The verdict Wednesday in the civil trial that determined that AEG Live was not negligent in the death of Michael Jackson was an especially emotional moment for Conrad Murray, the jailed doctor whose hire by AEG was one of the centerpieces of that trial.
"My immediate reaction was one of tears; certainly, I cried," said Murray, who spoke exclusively to TODAY's Matt Lauer Thursday morning from jail; his lawyer Valerie Wass was also on hand, via satellite.
The jury had determined that Murray was hired by the concert promoter, but that he was not unfit or incompetent to do the job he was hired to do — oversee Jackson's medical care. Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death in 2011 and sentenced to four years in jail, though he is expected to be released in a few weeks due to California prison overcrowding.
The civil suit between AEG Live and Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson (Jackson's three children were also plaintiffs in the suit) brought out facts that Murray said were not allowed at his own trial. "I cried because for once the world was allowed to hear some of the facts ... much of which I was denied and my attorneys could not present during my criminal trial," he said. "I was very relieved that at least the world had a chance of hearing some of the facts."
The civil trial result will have no bearing on Murray's appeal in criminal court, however, said Wass. "The appeal is based solely on the criminal trial, the record from that," she said.
When Lauer noted that after the verdict the jury foreman said Murray was "unethical," he took exception. "What the juror said was that if ethics were the issue, the conclusion might be different," said Murray, who watched the verdict live as it was read out on television. "This is not about ethics. This was about the Jacksons bringing a lawsuit which I felt from the beginning was frivolous. ... When you say I am 'unethical,' that was speculation on (the foreman's) part, because he has not heard the other side."
In a few weeks, Murray is likely to be free, and denied that his license to practice medicine had been revoked. But when he leaves jail he says he just wants to "embrace my children" and "reunite with my family and close friends."
"I would re-start my life and God willing, I would be a model to show the world that despite adversity and when bad things happen to good people, they can re-start their life and succeed," he said.
First published October 3 2013, 5:12 AM