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June 30th, 2009
10:02 PM ET

Transcript of Cherilyn Lee interview

Cherilyn Lee is a holisitic health practitioner and has been in healthcare for 23 years, her Web site states.

Cherilyn Lee is a holisitic health practitioner and has been in healthcare for 23 years, her Web site states.

Campbell Brown
CNN

Campbell: we have some breaking news to share with you now on Michael Jackson’s medical condition on the days before he died. A nurse practitioner whose specialty includes nutritional counseling says that Jackson suffered from insomnia and he had begged her to inject him with a powerful sedative. That nurse is Cherilyn Lee and joining us right now by telephone. Welcome to you.

Cherilyn Lee: oh, thank you very much, thank you.

Campbell: appreciate you talking to us about this. I want you to start by telling us about this phone call that you got. This was two Sundays ago, June 21st, from a member of Michael Jackson’s staff. What happened?

Cherilyn Lee: well, I received a call, I was in Florida. And unfortunately, I was actually in the hospital myself in the E.R. in Florida. And I received the call and I could hear Mr. Jackson in the background saying please have her come see me now. Can she come now? And the person in on the other end, which I know the person, but I’d prefer not to give out their names. Because they know me quite well said that Mr. Jackson really, really needs you. He is experiencing - they told me the symptoms and I said that is very serious, you need to go to the hospital. Unfortunately I’m not in town so I cannot come and see you. But you need to go to the hospital. I’m very - I was really afraid because of the symptoms he was telling me.

Campbell: what were those symptoms?

Cherilyn Lee: the symptoms were one side of his body felt cold and one side of his body felt hot.

Campbell: and what did that mean to you?

Cherilyn Lee: well, that meant - it could have meant a couple of things. It could have meant something going on in the nervous system, or something cardiovascular, but more than nervous system because of the brain itself. and I had already gone through - I think this is why he was reaching out for me Sunday because I had already about three months ago went through all of the symptoms this medication that he wanted that his doctor told him and I don't know who his doctor is. His doctor told him that this was safe.

Campbell: and you were talking - I’m sorry, go ahead.

Cherilyn Lee: I’m sorry.

Campbell: no, you're talking about just correct me if I’m wrong, you're talking about that drug called dipervan, is that correct?

Cherilyn Lee: yes

Campbell: and was he asking you for the drug?

Cherilyn Lee: he was asking me for the drug.  And he was asking me about it three months ago and I said I don't know what that is so I excused myself from where he was, and I made a call to a friend who was a physician and I said what is? At first I thought he was mispronouncing it. Are you speaking of something else? He said no. and when I spoke with the physician he said that is a very - you do not - he asked me, he said who is asking about this drug? This is a medication you only really give in ICU.

Campbell: and it's a sedative, a painkiller?

Cherilyn Lee: it is a - you know, still I don't want to go into a whole lot of detail with it. It’s in the PDR, I sat down with Michael and I said I actually left him that day because he didn't understand. He kept thinking this was safe. I went all the way back to my office, went back to him and said, look. This medication is not safe. I don't know who is telling you this is safe. It isn't. He said I just want to get some sleep. You don't understand. I want the IV when it drips in my hand; I want to be able to be knocked out and go to sleep. And this was the very first time, even though we had discussed this before that I told him, you know, it is so painful because I actually felt it in my whole spirit. I said if you take that, you know, you want to be knocked out, and I’m so sorry but if you take this you might not wake up.

Campbell: do you know if he took your advice? Did he go to the hospital? Was there any way to follow-up?

Cherilyn Lee: what happened was, I was actually at the hospital myself. I was in the emergency room in St. Petersburg. And was being admitted myself. So I tried to call back later and I could not reach anyone. And I was - I was in Florida for a couple of days there. When I arrived back in L.A., I still was trying to reach, you know, I could not reach anyone. So I didn't know whether or not he had gone.

Campbell: did you go to the authorities with any of this?

