American musician Michael Jackson performs onstage at the Rosemont Horizon during his ‘BAD’ tour, Rosemont, Illinois, April 19, 1988. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
*Michael Jackson’s ex-brother-in-law wants MJ’s mom to sit for a court deposition over stolen memorabilia but a judge won’t allow it.
Jeffrey Phillips, an ex of LaToya Jackson, is accused of stealing $1 million worth of memorabilia from the King of Pop in the hours after MJ died.
Phillips is demanding Katherine Jackson, 92, take the stand during the trial to defend his name as he claims she told him to take the items following the death of her famous son.
According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has shut down a motion by Phillips.
Phillips’ legal drama with Jackson’s estate began last year when he was accused of stealing various items from Jackson’s house after the pop star died in June 2009. According to the estate, Phillips showed up at the singer’s home after he was hospitalized and allegedly made off over $1 million in MJ memorabilia.
Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson
The estate claimed that Phillips took items such as pajamas, pill bottles, and handwritten notes to Michael from his son Prince. Per Radar, other items included “5 hard drives, 3 silver Mac laptops, two iPods, cassette tapes, a large black bag with a skull on it, framed photograph of Jackson, a Michael Jackson doll, and roughly 11 framed platinum/gold record awards,” the outlet writes.
A court has prohibited Phillips from selling the merch until the trial is complete.
Phillips insists Katherine gave him permission to remove the items from Jackson’s home. In a court declaration, he wrote, “had the Estate simply asked for the property and not resorted to the premeditated set-up and bullying tactics, I would have called La Toya to inform her that the Estate was requesting the items, and the two of us would have then called her mother. If Ms. Jackson instructed me to give the property back to the Estate, I would have done so.”
Phillips wants to depose Katherine but the estate has objected. Per Radar, the motion read, “It is troubling (to say the least) that Phillips, who claims to have been very close to Mrs. Jackson and the Jackson family, is seeking to have his attorneys interrogate the elderly Mrs. Jackson over her objections about what we understand is the most painful weeks and months of her long life.”
“It is obvious that Phillips is using Mrs. Jackson as leverage in this matter,” they added.
Michael’s nephew Taj told the court that Katherine is still grieving the loss of her son. According to Radar, he said, “The reason I have not spoken to my Grandmother about the subject is simple. My Grandmother was and is still very affected by the death of my Uncle, her child. This was by far the saddest event that I saw her experience in her life. Understandably, she finds it very difficult to talk about my Uncle’s last few years and also about the very sad weeks and months following his sudden and unexpected death.”
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