1960’S REVISITED AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL – CHRISTINE KEELER & THE PROFUMO AFFAIR
Our many diverse collections here also includes an insight into our endless array of Politicians behaving badly, caught with their trousers down and of course as always …apparently on the fiddle with their expenses etc.
On display here we have various personally signed ephemera , memorabilia etc pieced together within an intriguing montage from the likes of John Profumo, Christine Keeler , Mandy Rice-Davies and Stephan Ward .
See more interactive video footage below relating to one of Britain’s most infamous scandals
Christine Keeler—the iconic Lewis Morley image, taken in May 1963, became an instant national talking point when a stolen copy was published by the Sunday Mirror, adding yet more fuel to the fire under Profumo. As the scandal intensified, it was endlessly republished.
In the early 1960s, Profumo was the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan‘s Conservative government and was married to actress Valerie Hobson. In 1961, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a London call girl, at a house party at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion owned by Lord Astor. Many years later Profumo would claim, in discussion with his son, David, that he had met Keeler previously at a night club in London called Murray’s and “probably had a drink with her.” Also present at the Cliveden party were Profumo’s wife and the fashionable osteopath, Dr Stephen Ward, a long-standing acquaintance of Keeler. The relationship with Keeler lasted only a few weeks before Profumo ended it. However, rumours about the affair became public in 1962, as did the allegation that Keeler had also had a relationship with Yevgeny “Eugene” Ivanov, a senior naval attaché at the Sovietembassy in London. Given Profumo’s position in the government and with the Cold War at its height, the potential ramifications in terms of national security were grave, and this, along with the adulterous nature of Profumo’s relationship with Keeler, quickly elevated the affair into a public scandal.
Exposure of the affair
In 1962, Keeler became involved in an altercation with her former live-in lover Johnny Edgecombe. When she announced the end of their relationship, a confrontation followed 10 days before Christmas 1962. Edgecombe attempted to force his way into Stephen Ward’s flat where Keeler was staying and fired several shots at the doorlock. Meanwhile, Keeler had become involved with a Jamaican drug dealer named Aloysius “Lucky” Gordon. When that relationship ended Gordon attacked her with an axe and held her hostage for two days. Keeler turned to Edgecombe for help and in the ensuing fight between him and Gordon, the latter received a knife wound to his face. Fearful of reprisals from Gordon, Edgecombe asked Keeler to help him find a solicitor so that he could turn himself in. She refused and instead told him that she intended to give evidence against Edgecombe in court for wounding Gordon. As a result of her refusal, Edgecombe hatched a plot to murder Keeler. Three months later, when she failed to turn up in court for Edgecombe’s trial, previous press suspicions boiled over and the affair became front page news with headlines like “WAR MINISTER SHOCK”.
Announcement in Parliament
In March 1963, Profumo stated to the House of Commons that there was “no impropriety whatever” in his relationship with Keeler and that he would issue writs for libel and slander if the allegations were repeated outside the House. (Within the House, such allegations are protected by Parliamentary privilege.) However, in June, Profumo confessed that he had misled the House and lied in his testimony and on 5 June, he resigned his Cabinet position, as well as his Privy Council and Parliamentary membership.
Peter Wright, in his autobiography Spycatcher, relates that he was working at the British counter-intelligenceagencyMI5 at the time and was assigned to question Keeler on security matters. He conducted a fairly lengthy interview and found Keeler to be poorly educated and not well informed on current events, very much the “party girl” described in the press at the time. However, in the course of questioning her, the subject of nuclear missiles came up, and Keeler, on her own, used the term “nuclear payload” in relation to the missiles. This alerted Wright’s suspicions. According to Wright, in the very early 1960s in Britain, the term “nuclear payload” was not in general use by the public, and even among those who kept up with such things, the term was not commonly heard. For a young woman with such limited knowledge to casually use the term was more than suspicious. In fact, Wright came away convinced that at the very least there had been an attempt by the Soviet attaché (perhaps through Stephen Ward) to use Keeler to get classified information from Profumo.