Cherilyn Lee: no

Campbell: did you think about doing that?

Cherilyn Lee: well, when I saw it on the news I kind of felt I knew what happened. And I just didn't really - I really didn't know what to do. I was saddened; I heard there was a physician there.

Campbell: do you know - do you know if there was a doctor who may have given him this drug?

Cherilyn Lee: I don't know of any doctors. I don't know of anyone that was seeing him. He just told me - because I asked him, what doctor gave him this drug, 'oh it was a long time ago.

Campbell: so just to give a sense of your relationship with him, how long had you known him, what was the relationship?

Cherilyn Lee: well I met him in January. And because someone called me and said his children had a runny nose and a little cough and could I come out to the house and see them. And because it was a referral person he felt very comfortable. And so when I arrived at the house I saw three children. And actually I love working with children and I kind of set something up for them some vitamin c and, you know, as a practitioner I listened to their lungs to make sure they were clear and went ahead and did the routine physical exam and everything. And after I finished with the children and had given them some vitamin c that they had, you know, the vitamin c powder and a couple of other things, it's a homeopathic; they told their dad they were feeling a lot better. So he looked at me and said what else do you do? And so I said well I help people, you know, when they want to very more energy. And he said, oh, well, okay, that's really good. And so we start taking it from there and I try to find out why is it you don't have any energy? And just went through the whole course of, you know, not that day. He asked me if I could come back the following day. So I went and drew some blood, maybe you're anemic or maybe it's this or that, but let's not second guess anything. I did full lab work. A full work-up on him. Then I told him from there that nutritionally we could get you set up.

Campbell: right. And his doctor was also working with him presumably yet? Dr. Murray.

Cherilyn Lee: I don't know. I didn't see anybody. I didn't see anybody in January. February, March, there was a time he did go to London, so -he was out. But I never heard of a doctor, I never did see anyone.

Campbell: all right.

Cherilyn Lee: I told him I prefer to do continuity of care with someone. And I didn't see anyone.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Michael Jackson
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Rick

    I believe her, you just cant make up stories like that. I'm sure there will be more story come out.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  2. Joanne Pacicca

    I don't find this statement credible. I suppose that many people will "come out of the woodwork" now...with stories, either to discredit Michael Jackson, or boost their ego. Lisa Marie Presley eloquently stated that he surrounded himself with an odd entourage. This women lacks the mental acuity to be a credible source.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  3. Ed Hackie MD

    This charlatan who has violated federal confidentiality laws (HIPAA) for her own two minutes of fame should be prosecuted for divulging private health information without authorization. She dares to call herself DR. because she is a PHD. You are guilty and complicit in giving her credence and helping her violate the law just for sensationalism. How would you like your medical history made public Anderson Cooper??? Ed Hackie MD FACEP

    July 1, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  4. kathy

    I've watch this supposively RN or did she say she is a nutritionist and or Dr.-on one of the interveiws she had a sign behind her that said Dr. Chreilyn Lee,so I wonder which one she is, a fake in my opinion. Anyone who has worked in the medical field supposively as long as she has should have known what propranolol is. Stop giving this woman publicity,take the time to watch each interveiw she did; larry king,anderson cooper and everyone else, her story varies. you really should not put things on unless you have done some reseach especially whenshe is speaking of someone who cannot even defend himself. on one interveiw she stated that she wasat amedical convention in Florida,nothing about being admitted to a hospital as in your interveiw. On another interveiw she did say she was in the er not admitted. Are you people in the media that desperate for dirt on MJ that you'll give anyone time tobe in front of the camera,this really disgust me. SHE IS LYING, LISTEN TO THE INTERVEIWS,WATCH HER MANNERISM or just do some investigating before you trash someone. It seems to me that Michael Jackson did enough good while he was here why can't you talk about that. If I was MJ mom I'd file charges against this woman for slander but unfortunately she just lost her son and is grieving as well she should be.Stop allthe negativity, it sure would be nice for once to see the media actually not tear a person such as MJ totally apart in front of the world, that's probably what killed him, that and him being used by money hungry greedy people,shame on all of you.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  5. serita

