After being denied benefits from an insurance policy surrounding the death of Michael Jackson and his ill-fated "This Is It" tour, the King of Pop’s legal team claims stars like Britney Spears had histories of drug abuse and applied for similar claims.
According to files obtained by TMZ, the Michael Jackson Company (MJC) has also named George Michael, Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, the late Whitney Houston, guitarist Eddie Van Halen, and music groups AC/DC and Kings of Leon among major substance abusers who applied to insurance giant Lloyd's of London for policies affecting tours and other projects.
MJC’s actions are latest in a wave of proceedings involving Lloyd’s and AEG Live, the company that was to have promoted Jackson’s tour. Between the time the This Is It junket was announced in 2008 and Jackson’s death in 2009 from involuntary manslaughter, AEG took out a policy as protection against any circumstances preventing the tour from taking place. Legalzoom reported that Lloyd’s refused to pay AEG the $17.5 million-claim on grounds that the promoter was well aware of Jackson’s drug habits, including the use of propofol, an anesthetic lethally administered to the pop star by Dr. Conrad Murray, who has since finished his prison sentence for his actions.
Hoping to find precedents to nullify Lloyd's refusal, International Design Times reports that MJC is attempting to find out whether other celebs covered by Lloyd’s and were also well-known for their drug habits, managed to receive benefits. If they discover a pattern in their favour, MJC hopes to take Lloyd’s to task over being unfairly singled out.
The pharmaceutical behavior of the stars on the MJC list are hardly secret. Since 2006, rumours have swirled around Britney Spears’s use of ecstasy and amphetamines. In 2009, George Michael was busted for possession of cocaine. In 2012, cocaine was deemed a culprit surrounding the bathtub drowning of Whitney Houston. As for the rest on the list, most acts have been open about their use of drugs and alcohol at parties, although Steven Tyler and Eddie Van Halen claim they've been clean for years.