Michael Jackson's nephew and co-guardian to his three children testified on Thursday in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the late pop star's family that the "Thriller" singer was humble family man who supported his family in times of need.
T.J. Jackson, 34, the son of Jackson 5 member Tito Jackson, offered a view into the private life of the King of Pop, who died at age 50 in Los Angeles in 2009 from an overdose of surgical anesthetic propofol ahead of a run of London concerts.
T.J. told jurors in a Los Angeles courtroom that Jackson supported and comforted him after his mother was murdered when he was 16.
"He kept me inspired and ambitious. He was just there for me," T.J., breaking down in tears, said.
Jackson's 83-year-old mother, Katherine, is suing privately held AEG Live, which was promoting Jackson's "This Is It" comeback concert series in London, for negligence in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray as his personal physician.
Murray was caring for the singer as he prepared for the shows and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for administering the propofol that killed Jackson.
T.J. is the second Jackson family member to testify in the trial. He followed Jackson's eldest son, 16-year-old Prince, who took the stand on Wednesday, four years and one day after the pop singer's death.
In morning testimony, T.J., who also serves as a co-guardian with Katherine of the singer's three children, said the pop star was so humble he never knew that Jackson was a global icon until adulthood.
"He was just extremely humble about being so famous," T.J said. "It was amazing to see the contrast of (how) the world outside (treated him)."
AEG Live has said that Jackson had prescription drug and addiction problems for years before entering into any agreement with the company and that the singer chose Murray as his physician even though they paid for Murray.
AEG Live also has said they could not have foreseen that Murray posed a danger to Jackson.
T.J. echoed Prince's testimony that Jackson's death has been hardest felt by the singer's 15-year-old daughter, Paris, who earlier this month was rushed to a hospital following an apparent suicide attempt.
"The loss of my uncle has hit her at a different level," T.J. said. "She was daddy's girl; my uncle was her world."
Jackson family attorney Brian Panish has said Paris may be called as a witness in the trial, but Jackson's youngest son, 11-year-old Prince Michael II, also known as Blanket, will not be summoned during the trial, which began in late April.
Testimony over the past two days have focused on Jackson's relationship with his children, with the family's attorneys showing home videos and photos of the pop star with his kids.
T.J. is a singer in the R&B group 3T, with two of his brothers.