Photo Credit: Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images;Jason LaVeris/Getty Images
Michael Jackson's children watched as their father passed away in 2009, according to two testimonies heard at Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial on Wednesday. Jackson's bodyguard and assistant both reported an agonizing scene at the pop legend's home, as his oldest children Prince, 14, and Paris, 13, saw Dr. Murray try and fail to revive their dad.
"Paris screamed out, 'Daddy!'" testified Alberto Alvarez, an assistant to Jackson. "She was crying."
Bodyguard Faheem Muhammad also described the reactions of Jackson's older children, then 12 and 11, to seeing their father lying motionless on his bed.
"Paris was on the ground, balled up and crying," said Muhammad. "Prince had a really shocked, just slowly crying kind of look."
As Murray reportedly shouted, "Don't let them see their dad like this," Alvarez said that he tried to comfort the children.
"Kids, don't worry, we'll take care of it. Everything's going to be okay," said Alvarez. "Then I asked Dr. Murray what happened, and he said, 'He had a bad reaction.'" Muhammad later he had the children's nanny take them away, so that they wouldn't see paramedics carry off the body.
Jackson's children have not been present at the trial, which began on Tuesday; however, it's been rumored that Prince may be called to testify. All three of Jackson's children -- including Blanket, 9 -- have been named on a list of potential witnesses. According to psychiatrist Gail Saltz, M.D., taking part in the trial could be traumatizing for Jackson's young family.
"Testifying is really not in the children's best interest, as it causes them to have to relive the circumstances surrounding the loss as opposed to having grieved already and attempting to continue on with their lives," Dr. Saltz tells iVillage. "It may stir up both their grief and their trauma.
"The images out there are disturbing for any child, let alone that he is their father," Dr. Saltz adds. "Hopefully the adults in their lives will try to minimize both media and courtroom exposure for them."
We can't imagine that Jackson's parents and siblings would allow the children to take part in the trial, except as a last resort to get Dr. Murray convicted. If found guilty, Murray will lose his medical license and face up to four years in prison.