FAYE – – – –

 

(KENNY ORTEGA AT THIS POINT NEEDED WATER, NEEDED A BREAK!!!)

 

TOLD KAREN FAYE YOU READ MICHAEL THE RIOT ACT? A=NO

TOLD KAREN NOT TO PLACATE MICHAEL? A=DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS

 

DID YOU TELL KAREN HOW TO TREAT MICHAEL? A=DON’T  RECALL TALKING TO HER

 

WHAT TIME DID MICHAEL COME TO REHEARSE THAT NIGHT, 19TH? A=9 OR 10

 

WHAT TIME DID HE LEAVE? A= HE STAYED 2 OR 3 HOURS

 

WHAT TIME WAS THE  MEETING ON 20TH? A= CANT REMEMBER

 

(ASKED MANY TIME, CANT REMEMBER, CONFUSED)

 

WHEN WERE YOU NOTIFIED, WHEN DID YOU ATTEND, , WAS IT AN EMERGENCY MEETING, A= DON’T KNOW, CALLED ON 20TH FOR MEETING, WAS NOT EMERGENCY MEETING

 

SHOW HAS ALREADY INCREASED WHEN YOU WERE HIRED? A=YES

HOW MANY SHOWS WAS IT? A=DON’T KNOW

 

YOU WERE HIRED IN APRIL, SHOWS ANNOUNCED IN MARCH, WHO WAS FILLING IN BEFORE YOU WHERE HIRED? A= MICHAEL WANTED ME, I WAS HIRED FROM THE MOMENT HE WANTED TO DO THE SHOWS, THERE WAS A TIME BETWEEN WHEN I WAS ASKED TO WHEN I BEGAN

 

THIS IS IT WAS THERE ROUGH FOOTAGE, WHEN DID THE FILMING BEGIN FOR THE DOCUMENTARY? A= WE DIDN’T FILM FOR THE DOCUMENTARY EVER, MICHAEL USED CAMERAS FOR HIS PERSONAL USE, AND SOME TO BE USED FOR POTENTIAL THEATRICAL SHOOT LATER IN SHOWS

 

WHEN DID FILMING  START ON MICHAEL JACKSON FOR A DOCUMENTARY? A=DOCUMENTARY WAS NOT A PLAN

 

SO FROM APRIL, MAY AND JUNE THERE IS FOOTAGE OF EVERY SINGLE REHEARSAL? A=THOSE WERE FOR MICHAELS PERSONAL USE,

 

SO THEY EXIST? A=YEAH

 

WHERE? A= THERE WERE NOT ALWAYS CAMERAS ROLLING, CAMERAS DIDN’T ROLL,   WELL SOMETIME HE HAD PRIVATE CAMERAS ROLLING, SOMETIMES WE HAD CAMERAS ROLLING, IT WAS ALWAYS IF HE ASKED, IT WAS PER HIS REQUEST  

 

(TRUTH NEEDS NO DEFENSE, YOU JUST SAID A MOUTH FULL)

 

WHERE IS THE FOOTAGE? A=DON’T KNOW

 

DID YOU AND TRAVIS PAYNE FILM? A= I ONLY SHOT FOR A SHORT FILM, TRAVIS DID NOT

 

 

REDIRECT BY MR WALGREN

 

KENNY ORTEGA:

MICHAEL MISSED SHOWS EARLY JUNE FOR ABOUT A WEEK, NOT APRIL TO JUNE, ONLY JUNE. WAS NOT REOCCURRING PATTERN, ONLY IN FOR A WEEK IN JUNE, HAD ALREADY MET DR MURRAY PRIOR TO JUNE,   DID NOT YELL AT MICHAEL AT THE MEETING, BUT MAY HAVE BEEN EMOTIONAL, MICHAEL KNEW I WAS LOOKING OUT FOR HIS BEST INTEREST, IT WAS MICHAEL WHO CALMED ME, HE HUGGED ME AND SAID DON’T WORRY, WE WILL DO THIS IT WAS CARING NOT YELLING

 

 

RECROSS-EXAMINATION

 

 

MR CHERNOFF:WHAT TIME WAS MICHAEL DUE TO REHEARSE JUNE 25TH? A= 4.30 I BELIEVE