Los Angeles (CNN) — The Michael Jackson wrongful death trial, which promises dramatic revelations and legal fireworks, begins in a small Los Angeles courtroom with opening statements Monday.
Jurors earning $15 a day will listen to several months of testimony before deciding whether one of the world’s largest entertainment companies should pay Jackson’s mother and three children billions of dollars for its liability in the pop icon’s death.
Famous Jackson family members, including Janet, will sit just a few feet from the jury as Michael’s oldest son and daughter describe their father’s last days. But they will also endure weeks of tedious testimony from medical and financial experts offering opinions about the singer’s health, addiction and career.
Only a handful of journalists and a few members of the public will be allowed inside the courtroom because many of its 45 seats are reserved for parties involved in the trial, including the Jackson family. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos denied CNN’s request to televise the trial.
Pretrial hearings have featured angry and personal exchanges between lawyers for the two sides, made more intense by the intimacy of the tiny courtroom.