Joe and Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was preparing for 50 London performances
at the time of his June 25 death
. But the star's father Joe Jackson claims that his son would not have been able to complete the lengthy set – and was pushed into the commitment by promoters.
"Michael told me himself [that] he agreed to 10 shows. But they went and added all these other shows," the elder Jackson tells ABC News
. "I was worried about his health. No artist can do those many shows back to back like that, and so I knew Michael couldn't do all those shows."
Another Jackson associate, former financial advisor Leonard Rowe (no relation to Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of two of Michael's children) agreed that in spite of recently released video of Jackson's final rehearsal, the 50-year-old King of Pop was sickly and far from top form.
According to Rowe, Jackson "was not ready. He was not fit, [only] if you can call weighing 110, 115 pounds fit."
Producers of the show counter Joe Jackson's claims, saying that Michael himself was responsible for the show's extension. AEG CEO Randy Phillips says he tried to change the singer's mind about the set, but was rebuffed. "He told me to shove off," said Phillips.
Jackson's manager Frank DiLeo says that Jackson was not being pushed in the preparation for London. "He built up his stamina. There would have been no problems, I don't think, with him doing this tour. Nobody was pushing him into it. Nobody was overworking him."