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CONRAD MURRAY TRIAL: This Is It Director Kenny Ortega Was "Shocked" By Murray's Care For Michael

Posted on Tue Sep 27, 2011 02:30 PM PDT


This Is It director Kenny Ortega has been called as the prosecution's first witness.

Ortega describes seeing Jackson on June 19, 2009, for one of many meetings. The two had been meeting four or five times a week to plan the tour, then Jackson started missing rehearsals. On the 19th, Ortega says:

    "My friend [Michael Jackson] wasn't right, he wasn't well. ... He was chilled. He appeared lost ... incoherent. ... something was wrong."

Ortega sent out an e-mail following the meeting. He read from the e-mail:

    " ... My concern is, now that we brought the doctor into the fold ... the artist ... appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening ... everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated ... as well as immediate physical nurturing. ... he'd lost more weight ... it would shatter him ... if we pulled the plug. ... he was like a lost boy."

Ortega explains the "doctor" in the e-mail was Dr. Murray, the physician creating Michael's daily schedule. The next day, Ortega met with a "stern" Murray.

"He [Murray] was upset that I didn't allow Michael to rehearse," Ortega said. "He said I should stop trying to be an amateur psychologist ... to leave Michael's health to him. ... I was shocked."

Keep reading to find out how Ortega learned of Michael's death.

Ortega said Murray told him that Michael Jackson was physically and emotionally capable of handling his responsibilities for the show. Michael assured Ortega that he was fine.

He implied that Michael might have told Murray that it was Ortega who made him sit out of a rehearsal, while Ortega said Michael agreed that he wanted to sit out of rehearsal.

Ortega says, though, that on Tuesday, June 23, and Wednesday, June 24, Michael was "different" -- "full of energy ... enthusiasm ... ready to work ... full participant."

Ortega said that on June 25, he got a call that Michael was at the hospital. He then got a second call informing him of Michael's death. Ortega says he "couldn't feel my feet on the ground." He gathered the cast and crew to the stage at rehearsal and told them Michael had passed.



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