The relationship between a senior politician and a prostitute caught the public imagination and led to the release of a number of films and documentaries detailing the event. The Danish film The Keeler Affair was released in 1963 followed in 1989 by the British film Scandal. The musical A Model Girl premiered at The Greenwich Theatre on 30 January 2007. In theatre Hugh Whitemore‘s playA Letter of Resignation, first staged at the Comedy Theatre in October 1997, dramatises the occasion when Harold Macmillan, staying with friends in Scotland, received a political bombshell, a letter of resignation from Profumo, his war minister. Edward Fox portrayed Macmillan. 
The Profumo Affair in popular music
The Song “Christine” by “Miss X” (a pseudonym of Joyce Blair) in 1963 is said to be about Christine Keeler and the Profumo Affair.
Adam Ant referenced the Profumo scandal in a song called “High Heels In High Places”.
MICHAEL JACKSON BEING RUSHED FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HOSPITAL ON JUNE 25TH 2009 AFTER COLLAPSING
He didn’t even have time to close his eyes: The final indignity for Jacko as jury at doctor’s trial sees shocking deathbed picture
Jackson’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
Prosecutor shows jury photo of singer on gurney after his death and plays disturbing audio of him slurring a month before death
Accuses Dr Murray of delaying call to 911 as he tries to revive Jackson
Defence claims that Jackson killed himself
First witness, choreographer Kenny Ortega, says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ during rehearsals
Tour manager Paul Gongaware says Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to care for performer
Jackson’s parents and siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine in court
Woman stopped as she rushes towards Dr Murray in courthouse corridor
Millions around the world expected to watch trial
The highly anticipated trial into the death of Michael Jackson opened with an extraordinary moment yesterday as the prosecutor started his opening remarks by displaying a photo of the singer’s dead body.
As Dr Conrad Murray appeared before the jury charged with involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s death more than two years ago, deputy district attorney David Walgren displayed the picture that appeared to show tape or tubing over Jackson’s face.
But the doctor’s attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury it was the singer who caused his own death by swallowing a ‘perfect storm’ of drugs.
‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ he said.
Outside the Los Angeles courthouse, fans of the King of Pop faced supporters of Dr Murray waving placards and banners at each other and passers-by. Inside, the whole Jackson family made their way into court for what has been billed as the trial of the century.
This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter
The trial of Dr Murray, right, will be followed by millions around the globe and TV bosses are expecting the biggest ever ratings for a court hearing
Later, the prosecution played a tape of a healthy-looking Jackson giving his last ever performance – a rehearsal of his hit Earth Song – recorded a day before he died.
The lights in the courtroom were turned off and the singer was shown on a screen performing the track at rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, just hours before he passed away.
Jackson’s mother appeared to be in tears watching the clip.
‘Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide,’ Los Angeles deputy district attorney David Walgren told the jury in opening statements.
‘The evidence will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray… Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Conrad Murray.
‘The evidence will show that misplaced trust had far too high a price to pay… it cost Michael Jackson his life.’
But Dr Murray’s defence attorney Mr Chernoff told the jury that the singer caused his own death.
Dr Murray wiped tears from his eyes as Mr Chernoff said that the evidence will show that the singer swallowed eight, 2mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol.
This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.
Mr Chernoff said that Jackson, who was frustrated because he could not sleep and frustrated because his doctor refused to give him a drug that he wanted, ‘did an act that caused his own death’.
Emotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson’s last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tears
Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009
Visibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaks
Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears the evidence put forward in his trial
Disturbing audio: The prosecutor played a recording taken from Dr Murray’s iPhone of the singer slurring and rambling over a month before his death
DR MURRAY’S DEFENCE MISSPELL MICHAEL JACKSON’S NAME
Enlarge As Dr Murray’s defence attorney presented his opening statement, he put up a poster board with Michael Jackson’s name misspelt.
‘How did Micheal Jackson get to this point?’ read the first question on the chart shown behind Ed Chernoff.
