Dr. Conrad Murray “fortuitously” found Michael Jackson unconscious in his Los Angeles bedroom, a lawyer representing the physician told the Los Angeles Times. When Murray discovered Jackson, the singer “wasn’t breathing,” attorney Edward Chernoff told the paper (he told the AP Jackson “was still warm and had a pulse”). “There was a weak pulse in his femoral artery. He started administering CPR.” Reports that Murray was with Jackson shortly before he lost consciousness, and that Murray had injected Jackson with a painkiller immediately before Jackson’s cardiac arrest are “absolutely false,” the lawyer said. “There was no Demerol. No OxyContin.”
Murray, who completed a three-hour interview with the Los Angeles Police Department Saturday night, provided “no smoking gun” as to the cause of Jackson’s unexpected and sudden death, the L.A. Times reported. Chernoff told the paper today that his client had not “furnished or prescribed” the painkiller Demerol to Jackson. Last week longtime Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman suggested to Us Weekly that prescription drug abuse was a problem for Jackson. “I only know that I warned them there was the misuse of prescription medications by people who were enabling him; his handlers, folks who should never have been permitted to allow him to use those medications in the manner I observed,” Oxman told Us Weekly.
Chernoff reiterated that Murray hadn’t been treating Jackson for long — despite AEG’s claims that Murray was Jackson’s doctor for three years, Chernoff says Murray joined Jackson as his personal physician as of last month — and noted that Murray is owed $300,000 from AEG, the concert promoter behind Jackson’s “This Is It!” run of 50 London concerts, which was due to start July 13th. Had the concerts gone off as planned, they would have netted $70 million and kick-started a three-year, three-part worldwide deal between the pair, Rolling Stone reports in our current issue.
Those holding tickets to the concerts received an e-mail from the U.K.’s outpost of Ticketmaster yesterday reading, “On behalf of the entire AEG organisation we extend our deepest condolences to Michael Jackson’s family and friends during this tragic time. Full ticket refund information and procedures will be released early next week for all Michael Jackson “This Is It” shows. Fans are advised to hold onto their ticket vouchers/proof of purchase. Ticketmaster will contact all its customers when the refund arrangements are finalised.”
Kenny Ortega, the director of Jackson’s “This Is It!” shows, told the L.A. Times he was “imaging” a “We Are the World”-style collaboration of artists to pay tribute to Jackson using some of the choreography, costumes and video shot for Jackson’s upcoming shows. Tonight’s BET Awards have been retooled to pay tribute to Jackson, and will feature appearances by his father, Joe, along with Beyoncé, New Edition and Ne-Yo.