Jeffrey Phillips who use to be with LaToya Jackson, Michael Jackson’s sister is demanding that his ex-mother-in-law takes the stand.
via: Radar Online
Michael Jackson’s estate is backing up the late pop star’s mother Katherine as she fights to avoid being deposed by LaToya’s ex-fiancé in a bitter court battle, RadarOnline.com has learned.
According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, the estate, run by executors John Branca and John McClain, is asking the court to shut down the motion brought by Jeffree Phillips.
As we first reported, last year, the estate dragged Phillips to court accusing him of possessing $1 million+ worth of MJ’s memorabilia. The executors claimed LaToya’s ex took the property from MJ’s home in the days after his June 2009 death.
The alleged property taken includes handwritten notes, 5 hard drives, 3 silver Mac laptops, two iPods, and various other personal items.
The executors believe Phillips planned to sell off the items until they uncovered his scheme. Phillips has denied stealing the property and claims Katherine has instructed him to take it for storage. He also denied ever planning to sell the property.
In a declaration submitted to the court, Phillips said, “had the Estate simply asked for the property and not resorted to the premeditated set-up and bullying tactics, I would have called La Toya to inform her that the Estate was requesting the items, and the two of us would have then called her mother. If Ms. Jackson instructed me to give the property back to the Estate, I would have done so.”
Recently, Phillips, who dated LaToya from 1995 to 2015, demanded Katherine be forced to sit for a deposition. He wanted to grill her about the facts of the case and whether she told him to take the property.
The judge previously denied an emergency motion brought by Phillips over the depo but he’s now giving the request another shot.
He said, “Mrs. Jackson’s testimony is critical to the statute of limitations and bailment issues at the core of this action.”
His attorney added, “While Mr. Phillips is sympathetic to Mrs. Jackson’s position that she does not want to sit for deposition in a case involving the death of her son, Petitioners involved her in this case, and Mr. Phillips must accordingly take every opportunity to conduct discovery to aid in his defense of this matter.”
In response, the executors of MJ’s estate said they oppose the request claiming Katherine “should not be forced to be deposed over her objections about the painful days and months that followed her son’s death. It is very telling that Phillips, who claims to have been very close to Mrs. Jackson and the Jackson family, is seeking to have his attorneys cross-exam Mrs. Jackson at an oral deposition over her objections.”
The estate said they agreed not to call Katherine as a witness, which they argue means her deposition is unnecessary. Phillips feels otherwise. A judge has yet to rule on the matter.
The estate defending Katherine comes as the executors and MJ’s mom are involved in a nasty war over a secret deal she opposes. The matter is currently on appeal.