LOS ANGELES — US prosecutors want a judge to delay releasing key records on Michael Jackson’s 2009 death to insurers, until after the upcoming trial of the late pop icon’s doctor, newly filed documents show.
Insurers Lloyd’s of London filed suit against concert promoters AEG Live in Los Angeles in June, seeking $17.5 million in compensation for the cancelation of a series of London shows Jackson was rehearsing for shortly before he died.
But the District Attorney’s office on Wednesday filed a request at the LA Superior Court seeking to delay the release of fire department and coroner’s office records to lawyers handling civil litigation for the insurers.
The DA’s office is worried that sensitive records could be leaked to the media if they are turned over to the insurers’ lawyers before the start later this month of the manslaughter trial of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray.
“The (prosecution’s) pending criminal case against Conrad Murray regarding the death of Michael Jackson has received significant, unrelenting media attention,” the DA’s filing says.
“Because of the heightened media interest surrounding this case, it is more likely that a leak to the media or a similar compromise in the confidentiality of these documents would occur.”
Documents and photos related to Jackson’s death “have significant value to the media,” it says.
The insurers claim they were not told the singer was taking drugs before he died on June 25, 2009, at age 50, from an overdose of a powerful sedative he was taking to help him sleep.
Murray, accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of propofol, is due to go on trial for manslaughter in late September. Jury selection for the long-awaited court case is due to start next Thursday, September 8.