Jackson, wearing a robe and pants, "looked hung over," Phillips testified.
"I said 'Michael, are you OK?'" he said. "He said to me that he was really concerned that there wouldn't be anyone there and maybe this would be a bust."
"Trust me, Michael," Phillips said he told him. "You're quite wrong. You have over 3,000 adoring fans, many who have camped out over night."
Phillips helped Jackson pick out the black shirt he wore to the event. But he reached his breaking point when Jackson could not get his armband fastened to his sleeve. After 10 minutes, the hotel engineer was called to help, he said.
"It was more than I could take," Phillips testified.
Phillip's next e-mail to his boss suggested his tone with Jackson was anything but soothing:
"I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking," Phillips said in another e-mail to Leiweke. "Tohme and I have dressed him and they are finishing his hair. Then we are rushing to the O2. This is the scariest thing I have ever seen. He's an emotionally paralyzed mess, filled with self-loathing and doubt now that it is show time. He is scared to death. Right now I just want to get through this press conference."
Phillips vented his frustration with more than words.
"I just slapped him and screamed at him louder that I did with Arthur Cassell," he wrote to the person waiting outside the hotel with a Ford Expedition SUV and bus to take Jackson's entourage to the O2.
Cassell is someone he once screamed at over a booking issue with Lionel Richie, he said in court.
"I slapped him on the butt," like a football coach would with a player, he testified.
"A drama queen"
Phillips now takes the blame for letting the situation with Jackson get out of control.
"I admit to being a bit of a drama queen," Phillips testified. "I was so nervous, I created so much tension in the room, you could cut the tension with a knife."
When they finally began the ride to the O2, Phillips "went into jester mode to try to lighten up the whole thing," he testified. It became "a very funny ride" with Jackson joking. "He was actually quite funny in the van."
"He kept saying to me 'You look great, you've lost a lot of weight,'" although he was "his heaviest ever," Phillips said, "After the 10th time, I said 'Michael, you would have lost weight if you were pacing in the hotel waiting for you to leave.'"
The thousands of fans at the O2 and millions more around the world watched live video from helicopters following Jackson's convoy making its way to the O2.
"That was a godsend," because it created drama that added to the interest in the announcement, Phillips testified. "In an odd way, it created more anticipation and made it a bigger event as people doubted whether or not it was going to happen."
Once at the O2, Phillips realized Jackson had not written a script. What Jackson read off the teleprompter was written by Phillips as he followed Jackson to the podium.
"This is it. This is really it. This is the final curtain call. OK, I'll see you in July."
"There was Michael Jackson"
As Jackson walked up the steps to the stage, embraced by the shouts of love from thousands of fans, his evolution was complete. Phillips likened the change to the "chart of homo sapiens."
"He start a little hunched over and when he went through that curtain, there was Michael Jackson," Phillips said.
Jackson "was elated" with the reception and immediately flew back to the United States to begin preparations for his comeback concerts set to start four months later, he said.
A week before the singer was scheduled to return to London, he was dead.