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Trial update: Tears, drama from Ortega

TRIAL UPDATE: The big press takeaway after Kenny Ortega’s third day of testimony yesterday was the fact that the director “broke down on the witness stand… as he read an email he wrote five days before the singer died in which he described Jackson's deteriorating physical and mental condition and suggested the performer needed to see a therapist” (L.A. Times). Having Ortega read an email that had already been introduced as evidence appeared to be intended to reinforce the notion that AEG Live’s Randy Phillips (the recipient of said message) and Paul Gongaware ignored detailed warnings about MJ’s physically and emotionally deteriorating state from the most credible of sources, just days before his death. "I saw a Michael that frightened me," Ortega testified, calling Jackson's appearance "very, very troubling." He explained that he was trying to alert the AEG execs about Jackson's condition and trusted them to get the artist appropriate care. Instead, Ortega said he was confronted the next day by Dr. Conrad Murray, who assured him and Phillips that Jackson was capable of rehearsing. Phillips didn't speak up during the meeting, the director noted. But Ortega acknowledged during cross-examination that he believed Phillips and Gongaware, cared for Jackson. "I felt they loved him," he said. (7/11a)

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