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August 15th, 2013
03:59 PM ET

"Piers Morgan Live, Rewind": The private life of Bradley Manning and a look inside the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial

Whether you fell asleep early, stayed out too late, or simply want to watch it again, we realize it's not always possible to get your entire "Piers Morgan Live" fix from television. As an answer to this, we offer the below labor of love – "Piers Morgan Live, Rewind" – dedicated and designed to getting you caught up and connected to the conversation.

  • The private life of Bradley Manning

After three years, 22 charges and 20 convictions, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning now faces up to 90 years behind bars. But we're only now beginning to learn about the private life of the man credited with facilitating the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history. On Wednesday, details were released that Manning suffered from gender-identity issues and potentially manifested characteristics of fetal alcohol syndrome.

On the heels of these shocking revelations, “Piers Morgan Live” invited Alyona Minkovski, host of HuffPost Live, and Los Angeles Times reporter Maeve Reston into the studio for a candid conversation on the recent specifics – some of which were revealed during sentencing – surmising that this new information may help contextualize Manning’s past, and also impact his future.

Reston noted it may have been strategic for Manning, saying it was “a very important attempt by his team to humanize him.” But moreover, she argued, it is a wake up call for those who trivialize mental health:

“What this entire case has raised, is how do you have a kid like that with those kinds of problems who's curled up in a fetal position and carving things into his chair, being sent back to his desk to deal with sensitive information? I mean, we assume that all of these people are handling sensitive classified information are adults - rational adults," she said. "And it's revealing that they keep a guy like this on the job because they're so understaffed, that they need him there.”

Minkovski, meanwhile, considers Manning a hero, and commended him for his role as a whistleblower. From her perspective, exposing personal details is a last-resort approach to evoking sympathy:

“This entire focus on his personal background is a bit of a distraction. Sure, it's an attempt by the defense right now while they're in the sentencing phase to try to get some mercy from the judge, right? They want the sentenced reduced. I mean, this kid is facing a reduced sentence of a maximum of 90 years in jail," she told Piers Morgan during her live interview. "And you know, a lot of people have been focusing on the apology today saying that maybe did he somehow mislead or disappoint his biggest supporters out there, absolutely not. What other options does he have left?”

  • Is AEG to blame in Michael Jackson’s death?

On Wednesday, the high-profile case which seeks to pin the responsibility of Michael Jackson’s fatal 2009 overdose on concert promoter AEG Live, took an unexpected turn.

With the late singer's ex-wife Debbie Rowe forced to take the stand, it became clear that this strange story does not end with the conviction of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's former personal physician. With Murray in prison, the Jackson family is now going after AEG Live for hiring Murray.

To help sort out the complexities of the perplexing trial, attorney Tom Mesereau joined “Piers Morgan Live”:

“Both sides are trying to prove that Michael had an addiction to painkillers and prescription medications," he explained. "Kathryn and Michael's kids are trying to say that AEG knew of this because one of their executives was his tour manager twice during the '90s and actually hired an addiction specialist to help him after he became addicted following the Pepsi commercial.”

According to the guest, the defense has an entirely different motive behind introducing Jackson's reliance on pharmaceuticals:

“The defense is claiming that he was addicted to prescription medications because they want to say two things. They want to say he was responsible for his own demise," began Mesereau. "And number two, if they're held liable, they want to keep the damages low. They want to say that addiction to painkillers and medication lowered the value of his career, lowered whatever expectations there were about what he could earn. So they're both trying to prove he was addicted.”

As for Rowe’s testimony, Mesereau viewed it as having benefitted the family:

“I think she helped Kathryn and Michael's children," he noted. "What she described is something that AEG, in my opinion, had to know about because of their constant involvement with Michael Jackson, particularly that executive who was his tour manager on two tours. So I think AEG is going to be hard-pressed to say we never heard this was going on.”

It was the immense pressure that AEG put on Dr. Murray, understanding the extreme financial benefits tied to a successful Michael Jackson comeback, that Mesereau blames for the performer's his death:

AEG “took some risks including taking responsibility for Murray ... as a price to pay for getting him on a comeback plan that would have been the biggest entertainment comeback in history."

  • Ted Rowlands on Debbie Rowe’s testimony: “It was sad”

On the heels of a day in court that saw emotional testimony from Michael Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe, CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands joined “Piers Morgan Live” to comment on the details and significance of Rowe’s performance:

“It was sad, Piers, the story that she told. And that was of competing doctors trying to give Michael Jackson as much pain medication as they could and trying to one up each other during the time period after he was recovering from that 1984 Pepsi commercial debacle where he burned his head all the way through the rest of his life," explained Rowlands. "She also testified that she saw in Munich, Germany during the 1997 Victory tour, Michael Jackson getting propofol in a hotel room saying it looked like a surgical suite getting it just for sleep two consecutive nights or two separate nights during that tour.”

In sum, Rowlands saw Rowe’s testimony as a success for the defense:

“It all comes back to these doctors that she says was taking advantage of him. She did the one thing she was supposed to for AEG who put her on the stand and that was to describe that event in Germany. They wanted her to tell the jury that Jackson and Jackson, himself, had plotted this," the journalist told Morgan. "They had no idea he had this problem before hiring him for this concert series, of course, which he was preparing for before he died.”

For the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. JEFF SAAD

    NO ASSURANCE WHAT EVER THIS WILL NOT LED TO BOOTS ON THE GROUND AND IF VIETNAM WAS A NIGHT
    MARE FOR US THIS NOT IRAQ ITS SYRIA WHERE ISRAEL WILL FALL IN GREAT RISK SO YOU NEED TO DEFEND IT ???AND OUR INTEREST IN THE REGIONS SO WAR WAR THERE OR LEAVING THE REGIONS ...SO WHERE LIMITED STRIKE CAN LEAD NO ONE CAN PREDICT SYRIA HAS MORE THEN 250 THOUSANDS OF LONGS MISSILES AND HEZBOLLAH SO IRAN ETC IN FRONT OF US SO ITS NOT LIMITED STRICKE BUT ?????????????????????

    September 6, 2013 at 8:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Private Personal Training Long Island

    So sad, either way may he rest in peace.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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