The prosecution also made their own spelling mistake on the opening day of the trial. On a slide the word ‘pronounced’ was spelt without the second ‘n’.
‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ Mr Chernoff said.
Jackson’s parents, his siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine were all at the courthouse in LA for the opening statements in the trial of the singer’s personal physician, who was the last person to see him alive.
In the prosecution’s opening statements, Mr Walgren insisted that the evidence will show that the ‘acts and omissions of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray directly led to his premature death at the age of 50’.
Murray ‘repeatedly acted with gross negilience, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient Michael Jackson and that is was Dr Murray’s repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009,’ Mr Walgren said.
The prosecutor played disturbing audio recorded on Dr Murray’s iPhone of Jackson apparently under the influence of propofol a month before his death.
On the tape, Jackson sounded slurred and confused as he mumbled: ‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go.”‘
Mr Walgren said the audio was evidence that Dr Murray knew what was happening to Jackson and should have discontinued ordering propofol.
Resting place: The bed where the singer was found dead
Protests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Murray’s trial in the death of the pop star
Mr Walgren attempted to paint a picture of the days leading up to the singer’s death.
On June 19 ‘Michael showed up for his rehearsal and he was not in good shape, he was not in good shape at all,’ Mr Walgren said.
‘He had chills, he was trembling… he was rambling.’
Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of Jackson’s proposed This Is It tour, expressed concerns about Jackson, but Dr Murray allegedly told him and others that Jackson was ‘physically and emotionally fine’.
‘Don’t let it be your concern, I am the doctor,’ Dr Murray allegedly said.
The prosecutor also laid out the order of events from inside Jackson’s house on the night that he died.
Mr Walgren accused Dr Murray of failing to call 911 as soon as he realised that there was something wrong with Jackson.
Dr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under way
He said that an emergency call was not made until 12:20pm, at least 24 minutes after Dr Murray is believed to have discovered Jackson unconscious.
The prosecutors claimed that phone records showed that Jackson was left unattended for too long.
‘It will be clear that Conrad Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help,’ Mr Walgren said.
‘It was Conrad Murray’s gross negligence, it was Conrad Murray’s unskilled hands and his desire to obtain this lucrative contract of $150,000 a month that led Dr Murray to not only abandon his patient, but to abandon all principles of medical care.’
Singer Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding hands
On trial: Dr Murray arriving for the first day of the LA hearing
MEDIC WAS ‘ADORED BY JACKSON CHILDREN PRINCE AND PARIS’
He is the man accused of neglecting and killing their father. But Prince Michael and Paris Jackson actually thought that Conrad Murray was a ‘godsend’ who really cared for him, it has been claimed.
It is thought Prince could be called to the stand to give evidence. Sources quoted by U.S. gossip website RadarOnline said the 14 and 13 year-old had a high opinion of Murray before he alleged killed Michael Jackson.
Only later did they change their mind and come to the conclusion he was a bad man. If there is evidence to back this up it could hamper the testimony that the boys reportedly want to give.
‘Prince and Paris adored Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father,’ the source said. ‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’
Should Prince give evidence he will tell the jury of the moment he saw his father lying dead on his bed as Murray tried to revive him. But he will also be open to cross examination by the doctor’s defence team who could seek to look back at instances in the past where they got on.
Mr Walgren also showed images of Jackson’s bedroom to show how medical monitoring devices typically used when someone is under anesthesia were not there or appeared unused.
A blood pressure cuff was still in a box and an oxygen tank had no oxygen, Mr Walgren said.
But as the defence made their opening statements, Murray wiped away tears as Mr Chernoff described the doctor and Jackson as ‘friends first’.
‘Dr Murray is no celebrity doctor. He is a cardiologist. He literally saves lives. That’s who he is,’ Mr Chernoff said.
He said that on the day he died, Jackson had told Murray that he not slept for 10 hours and that if he did not sleep he would not be able to rehearse and would disappoint his fans.
Dr Murray agreed to give him a 25 mg injection of propofol mixed with lidocaine.
Mr Chernoff said that such a small dose would ‘dissipate in ten minutes’.
