Touring till 66?
Paris Jackson made another appearance in the trial this week -- via a video of her deposition in March. Jurors saw a clip of AEG Live lawyer Putnam asking the 15-year-old what her father told her about his "This Is It" tour:
Putnam: "Did he explain to you how long the tour was going to last?"
Paris: "I assume a long time since it was a world tour, but those usually last a long time"
Putnam: "How did you understand it was a world tour?"
Paris: "Because he told us."
Putnam: "What did he tell you?"
Paris: "That we were going around the world on tour."
Certified public accountant Arthur Erk, who has managed and audited the business affairs of many top artists, testified Wednesday that he is "reasonably certain" that Jackson would have performed 260 shows around the world as part of his "This Is It" tour. He would have earned $890 million over the three years of concerts in Europe, Asia, South America, North America and Australia, Erk said.
Jackson would have earned at least $1.5 billion from touring, endorsements and sponsorships had he not died preparing for his comeback tour, Erk said.
AEG Live's unprecedented sellout of 50 shows scheduled for London's O2 Arena in 2009 and 2010 proved there was "pent-up demand" to see Jackson live, despite controversies that had tarnished his reputation in the years since his last tour in 1998, Erk said.
An e-mail from AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips said fans bought all 750,000 tickets put on sale for 31 shows in March 2009 in just two hours. Enough buyers were registered to sell out another 100 shows, Phillips wrote.
"Dude, we're going to sell out a ridiculous amount of tickets," AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware wrote in an e-mail. "We've got to get Mikey to add more shows."
Jackson's manager quickly approved another 19 shows, bringing the total to 50.
"Ten million tickets for the rest of the world? They would have gobbled up those tickets in seconds," Erk said.
AEG Live lawyer Sabrina Strong challenged Erk's estimate, asking if any other act has ever made as much money on a tour. "No," he said. "This would have been a record-breaking world tour."
Jackson would have done another 195 shows over four more world tours before retiring from the road at age 66, Erk predicted.
Putnam called Erk's estimates "a creation, a fabrication" which suggests Jackson would have made more after age 50 that he did in the three tours during the "height of his fame."
Jackson never intended to perform after the 50 shows in London, Putnam said.
AEG Live showed jurors a video clip of Katherine Jackson's deposition, in which she said her son would joke that he "didn't want to be moonwalking on stage at 50."
"Michael said that quite a few years back and he was joking," his mother explained in her testimony Friday. "I thought it was funny and most of us said things like that. I used to think 50 was very old."
In fact, Jackson was 50 when he signed a three-year contract with AEG Live for his comeback tour, which would have likely included his famous moonwalk dance steps as he performed "Billie Jean."
"We announced that we're going to have one tour in London, that's what was announced, and it was called 'This Is It,' meaning in London, this show is it," he said. "This show is it. This is the last thing he's ever going to do. As a result of this being his final performance ever, to be at the O2 in London, there was enormous response, understandably, and therefore we sold 50 shows."
With the Jackson case ending -- which Putnam called "ridiculous" -- "now we're going to start to show what actually occurred here," he said.
No Conrad Murray testimony