Michael Jackson film footage banned from court case

26/07/11

Jackson family

A judge in Los Angeles has ruled a film of Michael Jackson rehearsing before his death cannot be used in the trial of the doctor accused of killing him.

Lawyers for Conrad Murray say the footage is not a fair representation of the singer's health in the days before he died.

Prosecutors had wanted to show around 12 hours of recordings from This Is It.

Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson at his rented LA mansion in June 2009.

He faces up to four years prison if convicted at a trial that is scheduled to begin in September.

Sony Pictures, the studio that released the documentary film, screened more than 100 hours of raw footage in private court sessions.

But Judge Michael Pastor ruled on Monday that the film would not help the defence team and was a waste of his time.

The jury will, however, be shown clips that were used in the movie showing 50-year-old Michael Jackson rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts in London.

Tribute gig

Meanwhile, divisions have emerged in Michael Jackson's family after his mother announced a UK tribute concert for the star.

Katherine Jackson says the show will take place at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 8 October.

She said: "Michael gave his entire life to the world through his love, his music and his devotion to healing the planet."

The decision to proceed with this concert disrespects opinions and wishes expressed in the strongest terms during conversations in April when this event was presented to the majority of the family
Statement from Jermaine and Randy Jackson

But in a statement, Michael's brothers Jermaine and Randy Jackson said the timing of the concert was "inappropriate" and "ill-timed".

It is two weeks after the start of Conrad Murray's trial in Los Angeles.

The brothers said: "While we wholeheartedly support the spirit of a tribute that honours our brother, we find it impossible to support an event that is due to take place during the criminal trial surrounding Michael's death.

"As everyone knows, those proceedings commence [on] 20 September and this Michael Forever concert takes place in Cardiff on 8 October.

"In light of this, we feel it is inappropriate to be involved with such an ill-timed event."

If the concert goes ahead it will be shown in 30 countries around the world and will raise money for three charities including the Los Angeles-based Aids Project.