This post has been corrected, see note at bottom for details.
Katherine Jackson wept on the witness stand Friday as she described her relationship with her son Michael, saying that when he died, she “lost everything.”
The 83-year-old matriarch said she and her seventh child were “very close,” saying “a mother wouldn’t want a better son than Michael.”
He took care of her “every need, my every want,” Katherine Jackson said, for example by remodeling her Hayvenhurst home, covering the walls of a room with enlarged pictures of their family.
He also wrote her poetry, she said. After Michael Jackson died, his older brother Jermaine found another handwritten poem to his mother and had it framed. Katherine Jackson said she cried when she read the words.
“All my success has been based on the fact that I wanted to make Mother proud,” the poem ends. “To win her smile of approval.”
When attorney Brian Panish asked how she had been affected by her son’s death, Katherine Jackson broke down.
“When a mother loses a child,” she said, crying. “No one knows until it happens to them. That’s the worst thing that could happen to a person, losing a child.
“I lost my mother, my father and my sister … but when I lost Michael, I lost everything,” she said.
Katherine Jackson and her grandchildren -- Prince, Paris and Blanket -- claim AEG Live negligently hired and controlled the physician who gave the singer a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol in 2009, days before his "This Is It" tour was to open in London. AEG Live was promoting and producing the comeback tour.
AEG says it was Jackson who hired Dr. Conrad Murray, and that any money the company was supposed to pay the doctor was actually part of an advance to the singer. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death and is serving jail time.
Katherine Jackson, a Jehovah’s witness, said she was out in “field service” — going door to door to share her faith — and returned home to a message from her husband on that June 2009 day. One of the fans who had gathered outside Michael Jackson’s rented Holmby Hills home had called Joe Jackson, saying someone had left on a gurney “completely covered up,” she testified.
“Later on I got a call to come to the hospital, so I thought maybe he was just sick,” she said.
Katherine Jackson said she arrived to find Jackson’s staff and a man she later learned was “packing back and forth.” Someone took her to a room where she waited, she said, until her son’s manager approached.
“Frank DiLeo came and told me that Michael had a reaction, and I said, ‘Well how is he?’ ” she said. “And nobody said anything.”
“I said, ‘Did he make it? Did he make it?’ and Frank said no,” she said, her voice breaking.
Katherine Jackson continued to cry on the stand as she described her reaction. “I just started screaming.”
Jackson said she was then taken to another room, where she was attended to by nurses and later met with her grandchildren. Paris Jackson, she said, was particularly emotional.
“She was screaming, looking up at the sky and said, ‘Daddy, I want to go with you.' ” Katherine Jackson said.