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Trial update: Ortega

TRIAL UPDATE: Jackson family attorneys called director Kenny Ortega to the witness stand yesterday to question him about what AEG Live’s Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware executives did and said in Michael Jackson's final days, CNN reports. In an email to Phillips sent five days before Jackson's death, Ortega warned the AEG execs that he didn’t think Jackson would be ready for the run of shows. He described seeing "strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior" in Jackson. "I think the very best thing we can do is get a top psychiatrist to evaluate him ASAP." The plaintiffs are trying to establish that Phillips and Gongaware ignored Ortega’s warnings, leading to his death. AEG’s lawyers argue that it was Jackson, not their clients, who chose and controlled Dr. Conrad Murray. They say Jackson was secretive about his drug use, which the company contends was an addiction, so there was no way of knowing what treatments Murray was giving his patient. Ortega returns to the stand today. (7/9a)

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