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Michael Jackson: Doctor wanted payment even if tour was canceled

September 28, 2011 | 10:14 am

Conrad Murray
The attorney who drafted the $150,000-a-month contract for Michael Jackson's personal physician took the stand Wednesday to testify about the wrangling over the terms under which Dr. Conrad Murray was to care for the pop star.

Kathy Jorrie, the third witness in the trial, testified she drafted the contract for AEG Live 10 days before Jackson's death, and that the doctor called her twice asking for a "number of revisions." Murray was to be paid retroactively beginning in May 2009 and through March 2010, Jorrie said.

Live video: Full coverage of Conrad Murray's trial

Murray did not want to be required to refund any portion of his monthly payment if Jackson changed his mind or canceled the tour, she said.

"I had said, 'Dr. Murray, $150,000 is a lot of money,' " she said.

During the contract negotiations and drafting, Murray repeatedly offered that Jackson was "perfectly healthy" and in "excellent condition," she testified.

Jorrie's testimony came after AEG Live executive Paul Gongaware took the stand. Under cross examination, Gongaware testified that he was on the lookout for any drug use by Jackson because he was concerned about how it would affect "This Is It," the tour his company was promoting.

Gongaware also said the $5 million per year initially demanded by Murray for his services was "quite unusual" and "way too high."

Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter and administering the fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol that caused Jackson's death.


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-- Victoria Kim at Los Angeles County Superior Court

Photo: Conrad Murray, left, looks to his defense attorney Edward Chernoff during his involuntary manslaughter trial in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times