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Faye testified she overheard DiLeo say, “Get him a bucket of chicken.”

WEIGHTY MATTERS CONSIDERED
IN JACKSONS V. AEG TRIAL

Makeup Artist Manager DiLeo Ignored Concerns About Jackson’s Emaciated State; Copies of Missing Emails Between DiLeo and AEG Execs Reportedly Located
On her second day of testimony at the civil trial pitting the Jackson Family against AEG Live, Karen Faye, Michael Jackson’s primary makeup artist, gave a behind-the-scenes look at his last two rehearsals on June 23 and 24, 2009; he died on June 25. Faye, 60, Faye recalled being in Jackson’s dressing room at Staples Center when costumer Michael Bush emerged wide-eyed from a bathroom after witnessing Jackson’s unclothed body, the N.Y. Daily News reports. “He said, ‘Oh my God, Turkle [Faye’s nickname], I could see Michael’s heart beat through the skin in his chest,’ ” Faye testified. “He was pretty much in shock.”

Faye said she was worried about Jackson’s frail body and alerted manager Frank DiLeo. “[Frank] was saying pretty much, 'I got it under control, don’t worry about it,’” Faye told plaintiffs’ attorney Brian Parish. “I said, 'But he’s losing weight rapidly.' I said, 'Why don’t you ask Michael Bush to verify taking in his pants and how much weight he’s actually losing?’” DiLeo then went to speak to Bush, and she overheard the manager say, “Get him a bucket of chicken.” “It was such a cold response,” Faye said. “I mean, it broke my heart.”

Faye said she personally prepared Jackson’s body for his family to view in his casket, but when she later was asked to “help retouch” footage of Jackson for the This Is It documentary, she refused. “It was a lie. I didn’t want a lie,” she told jurors. “Everybody was lying after he died, sir, that Michael was well, and everybody knew that he wasn’t. I felt retouching Michael was just a part of that lie.” She said that while rehearsal footage from those final days shows Jackson dancing and singing on stage, he was a frail mess under his layers of multiple bulky shirts. Under cross examination by AEG lawyer Marvin Putnam, Faye admitted she had no idea whether anyone else had done the retouching.

In a July 2009 interview, HITS Roy Trakin asked DiLeo about speculation that Jackson was down to 110 pounds in his final days.

“No, that’s all bullshit,” the manager responded. “He was not down to 110 pounds. He was around 140. At his maximum, he was maybe 155.”

“You’re telling me this is a very confident guy, ready to take on this challenge,” Trakin pressed on.

DiLeo: “He knew he was 50 and that the other dancers were young. He built his stamina up to the point where he knew he could do it. Michael’s a competitive guy. I don’t care whether you’re five years old or 40, you’re not going to out-dance Michael Jackson. He’s gonna put it to you sooner or later. And he worked himself up to that.”

In the same interview, DiLeo said that it was Jackson himself who had rehired him as manager, although his actions suggested he was working in concert with AEG.

Kevin Boyle, another attorney for the Jacksons, said plaintiffs have a court order for emails DiLeo wrote during preparation for This Is It but were informed by AEG’s attorneys that the manager’s computer had disappeared, the L.A. Times reports.

An attorney who previously worked with DiLeo—who died in 2011—has copies of those emails and is willing to turn them over, Boyle said. Plaintiffs believe that the emails could include exchanges between DiLeo and AEG executives.
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