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Lifestyle

September 23, 2013

What if Michael Jackson were still alive?

LOS ANGELES — If Michael Jackson were still alive today, he would have just celebrated his 55th birthday and the world would know the outcome of his comeback efforts. He might be embarking on a new career in filmmaking and probably would be nudging his eldest son in the same direction.

As a trial pursued by the singer’s mother against the promoters of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts draws to a close, jurors may soon be considering intriguing what-ifs had the King of Pop lived.

Throughout the trial, which has spanned 21 weeks and more than 50 witnesses, the panel of six men and six women has heard evidence about Jackson’s ambitions and his undisputed devotion for his three children and mother. If jurors determine that AEG Live LLC is liable for Jackson’s death, the group will then have to decide how much to compensate the singer’s three children and his mother for the loss of a loving father and an entertainer potentially capable of earning tens of millions of dollars a year.

In order to award Jackson’s family any money, the panel would have to determine that AEG Live hired the doctor convicted of administering an overdose of the anesthetic propofol in June 2009. AEG denies it hired former cardiologist Conrad Murray or bears any responsibility for Jackson’s death. The company’s lawyers point to evidence that Murray treated Jackson for years before preparations for the “This Is It” shows began and testimony that the singer was secretive about his medical care.

Yet, whether or not the jury will need to determine compensation for Jackson’s family, the trial has revealed new details about the superstar’s post-tour plans.

Witnesses have described the entertainer’s interest in another career as a filmmaker after wrapping up his “This Is It” shows, which were slated to begin in July 2009. The singer’s contract included provisions for a worldwide tour after the singer completed a run of 50 shows planned at London’s O2 Arena, but AEG executives say the global shows weren’t a certainty.

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