LOS ANGELES — Promoters of Michael Jackson’s planned 2009 comeback described in emails how they feared for the megastar’s stability, saying he was out of shape and consumed with self-doubt.

The Los Angeles Times obtained some 250 pages of messages, most between executives at Anschutz Entertainment Group, which was financing the ill-fated “This Is It” concerts set for London. Some of the emails indicated that executives were concerned that Jackson’s planned 50-show stand at AEG’s 02 Arena would be an expensive bust.

In one exchange AEG’s Randy Phillips wrote his boss that Jackson was “an emotionally paralyzed mess.” Phillips was writing from Jackson’s London hotel suite just hours before a press conference announcing the concert run.

“MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” Phillips said in an email to AEG President Tim Leiweke. “I (am) trying to sober him up.”

In the end, the emails show, Phillips and Jackson’s manager had to dress the pop star, the Times said.

“He is scared to death,” Phillips wrote to Leiweke.

Jackson arrived 90 minutes late for the news conference and made brief remarks that some of the 350 reporters described as odd and disjointed.

In an interview with the newspaper, AEG’s attorney Marvin Putnam suggested Phillips had exaggerated in his emails and said Jackson’s behavior appeared to be a case of “nerves.”

The Times said the messages will probably play a key role in two lawsuits set for trial next year.

The shows’ insurers are asking a judge to nullify a $17.5-million policy that they say AEG got with false claims about Jackson’s health and readiness to perform. And Jackson’s heirs filed a wrongful-death suit that accuses the entertainment giant of pressuring the singer to carry on with a comeback despite indications he was too weak.

Lawyers for AEG, which has denied any wrongdoing, told the Times most of the correspondence was produced as discovery in ongoing litigation. They said the messages reviewed by the newspaper were incomplete and leaked to portray the company in a negative light. The lawyers declined to provide additional emails that they said would give a fuller picture, citing a protective order imposed by a judge in the civil litigation.

Numerous emails show Lloyd’s of London unsuccessfully pushing for access to five years of Jackson’s medical records in order to expand insurance coverage for the concerts.

The insurer also wanted the singer to undergo a four-hour medical exam that would include three doctors, heart monitoring and blood work. AEG’s insurance broker tried to persuade Lloyd’s to drop the physical, according to the email discussions. AEG suggested that Jackson’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, could give an oral recitation of Jackson’s recent medical history instead, the Times reported. Lloyd’s refused.

A Lloyd’s underwriter wrote that repeated requests for written records and details about Jackson’s daily fitness program were met “always with no response.”

Murray responded to the last of the requests June 25 at Jackson’s Southern California home, according to emails presented at the doctor’s criminal trial. He wrote that he had talked to Jackson and “Authorization was denied.”

Jackson died less than an hour later, according to a timeline Murray gave investigators.

Jay-Z mimics Rocky at Philly Made In America fest

PHILADELPHIA — Jay-Z’s entrance said it all: He bounced up and down on top of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, mimicking Rocky before he took the stage in front of nearly 50,000. His song “Made In America” played in the background.

Jay-Z, like Rocky Balboa, has a rags-to-riches American dream story, and the 42-year-old entertainer — who grew up in the Brooklyn projects and released his debut album in 1996 — shared some of that through songs in his 90-minute set Saturday night at the Budweiser Made In America festival.

He entered from the back of the stage after running down the steps to perform “Public Service Announcement.” That was followed with the night’s first cameo: a prerecorded video with President Obama.

Obama urged the crowd to vote this fall. He also said Jay-Z’s story is “what Made In America means” and added that he enjoys listening to the rapper’s music on his iPod.

Jay-Z headlined the first night of the two-day festival he curated, performing hits like “99 Problems,” “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” “Big Pimpin’ ” and “Empire State of Mind.”

The event is the first of its kind for the entrepreneurial Jay-Z, who is married to superstar Beyonce and owns a music management company, fashion line, nightclub and restaurant.

“Since you were so good to me, Philly, I’m going to be good to you tonight, Philly,” Jay-Z yelled.

Rappers Pusha T and Big Sean hit the stage, and Kanye West followed, receiving an electrifying roar from the crowd. They performed a medley of hits, such as “Mercy,” “Dance” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”

Jay-Z also brought out his former proteges and Philadelphians Freeway, Chris and Neff, as well as Memphis Bleek. Common, 2 Chainz and Swizz Beatz also made appearances.

The scene was colorful and energetic, as thousands of music fans shifted from the three stages on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to watch Skrillex, D’Angelo, Passion Pit, Janelle Monae, Calvin Harris and 10 other acts. Sunday’s line-up included Pearl Jam, Run DMC, Odd Future and Drake.

Obama’s still a fan of Clint Eastwood

WASHINGTON —  President Obama says he’s a “huge Clint Eastwood fan,” even in the aftermath of the actor’s rambling “invisible Obama” monologue at the GOP convention.

Obama said in an interview with USA Today released Sunday that the Academy Award-winning Eastwood is “a great actor, and an even better director.”

But Obama was coy when asked if he was offended by the performance.

Eastwood talked with an imaginary Obama in an empty chair before Mitt Romney’s speech at the GOP convention, saying the president has failed to deliver on his promises.

Obama said, “If you’re easily offended, you should probably choose another profession.”

Jailed band’s goal in Russia: A revolution

BERLIN — Jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova says she regrets nothing about the band’s anti-government performance in a cathedral that got them convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to two years behind bars.

Tolokonnikova told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine in an interview released Sunday that the convictions of her and her two band mates were Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s personal revenge,” which served to put a global spotlight on his government.

She said, “I think the bottom line is that the trial against us was important because it showed the true face of Putin’s system.”

Der Spiegel said the performer’s answers to the magazine’s questions were provided through her lawyer, who is allowed to visit her in prison.

Tolokonnikova said that Pussy Riot’s goal remains “a revolution in Russia.”

— From news service reports