Michael Jackson’s mother will soon testify and speak about Michael, as the wrongful death trial against AEG continues.
Last week one of the Jackson’s former doctors testified that the top producer knew about the Jackson’s drug dependency on the previous tour.
AEG Live lawyers warned that during presenting their case, “ugly stuff” will prove that Michael Jackson was responsible for his death.
Jackson’s mother and three children contend AEG Live is liable because it hired, retained or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the pop icon’s overdose death. Murray admitted giving Jackson nightly infusions of the surgical anesthetic propofol, which the coroner ruled killed the singer on June 25, 2009.
AEG Live CEO Paul Gongaware denied that he had any knowledge of Jackson’s dependency issues, however, CNN obtained video material that contradicted his claim. The video segments showed the deposition of Dr. Stuart Finkelstein, who served as Jackson’s doctor during his 1993 “Dangerous” tour, which ended early because the singer entered a drug rehabilitation program.
Dr. Finkelstein testified that he warned Gongaware about Jackson’s condition, but that Gongaware replied “Don’t be a Dr. Nick”.
Dr. George Nichopoulos, known as “Dr. Nick,” was “the doctor whose overprescription of drugs to Elvis had led to Elvis’ death,” according to a court filing by Jackson lawyers.
Presley collapsed in the bathroom of Graceland, his Memphis, Tennessee, mansion, on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. While his death was ruled the result of an irregular heartbeat, the autopsy report was sealed amid accusations that abuse of prescription drugs caused the problem.
Nichopoulos said later he was treating Presley for insomnia. He was charged with overprescribing drugs to Presley, but he was acquitted. He later lost his medical license in another case.
Finkelstein also testified that he discussed with Gongaware about Jackson’s use of Demerol, morphine and other opiates during the “Dangerous” tour.
When asked about the Michael’s comeback tour, he said that he was offered the job, and wanted to accept it, but under the condition that Michael is “clean of drugs”.
That is when Murray got the job as Jackson’s personal physician.
A drug addiction expert testified earlier this month that there was “not a lot of evidence to support” the belief that Michael Jackson was addicted to drugs, but that he was “drug dependent.”
If he was an addict, Jackson “would be taking drugs that were not prescribed by a medical professional, taking larger amounts than prescribed and have drug-seeking behavior,” Dr. Sidney Schnoll testified.
Jackson went from 1993 until 2008 without using Demerol, Schnoll said. The doctor conceded under cross-examination by an AEG Live lawyer, however, that a gap in available medical records may be misleading.
Finkelstein testified that many of his records for Jackson had been lost.
Jackson’s use of sedatives was an effort to treat his chronic insomnia, Schnoll said.
If the underlying sleep problem could be resolved, the chances of ending Jackson’s use of the drugs would have been good, he said.