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Published September 02 2012

Emails: Michael Jackson an 'emotionally paralyzed mess' ahead of 2009 comeback

LOS ANGELES — Promoters of Michael Jackson's planned 2009 comeback described in emails how they feared for the megastar's stability, saying he was out of shape and consumed with self-doubt.

The Los Angeles Times obtained some 250 pages of messages, most between executives at Anschutz Entertainment Group, which was financing the ill-fated “This Is It” concerts set for London. Some of the emails indicated that executives were concerned that Jackson's planned 50-show stand at AEG's 02 Arena would be an expensive bust.

In one exchange AEG's Randy Phillips wrote his boss that Jackson was “an emotionally paralyzed mess.” Phillips was writing from Jackson's London hotel suite just hours before a press conference announcing the concert run.

“MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” Phillips said in an email to AEG President Tim Leiweke. “I (am) trying to sober him up.”

In the end, the emails show, Phillips and Jackson's manager had to dress the pop star, the Times said.