new doc reveals for anniversary
The world stopped spinning when news of pop legend Michael Jackson’s death broke in late June 2009.
The 50-year-old ‘Thriller’ singer was found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home after suffering cardiac arrest caused by the anesthetic propofol – a drug allegedly regularly administered by Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray .
The death was ruled a homicide and Murray took all the blame. He was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison, of which just under two were behind bars.
But Murray endured the brunt of public hatred even though Jackson – who would have turned 64 on Monday – abused drugs for much of his life at alarming doses and was reportedly easily allowed to do so by a range of others doctors — those who never saw a day in prison after the King of Pop’s death, according to a new documentary ‘TMZ Investigates: Who Really Killed Michael Jackson’ due out on Fox next month.
“It’s much more complicated than fair: Dr. Murray was at his bedside when he died,” Orlando Martinez, the LAPD detective assigned to Jackson’s death, says in the doc.
“Circumstances had led to his death for years, and all these different medical professionals had allowed Michael to dictate his own terms, to get the medications he wanted, when he wanted them, where he wanted them” , says Martinez. “All are the reason he died today.”
Jackson had been taking propofol in “Gatorade” sized bottles at the time of his death, according to LA County Deputy Chief Coroner Ed Winter. The medical community, in many ways, facilitated his obsession with the substance, according to Murray, who adds that propofol “was the only way for him to fall asleep, especially when he was getting ready for a tour.”
“It was okay – he had been using it for decades, different doctors had given it to him from all over the world … and they sometimes allowed him to inject the drug,” said Murray, who regularly administered it to Jackson. . “He was able to push the propofol himself, and the doctors allowed him to do that, and it was OK.”
In addition to the makeshift sleep drug – the one that addiction specialist Dr Drew Pinsky explicitly says is neither a drug that should be used to treat insomnia, nor a drug that is routinely stored away medical facilities – Jackson was also addicted to other drugs throughout his career. , according to the documentary.
It all started in 1984 when he suffered second and third degree burns to his scalp in a pyrotechnic disaster while filming a Pepsi commercial and was given painkillers to recover.
In Jackson’s own words, drugs had invaded his life in the years that followed.
“I became increasingly dependent on painkillers to get through the days of my tour,” Jackson says in an archived audio file, explaining why he canceled the final leg of his 1993 “Dangerous” world tour and announced that he was going to undergo treatment.
All that time on the road has been misery for the star. In archive footage, Jackson confesses, “I don’t like it…I’m going through hell on tour.”
Things had only gotten worse in the years to come as Jackson enjoyed a relationship with famed Hollywood dermatologist Arnold Klein, who died at age 70 of natural causes in 2015. Klein admitted to distributing the opioid Demerol with more than superstar substances.
TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin — to whom Klein confessed in a November 2009 interview — says it was “routine” for MJ to go get high on Demerol “for hours at a time” at Klein’s office. .
“Dr. Klein was more than happy to oblige and he justified with minor procedures,” Levin says. “And he did it over and over and over again.”
Jackson was taking Demerol 300 milligrams at a time, according to Pinsky. The pop singer even mentions the substance in his 1997 track “Morphine.”
Debbie Rowe — Jackson’s ex-wife who worked for Klein as an assistant for years — only spoke about the doctor and not her late ex-husband. She says Klein was known to do unethical things to woo the Hollywood elite into his office.
“There were times when he would write prescriptions for things that had nothing to do with what we were treating them for,” Rowe explains in the doc. “He was writing prescriptions that weren’t conducive to what a dermatologist would normally write a prescription for.”
She added that Klein was “someone you want to hang out with because you’re going to be able to get something in return.”
It was also revealed that as Jackson and Klein’s relationship turned more into a friendship than a doctor-patient relationship, the dermatologist allegedly kept fraudulent documents on the singer.
Jackson had created 19 false aliases to collect different drugs, and Klein had kept a special book noting which prescriptions went to each false identity, according to Winter.
“The way Michael went about getting all these drugs was doctor shopping. He had several different doctors he worked with and he would go to ‘Doctor A’ and ask for a sedative and then he would go to the ‘ Doctor B’ and could ask for the same,” Jackson’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Harry Glassman, claims. “Michael is responsible, to a large extent, for his own demise, but he certainly got a lot of help of the medical community.”
Murray, who admits to having loved Jackson deeply, says none of this information was ever shared with him.
“He made it look like I was his only doctor… If I had known that Michael was going to a dermatologist or any doctor and he was getting shot or dripping with opioids on a daily basis, he there would be a dance in two stages. One, he has a problem; two, I’ll take you where you need to be treated – and if you don’t, I’m out,” Murray says.
Things came to a boil in 2009 when Jackson was preparing for his “This Is It” tour as his behavior became a notable concern for director Kenny Ortega.
“There are strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive behaviors. I think the best thing we can do is get a top psychiatrist in, to assess him as soon as possible. a person who takes responsibility. Taking care of him, day in and day out,” Ortega wrote in an email of concern during rehearsals.
“Today I was feeding him, wrapping him in blankets and calling his doctor,” he added.
Jackson had also rehearsed for the tour that had cost him so much until the day before his death on June 25 – yet another factor in his own demise.
“Michael Jackson was a drug addict and he was a master manipulator because I was being manipulated by Michael,” Murray says. “I did not allow his addiction at any time.”
Even Martinez admits that Murray unfairly suffered consequences that weren’t necessarily his fault.
“We knew there were several doctors doing what Dr. Murray had done and had done over the years,” says Martinez. “We decided to focus on that night for the criminal side. So that canceled all the other stories with the other doctors.
“There are many people to blame who were never held accountable for his death.”
“TMZ Investigates: Who Really Killed Michael Jackson” premieres Tuesday, September 6 at 8 p.m. on Fox.