For months after [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist]‘s death, his inner circle became headline news. From his dermatologist and his assistant to the heads of the concert promotions firm that was mounting the This Is It Tour, his estate executors and Jackson’s mother, even casual Jackson fans knew more about those in his orbit than ever before.
Many of those names were front and center during the six-week involuntary manslaughter trial of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray. With closing arguments completed Thursday and the verdict looming, we take a look at where those players are now:
MJ’s longtime dermatologist was the subject of endless rumors in the wake of his most famous patient’s death, including allegations that he might have been the sperm donor for one or more of the singer’s children. His name was back in headlines during the second week of the prosecution’s case, when it emerged that in a June 27, 2009, interview with police, Murray told investigators Klein was one of the doctors who regularly prescribed drugs to the pop icon behind the cardiologist’s back. TMZ reported that MJ’s production team often complained about the star’s visits to Klein’s office, saying his worst days on set were often after those trips. Klein, whose client list has included Elizabeth Taylor and Dolly Parton, continues to practice, but the dermatologist said the constant negative online chatter has hurt his feelings and reputation. “I don’t like to be called a bad doctor,” he said in early October.
The longtime Jackson friend and choreographer has moved on from his role as director and choreographer for This Is It (and the blockbuster posthumous documentary) and is now working on a big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit musical “In the Heights” and a remake of “Dirty Dancing,” both of which he will direct.
The mega-promoter has barely been a story in the Murray trial after making lots of headlines in the wake of Jackson’s death. It has marched forward with some of the biggest tours of the past two years by the likes of Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney and Carrie Underwood.
MJ’s 81-year-old mother was living her quiet life when she was suddenly thrust into the spotlight in the wake of the custody battle over Jackson’s three young children. She reached a custody agreement with the mother of the two eldest children (Prince Michael and Paris Michael) and has been raising them ever since. And, unlike their sheltered (literally shrouded) lives under their father’s care, Katherine Jackson has allowed the children to be a bit more public, helping them celebrate their father’s legacy with fans.
John Branca and John McClain
Jackson’s two confidants, attorney Branca and music exec McClain , were named executors of the icon’s estate in the months after his death. In their role, the two men have deftly turned around the Jackson estate’s foundering fortunes, helping to wipe out much of the hundreds of millions in debts that Jackson owed at the time of his death and raking in more than $300 million to date.
Prince Michael, Paris and “Blanket”
During his lifetime, Jackson’s three children were fiercely kept from the spotlight by their doting dad, who would often put masks or scarves on their faces to avoid having them in tabloid reports. Paris famously eulogized her father at his funeral, and since his death, all three have been pictured in the press attending public events, conducted interviews and appeared at the recent tribute concert to their pop in Wales.
Stick with MTV News for full coverage of the Michael Jackson involuntary manslaughter trial, through the verdict and beyond.