Kenny Ortega to Testify at Michael Jackson Manslaughter Trial

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Choreographer and director Kenny Ortega will testify at the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray this week, almost a year and a half after the King of Pop's tragic death on June 25, 2009.

Murray is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and his trial begins today, January 4, in Los Angeles. Prosecutors are attempting to prove that Murray is responsible for the singer's death from a prescription drug overdose. Kenny Ortega, who was directing Michael Jackson's tour film This Is It at the time of the pop star's death will be called as a star witness during the preliminary hearing.

TMZ is reporting that Ortega is expected to talk about an "intense, loud and argumentative" meeting that was held on June 20, 2009 between reps from AEG, Jackson and Dr. Conrad Murray. Ortega was apparently very upset with Michael, urging him to take better care of himself in the run-up to his last world tour ever. Ortega will testify that Dr. Murray said some "terrible things" during the get together, revealing a lack of respect for Michael and minimal concern for his health and well-being.

Sources told the website that when rehearsals resumed in the days before Jackson died, Michael seemed healthy and in good spirits, impressing backup dancers with his energy. Ortega's testimony is key to the trial because prosecutors will argue that Jackson was just fine in the days before Murray pumped him full of the drugs, which led to his overdose and death.

The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

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Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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