Key Details on Doctor Emerge in Michael Jackson Trial
Last week’s action in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial centered on the pop star’s relationship with his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.
Jackson died in 2009 after Murray administered an overdose of propofol, an anesthetic Jackson used to go to sleep at night. Murray is currently serving a manslaughter sentence and Jackson’s family is suing concert promotion company AEG Live claiming that they negligently hired the doctor and failed to notice warning signs of Jackson’s deterioration.
A security guard revealed last week that he introduced Murray to Jackson in 2007 when the singer needed some discreet medical care for his children. Jeffrey Adams said over a video deposition that he recommended Murray, who had treated both him and his father.
“I said he’s been my doctor,” Adams said in the video. “He’s my friend. He definitely can be trusted.”
Jackson must have been pleased with Murray, who served as his personal doctor from then until his untimely demise.
While Jackson was preparing for a comeback tour that was to include 50 shows in London, organized by AEG, he did look into hiring an anesthesiologist to join his team. Dr. David Adams testified that Jackson and Murray approached him in 2009 about coming to London with them. Adams says he asked for $100,000 per month, but never heard back from Murray. Shortly afterward, Murray accepted $150,000 per month to continue on as Jackson’s doctor during the tour.
Adams said he had given Jackson propofol during previous dental treatments, and he realized that’s why he had been asked to join the tour. “He says ’Well, you know, I’m entertaining, I’m jumping around, I’m doing this. Every once in a while I need an IV,” Adams testified. “And he says ‘I just need you to help me get my rest.’ They were pretty vague, but on hindsight I know what they were talking about.”
Also last week a video deposition was shown of plastic surgeon Stephen Gordon, who said he thought it was strange that Murray accompanied Jackson to appointments and seemed to be serving as his patient’s spokesperson.
“The whole situation seemed very odd and it didn’t add up and that caused me not to fully trust the person,” Gordon said. “I felt like a successful cardiologist doesn’t go around being somebody’s private physician and speaking for them, in my experience.”
Murray himself made a number of jaw-dropping claims that could have enormous implications if they were ever admitted to the trial, according to a voice mail obtained by TMZ that they say the doctor left for a friend. The report gives no indication as to when the message was recorded.
During the five minutes of audio, Murray runs down a number of points, foremost among them that AEG was not directing the care of his famous patient.
“AEG never ordered me to give Michael any specific treatment,” he said. “They justly should be absolved of this accusation.”
On the contrary, the doctor claimed that Jackson turned down an offer for a different, cheaper physician that AEG recommended, insinuating that it was because he didn’t trust the company, and the singer personally requested his services instead. “To the best of my knowledge AEG was not aware of of my medical treatment of Michael,” Murray said. “Michael referred to AEG as snakes and said they were too intrusive in his personal affairs.”
The doctor also claims that Jackson was suspicious of the tour personnel with whom he was in close personal contact. “He asked me to stay clear of his manager Frank DiLeo who he did not trust,” he said on the voice mail. “No single individual put as much pressure on him as [tour director] Kenny Ortega. He hated Ortega. But Ortega was not astute enough to recognize how much pain he was causing Michael.”