McClain and Branca believe the electronic devices could contain unreleased music from Michael.
In court documents, the executors claimed Phillips had taken the items from Michael’s home in the days after his death in 2009.
Phillips, who dated LaToya from 1995 to 2015, has denied the accusations. He claimed Katherine instructed him to remove the items from the property. He said he stored the items for years without any issues.
He said, “I have never lied about having the Carolwood Items or otherwise concealed the fact that I kept the Carolwood Items in storage. Jackson’s family members knew I had these items.”
Phillips added, “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.”
The parties have been fighting over Phillips being allowed to depose Katherine. He argued the testimony is vital to the case.
The executors argued Katherine should not be forced to endure an emotionally charged sit-down.
Now, Katherine has responded to the request herself. Her lawyers argued the deposition would be “unnecessary, irrelevant, and highly intrusive.”
Further, her legal team accused Phillips of refusing to discuss “reasonable accommodations or alternatives even though he will endure no prejudice by doing so makes clear that the true goal of Phillips – or his counsel – is to use the threat of deposing the 93-year-old matriarch of the Jackson family to create leverage for a favorable settlement.”
Katherine’s lawyer wrote, “It can hardly be disputed that a deposition would impose significant burdens on Ms. Jackson. Even under normal circumstances, a deposition can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing event, which can elevate the heart rate and trigger physical reactions in the human mind and body. It may be that merely “being nervous or uncomfortable talking about sensitive topics, such as a child’s death, is not a reason to disallow a deposition” but that argument belittles the seriousness of the situation here.”
“Ms. Jackson is no spring chicken. She is 93 years old. It is inarguable that it is important for people of her age to minimize exposure to such stressful situations that might affect their heart rate or blood pressure,” her lawyer added.
The attorney said Katherine’s doctor presented a declaration opposing the 93-year-old being deposed.
Phillips criticizes the sufficiency of the evidence that Ms. Jackson has presented and complains that the declaration from her doctor does not disclose any specific medical condition or diagnosis.
Michael Jackson’s mom said Phillips has argued the declaration did not disclose any specific medical condition or diagnosis. Her lawyer argued, “Ms. Jackson should not be required to disclose confidential medical details to anyone or run the risk of public scrutiny and speculation into her health to satisfy Phillips’ desire for an unnecessary oral deposition.”
Katherine’s team said she should not have to be deposed. They offered to have her answer written questions but Phillips has not agreed.
A judge has yet to rule.