He said that the amount found in Jackson’s body, more than 100 mgs, was consistent with major invasive surgery and was administered by Jackson himself.
Jackson ‘self-administered an additional dose of propofol and it killed him like that, there was no way to save him,’ said Mr Chernoff.
His death was a tragedy, he added, but Murray is not responsible. Murray is ‘not perfect… but in this criminal court, we believe he is not guilty,’ he added.
Choreographer Kenny Ortega says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ at rehearsals
‘Not stable’: Choreographer Kenny Ortega told the court Jackson was not right physically or mentally a week before his death
Jackson’s choreographer and friend Kenny Ortega, the first witness called, testified that the singer was in bad shape physically and mentally less than a week before his death.
He said he sent an email to Randy Phillips, producer of the ‘This Is It’ concert, telling him that Jackson was ill, should probably have a psychological evaluation and was not ready to perform.
‘It’s important for everyone to know he really wants this,’ he wrote. ‘It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He’s terribly frightened it’s all going to go away.’
In response to the email, said Ortega, a meeting was called at Jackson’s house where Ortega clashed with Murray, who told him to stop playing amateur psychiatrist and doctor.
‘He [Murray] said Michael was physically and emotionally capable of handling all his responsibilities for the show,’ said Ortega. ‘I was shocked. Michael didn’t seem to be physically or emotionally stable.’
Within a few days, he said, Jackson had recouped his energy and was full of enthusiasm for the show.
On June 25, Ortega received a phone call from producer Paul Gongaware saying an ambulance had taken Michael to the hospital.
Gongaware called later and told Ortega: ‘We lost him.’
Dr Murray demanded $5million a year to be Jackson’s physician
Paul Gongaware, who was managing Jackson’s This Is It tour, said Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to be the singer’s personal physician.
Gongaware, who worked with Jackson on his Dangerous and History tours, told prosecutors the singer made the specific request to have Dr Murray brought on board.
‘He wanted to hire Dr Murray,’ said Gongaware who is AEG Live’s Co-CEO, adding that Jackson called his body a ‘machine’ that needed to be taken care of.
Demands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson’s physician
Gongaware told the court: ‘I didn’t know Dr Murray at all – and we were going to London. My preference would have been to hire someone who was licensed there. Who knew what was going on.
‘I called Dr Murray – to try to make a deal with him. He wanted to do it. I asked him what he wanted. He said that he had four clinics that he had to close, in Houston, Las Vegas, San Diego and Hawaii; that he would have to lay off people – so he said he needed $5million a year to do that.
‘I told him there was no way that was going to happen. Michael couldn’t afford it. I ended the negotiations.’
Jackson then brought up the issue again. His assistant, Michael Amir Williams, called Gongaware to tell him.
‘I heard Michael Jackson in the car saying, “Offer him 150, offer him 150.”‘ Gongaware took that to mean $150,000 a month.
‘I called Dr Murray. I said to him I’m authorised to offer you 150 a month,’ Gongaware said. ‘He said, “No I really couldn’t do it for that”. I cut him off mid-sentence and said, “That offer comes directly from the artist.” Without missing a beat he said, “I’ll take it.”‘
Gongaware also revealed that there were so many fans clamouring for O2 tickets that Jackson could have sold out his 50-concerts in London twice over.
Gongaware said Jackson was initially contracted to play 31 dates at the arena, a number chosen because of his long-time rivalry with the artist Prince.
‘Prince did 21 shows at the O2 and Michael wanted to do ten more,’ said Gongaware.
He said 10 shows were initially put on sale and they ‘sold out instantly.’ The number of concerts was eventually re-contracted for 50.
‘More than 250,000 people were still in the queue after the 50 shows sold out. That would have been enough to sell out another 50 shows.’
Tape of Jackson’s slurred and confused words
Prosecutors played an audio recording of the pop superstar slurring his words and talking about his upcoming concerts.
Prosecutor David Walgren told jurors the audio from May 10 2009, over a month before Jackson’s death, was retrieved from Dr Conrad Murray’s cell phone.
