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TJ Jackson, Michael Jackson’s nephew and co-guardian of his children, took the stand in a wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Thursday. TJ spoke about how he believed his super star uncle was murdered. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 27, 2013.
It was an emotional day in court Thursday when Michael Jackson’s nephew TJ Jackson testified about his uncle’s death.
“Do you believe your uncle was murdered?” AEG Live Attorney Jessica Stebbins-Bina asked.
“I do. He told me and my brothers that he’d be murdered on a couple of occasions,” TJ replied.
Legal experts say such exchanges could help AEG Live create doubt about witness testimony. TJ is not only Michael Jackson’s nephew – he is also co-guardian, with Katherine Jackson, of Michael Jackson’s underage children.
As such, any judgment in favor of the family, which is suing AEG Live for tens of millions of dollars, could greatly impact his life, as well.
“I think they just have to show that TJ really was not a part of their lives…that he’s just stepping in now, when the money’s on the table, to take care of his children,” said Tanya Young Williams, an attorney and legal analyst not affiliated with the Jackson trial.
But Jackson attorneys took great pains during TJ’s testimony to establish his humble lifestyle, pointing out that he lives in Fontana and drives a Honda Accord.
“I just want something to get me from point A to point B,” TJ said of his car.
Later, TJ choked back tears when he described his uncle’s loss to the family.
“He was just…everything,” TJ said.
“It’s been very challenging to [Paris Jackson]. It was all taken away,” TJ said.
He called Michael’s daughter, who reportedly attempted suicide a couple of weeks ago, “daddy’s girl.”
“He’s taking the stand to just be able to expound about what the children are going through and how the loss of their father continues to damage their lives,” Williams said.
Jurors also heard from TJ’s brother Taj, who told them the loss of his uncle four years ago is still fresh.
"He was magical," Taj testified. "I feel lost sometimes because he's not here."