Longtime Jackson stylist testifies at AEG trial
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A hair stylist and makeup artist who worked with Michael Jackson for 27 years testified today that she suspected the nanny to the singer’s children could have been giving him drugs during his 2005 trial on child molestation charges.
“I thought it was a possibility,” said Karen Faye in reference to nanny Grace Rwaramba. “Michael sometimes seemed to have issues when she was around.”
Faye said she “really, really loved Grace” when she first met her years earlier, but changed her mind about the nanny as Rwaramba’s responsibilities within the Jackson family grew at Neverland Ranch.
Faye’s testimony came at the end of the ninth week of the Los Angeles Superior Court trial stemming from the wrongful death/negligence lawsuit filed by Jackson’s mother in 2010 on behalf of herself and her late son’s children.
The plaintiffs allege that AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray as Jackson’s physician for his planned comeback tour and failed to supervise him properly, while AEG Live maintains it was Jackson who hired Murray in 2006 as his personal physician and chose him to be his doctor during his “This Is It” tour.
Jackson was rehearsing for 50 sold-out tour dates in London at the time of his death on June 25, 2009, at age 50. Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for giving the singer a lethal intravenous dose of the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid and was sentenced to four years in jail.
Faye first testified in May, but returned to the stand today to be cross- examined by AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam. She said that after Rwaramba was brought back as nanny, Jackson “seemed to have a more difficult time.”
Asked by Putnam to elaborate, Faye said Jackson’s back pain seemed to increase and that he was losing weight. She also said it was during this period that Jackson arrived in court late and in pajamas one day during the criminal case trial, fearing that if he did not get there sooner the judge would jail him. Jackson was ultimately acquitted of the molestation allegations.
In other testimony, Faye said she was concerned when she went online four months before the “This Is It” tour’s planned start at the O2 Arena and saw how close together some of the concert dates were scheduled.
“I didn’t know if he could continue very long with the schedule because there wasn’t enough time to recuperate,” she said. “I was always protective of Michael and his well-being.”
Faye, who was supposed to accompany Jackson on the tour, said she worried about him “going downhill” at some point during the schedule.
However, she said she did not believe the stress of performing so many concerts would harm the singer or that the schedule would be dangerous to his health.
“There’s no way I would have said dangerous,” she said.
Faye said she talked to Jackson about the schedule and that he said he had not yet seen it. However, after she expressed her concerns, he said, “My mother said the same thing,” according to Faye.
Faye said it was important that Jackson not compromise his performances.
“It would have come down on him because he is the star,” she said.