Jackson’s voice was unrecognisable on the recording. He was speaking slowly and Walgren described the singer as highly under the influence during the conversation.
It was the first time the audio was disclosed or played in public.
‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go,”‘ Jackson is heard saying.
‘”It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world. I’m taking the money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital,”‘ the singer is heard rambling.
Walgren used the audio to bolster his point that Murray should have known better than to continue giving Jackson the powerful anaesthetic propofol, which was cited as a cause of Jackson’s death.
Propofol: ‘The drug that killed Jacko’
Central to the prosecution’s case is that Dr Conrad Murray administered a lethal dose of the drug propofol to Michael Jackson on the night he died and then left the room, during which time the singer stopped breathing.
They charge that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ‘milk’ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia. But prosecutor David Walgren told the jury that propofol is ‘not a sleep aid or a sleep agent, it is a general anaesthetic’.
He continued: ‘It’s a wonderful drug if used by someone who knows what he is doing, who knows the dangers as well as the benefits.’ It should under no circumstances be given outside a hospital setting.
Dr Conrad Murray did not mention propofol to emergency room doctors at UCLA Medical Centre when asked what pop star Michael Jackson had been given, according to the prosecution.
Prosecutors allege that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ¿milk¿ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia
In his opening statement, Mr Walgren told the jury that between 6 April, 2009, and the day of Jackson’s death on June 25, Murray ordered enough propofol to give Jackson 1,937 milligrams a day.
The prosecution then focused on the uses and settings for which propoful should be used, noting that it is an ‘improper treatment of insomnia’. Mr Walgren mentions the correct equipment that should be utilised when administering propofol – which is done intravenously – and the complications that can arise when this does not happen.
District deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecution
Defence lawyers claim Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol and gave him only a minimal dosage.
They claim the singer, desperate for sleep, swallowed an additional dose of the drug when his doctor was out of the room.
Their theory is based on evidence that a trace amount of propofol was found in Jackson’s stomach.
Medical witnesses may be asked to explain how it could have been found in his stomach, as ingesting it orally is almost unheard of.
The drug is used to reduce anxiety and tension, and promotes relaxation and sleep or loss of consciousness. Propofol provides loss of awareness for short diagnostic tests and surgical procedures, sleep at the beginning of surgery, and supplements other types of general anaesthetics. Long-term use of the drug can result in addiction. The steep dose-response curve of the drug makes potential misuse very dangerous without proper monitoring.
Side effects of the drug include: difficulty breathing, wheezing, fast heartbeat, palpitations, seizures, uncontrollable muscle spasm and swelling or extreme pain at the injection site.
Jackson’s final hours
Prosecutors say that Murray made a number of phone calls between 10:20 and 11:51am the morning of Jackson’s death. He is believed to have discovered the star unconscious at about 11.56am but he did not tell anyone to call 911 until 12.20pm.
During his last phone call – to a cocktail waitress who Murray regarded as his girlfriend – he suddenly became silent and the phone went dead.
‘This is likely the time Conrad Murray first noticed Michael Jackson’s lifeless body,’ prosecutor David Walgren said.
The cocktail waitress made a statement that Murray stopped responding to her and then five minutes later the phone went dead.
The court was shown pictures from inside Jackson’s home. The central image shows the last jacket he wore lying on his bathroom floor
It was not until 12.12pm that Murray called Jackson’s personal assistant Michael Williams and left a message saying: ‘Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you.’ When Mr Williams immediately called Murray back he told him: ‘Get here right away Mr Jackson had a bad reaction, he had a bad reaction’, according to prosecutors.
He had yet to call 911 at this point.
Mr Williams then called security guard Albert Alvarez to go and investigate and he said that when he entered Jackson’s room, he was lying on the bed and Dr Murray was administering CPR.
According to the prosecution, Murray then ordered the security guard to grab a bag while he started grabbing vials and a saline bag hanging from the IV stand to put inside the bag.
That bag was later found inside Jackson’s home.
The rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconscious
Prosecutors also say the doctor ordered someone to clean up signs that Jackson had been receiving a variety of medications, including propofol, and that he improperly monitored Jackson’s vital signs, performed inadequate CPR and did not inform emergency medical personnel that he had given the singer propofol.
A recorded conversation that Murray had two days after Jackson’s death was played where Murray can be heard saying that he gave his patient a small dose of propofol and then left him for 15 minutes to go to the bathroom.
‘Then I came back to his bedside and was shocked because he wasn’t breathing,’ he says in the audio recorded on June 27. Prosecutors allege that he was gone for a lot longer.
At 12.30, paramedics arrived at his home and treated Jackson for 42 minutes before transporting him to nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
He arrived at 1.14pm and a team of doctors tried for more than an hour to resuscitate him. He was declared dead at 2.26pm with members of his family by his side.
Jackson ‘killed himself after doctor tried to wean him off drugs’
Dr Murray’s attorney alleges that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him
Dr Murray’s defence attorney said that Michael Jackson gave himself the drugs that killed him because the doctor refused.
Ed Chernoff told the jury that Jackson did not die because of Murray’s treatment, but because ‘Dr Murray stopped’ giving him the drugs he demanded.
He said that when Murray started working for Jackson, the singer was already using propofol and said he could only sleep if he was given it.
Jackson said he had always taken what he called ‘his milk’ while on tour.
The defence attorney said that Murray had administered the drug because he was concerned about the drug and believed that the singer would find a way to get it anyway.
He said that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off propofol at the time of he death and that he had refused to give it to the singer on the day he died because it was the third day of the weaning off process.
Mr Chernoff said that Jackson swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol, while Murray was out of the room.
This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.
Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles
Fans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouse
Millions of people around the world are expected to watch as the trial gives a glimpse into final days of the King of Pop.
Crowds of people gathered at the Los Angeles Superior Court where there was a lottery drawn for seats for the opening statements.
Supporters of both Dr Murray, 57, and Jackson are outside the courthouse with signs including, ‘Fair trial for Dr Murray’ and ‘Doctors are expected to heal not kill’.
A woman had to be stopped by court officers as she rushed towards Dr Murray as he walked in a courthouse corridor. She reportedly said she just wanted to speak to the doctor, it is not clear if she has been detained.
The list of potential witnesses includes his eldest children Prince Michael and Paris, who have reportedly said that they want to take to the stand to testify.
Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial
Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles
Brother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial
RATINGS WINNER: MILLIONS TO WATCH TRIAL ACROSS GLOBE
People around the world are expected to watch as the public hears for the first time from Dr Murray what happened in the events leading to Michael Jackson’s death.
The trial is expected to be attended by Jackson’s high-profile family, including his parents and sisters Janet and La Toya, and stars such as High School Musical choreographer Kenny Ortega, who is expected to be the first witness to be called.
Cable news networks are hoping that the court proceedings will be a repeat of the Casey Anthony trial, which proved a ratings success.
News network HLN, which saw record ratings during the trial of the Florida mother, is planning similarly exhaustive coverage of the case, including analysis from Nancy Grace, who has been thrust into the spotlight.
Medical examiners have determined Jackson’s death at the age of 50 on June 25 2009, at his rented Los Angeles mansion was due to an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol and sedatives.
Prosecutors say Murray caused Jackson’s death by giving him propofol as a sleep aid, and failing to monitor him properly.
Murray denies the charge of involuntary manslaughter but faces a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted.
His defence team is expected to argue that Jackson was addicted to various painkillers and sedatives and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol, possibly by swallowing it.
Ed Chernoff, the lead attorney for Murray, said in closed-door arguments on Monday that Jackson, 50, was ‘desperate’ around the time of his death.
‘We think that Michael Jackson was involved in certain acts that ended his own life,’ Chernoff said, according to a court transcript.
The trial is expected to hear testimony from the paramedics who transported Jackson to the hospital, medical experts, Jackson’s choreographer and Murray’s girlfriends.
Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, who once represented Jackson and has closely watched the criminal case against Murray, said that Jackson’s 13-year-old daughter Paris might also be called to testify, in what would likely be one of the most dramatic moments of the trial.
Defence: Dr Conrad Murray’s attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray’s trial
Their say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father’s memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father died
Trial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior Court
WHO IS DR CONRAD MURRAY?
The 57-year old physician, who was the last person to see Michael Jackson alive, has been charged with the involuntary manslaughter of the singer on June 25 2009.
The doctor was hired by Jackson for a reported fee of $150,000 as he prepared for his 50 date concert series in London.
The Grenada-born cardiologist, who was educated in the U.S., first met Jackson in 2006 when he treated one of the singer’s children in Las Vegas.
In May 2009, he took leave from his practice and wrote a letter to his patients saying he was leaving ‘because of a once in a lifetime opportunity’.
Murray declined to offer public comment following the death of Jackson, but in August last year posted a YouTube video in which he said ‘truth will prevail’.
‘She not only has things to say, but she can say it in a compelling way,’ Mr Geragos said. Paris Jackson was at the house when the singer stopped breathing.
Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, 14, and Paris, 13, have both reportedly told their grandmother Katherine of their desire to want to testify.
But a source close to the Jackson family revealed to RadarOnline that the children have warm recollections of the medic, which could help the jury clear the doctor.
They wrote: ‘Prince and Paris adored Dr Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father.
‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’
What could be even more damaging to prosecutors, however, is if the children are cross-examined about their father’s long-term drug use.
‘Prince and Paris knew their dad relied on Dr Murray to survive and knew their father adored him,’ the source said.
‘Their comments could save him from jail because it would work well in the eyes of a jury.’
The insider told RadarOnline that Prince, if he testifies, will tell the court what he saw when he walked into his father’s bedroom in the middle of his doctor’s doomed attempts to revive him.
Worldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los Angeles
Crowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad Murray
Murray has insisted Prince Michael and Paris were bundled from the room after the star’s daughter burst into tears and screamed ‘Daddy’.
Their aunt LaToya, who believes her brother was unlawfully killed, has said it would be good for the children to, ‘Get what is inside them, out of them.’
‘She feels it is a way for them to release the hurt,’ the source told RadarOnline. ‘She believes her brother was murdered and what Prince Michael and Paris could tell the jury, would inevitably help convict the doctor.’
Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket were all included on a potential witness list passed out to the jurors in an attempt to ascertain their familiarity with the family.
Death: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he died
Home: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LA
First on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson’s ‘This is it’ tour is expected to be called today
Also listed were siblings Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Marlon, Rebbie, Tito and Randy as well as parents Katherine and Joe Jackson.
The case is one of a small but growing number of U.S. criminal prosecutions of doctors for alleged malpractice.
Mr Geragos said he believes prosecutors could have a difficult time winning a conviction – and that a hung jury with no conviction or acquittal is more likely.
‘Jurors are loathe to convict doctors in this type of a situation,’ Mr Geragos said, adding that many times jurors don’t want to second-guess doctors.
The responses of the 12-person jury to written questionnaires made public last week shows that none of them reported having a negative experience with doctors.
At the time of his death, Jackson was readying himself for 50 planned shows in London called ‘This Is It.’
The first prosecution witness is expected to be High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, the choreographer who was hired to stage the London shows and who was conducting rehearsals with Jackson in Los Angeles.
THE 12 PEOPLE THAT WILL DECIDE WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO JACKSON
Juror No. 1: Mexican male, 51, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, married father-of-five. A Michael Jackson fan who said he finds law enforcement officers, firefighters and doctors ‘always believable’.
Juror No. 2: Spanish female, 57, unemployed. Has served on five previous juries and closely followed the O.J. Simpson trial but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system. She does not consider herself a Jackson fan.
Juror No. 3: American male, 45, a partner in a management consulting firm. His wife is a former registered nurse, and both his brother-in-law and cousin are physicians. He has served on two previous juries, including a murder case in 1994.
Juror No. 4: American male, 32, part-time bookseller and cashier. He served as a U.S. Army National Guard specialist as a telecom operator. His primary source of news is the Internet.
Juror No. 5: American female, 48, paralegal. She watched the Casey Anthony murder trial ‘on and off’ because family members were interested was very interested but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system.
Juror No. 6: Cuban/Mexican male, 39, associate director of product management. He is an occasional reader of various Internet news and gossip sites. He considers himself a Jackson fan and owns various Michael Jackson, Jackson 5 and Janet Jackson CDs.
Juror No. 7: Mexican American female, 57, relocation representative in office management/customer service. She followed the Casey Anthony case and believes people of wealth or fame are treated differently in the court system.
Juror No. 8: Mexican male, 42, school bus driver. He believes Hollywood celebrities get away with crimes because of their status. He does not consider himself a fan of Michael Jackson but has a positive opinion of him.
Juror No. 9: African American male, 54, television technical director. A Michael Jackson fan, he has served on two criminal juries and one civil jury.
Juror No. 10: English female, 43, international marketer but previously worked as a pathology/medical technician in a biochemistry lab.
Juror No. 11: Hispanic female, 36, customer service representative. She reads People magazine and TMZ.com and watches reality television. She was shot in a drive-by shooting in 1993.
Juror No. 12: American male, 54, retired animator now working as a teacher. He considers Michael Jackson a ‘gifted performer’ and has owned Jackson CDs and albums since he was a teenager.
Key players: The figures at the centre of the trial
Dr Conrad Murray, defendant
A 58 year-old cardiologist who practiced in Las Vegas and Houston, Murray was hired as Jackson’s $150,000 a month personal physician roughly a month before the pop superstar’s death in June 2009.
Authorities contend Murray, who had financial difficulties before the singer’s death, administered a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol mixed with other sedatives.
The doctor, who was never paid, has pleaded not guilty and faces up to four years in prison and will lose his medical license if convicted.
Ed Chernoff, defence attorney
A Houston-based defense attorney working his first high-profile case, Chernoff has been Murray’s primary defense attorney since shortly after Jackson’s death. He represented the doctor during a meeting with police during which Murray disclosed that he had given Jackson propofol. Prosecutors plan to use the statements against Murray during trial.
Chernoff has maintained that Murray did not administer anything to Jackson that should have killed him.
David Walgren, prosecutor
A deputy district attorney in the major crimes division, Walgren is the lead prosecutor in the Murray case.
He has painted Murray as an incompetent doctor who initially tried to conceal that he had been giving the singer the anesthetic propofol without proper lifesaving equipment.
He was previously responsible for the district attorney’s effort to return director Roman Polanski to Los Angeles for sentencing in a three-decades old rape case. Switzerland eventually refused to extradite Polanski, which placed the case on hold.
Jackson’s death at age 50 in June 2009 stunned the world and gave the entertainer, posthumously, what he wanted – a comeback.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in debt at the time of his death and his reputation still tarnished by unproven child molestation accusations, Jackson’s estate has gone on to earn more than $310 million.
Jurors won’t hear about his shaky finances or references to his alleged drug abuse, but they will see footage of some of the singer’s final rehearsals and hear from some of the people were with him in his final days.
J Michael Flanagan, defence attorney
A Los Angeles criminal defence attorney who specialises in drunk driving cases, Flanagan also has the distinction of winning an acquittal for a nurse accused of improperly giving propofol to a patient who died.
He represented Britney Spears in a driver’s license case that was dropped after a jury deadlocked on the case, and has dealt with numerous scientific and testing issues related to Murray’s defense.
Judge Michael Pastor
A well-respected Los Angeles Superior Court Judge since 1983, Pastor is one of several judges who presides over the most serious criminal cases in Los Angeles.
He has previously handled a drunken driving case against actor Jason Priestly and a case against a man accused of stalking Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.
He has consistently that Murray’s trial will focus on Jackson’s final days and hours and has prohibited the doctor’s lawyers from introducing evidence about the singer’s addiction or financial woes.