    Ms Lee, I bet can not get a phone bill for her cell and show that a call came in to her phone for Michael Jackson. I think she is a liar and definitely looking to become rich. I think that someone should make her provide records of the call that came in on her phone from anyone from Mr Jackson's staff.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:06 am |
  6. Rose

    I listened to the video of the Jackson nurse talking and she did mention talking to the Dr for reference on the drug MJ was suppose to of been asking for,but when she was speaking to you Anderson on 360 she did not mention it. Either way it goes it is still all about getting her name and what ever attention she can get out of MJ's passing. I'm sorry people just lie. It is strange know one else knew her or heard of him talking about this drug, but that one time that she mentioned it. Seems odd to me.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:14 am |
  7. Meg Suermondt

    As a Professional Registered Nurse, I am reading and hearing this all with disbelief. As I unwind from my 14 hour shift in intensive care, which included monitoring the use of propofol in my sedated, ventilated patient, it occurs to me that this person who identifies herself to be a registered nurse should lose her license in every state she is (purportedly) licensed in, if only for the breach of patient confidentiality. Whatever her relationship with the deceased, if it is in any way " professional", she should be silent except as required to authorities. This embarrasses all PROFESSIONAL registered nurses, and if I can find out her states of licensure, I will complain to the state boards of nursing. She is NOT the picture of a professional nurse, as evidenced by her words and actions. While I applaud and support the fourth estate, the nurse, if she is one, should have gone first and only to the police, as our professional stature demands.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:49 am |
  8. Julie

    Somehow her two accounts of the conversation do not quite gel. First she said that MJJ asked for the drug by name, and she states that she "didn't even know what it was." Then she went outside to call a friend on her cell phone and he told her of the dangers of Diprivan which she, in turn, related to MJJ. This story as told to Larry King.

    On 360 she rambled somewhat, MJJ did not know the name of the anesthetizing drug –neither did she– no call to a friend for information was mentioned - instead she went home, got her PDR and quoted from it to MJJ.

    This nurse failed her former patient. When she received a call from the Jackson camp, she should have called a physician in the LA area immediately who could have taken up the "emergency" – -or at least followed up on the call.

    Sorry, I don't buy her story.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:35 am |
  9. Nana

    I do not believe a word out of that lady's mouth; I honestly think some of these people you guys are attracting are making up stories, it is sicking to hear all these lies. I don't usually blog, but this particular lady had me so upset with her story, i had to say something. stop attracting those liars, we want some real, true stories.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:14 am |
  10. Lori

    These so called 'concierge' physicians tend to have graduated at the bottom of their class. Many of them are not accepted into a decent residency therefore find another vehicle to peddle their 'abilities'. The physician your investigators shadowed gave a shot of Toredol to a strep patient. Penicillin would be the drug of choice for strep. Toredol has so many side effects that almost no credibal physician prescribes it any more. It makes you wonder how easily the rich and famous are taken in by con artist.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:07 am |
  11. justwondering

    One other thing, is this lady a a nurse of doctor? Or have a doctorate in some other field? She is listed as a nurse, a practitioner and Ph.d above?

    July 1, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  12. justwondering

    IMO, Everything about this just seems unethical to discuss on the tv. Has this person talked to the family or even the police? Or someone of authority that can add this information to the investigation of MJ's death. God, this just seems to serious to simply give as an interview with CNN. Doesn't CNN want the investigation into MJ's death to be throughly investigated? WHy talk to her before she has talked to the law. I assume she hasn't because it wasn't mentioned. There would just seem to be a requirement in ethical journalism to suggest that this person talk to the law? Oh, my heart just goes out to the family, the children who may know of the fiasco that his mother, their grandmother is trying to workout with her lawyers and what have you. The family is in grief trying to find out about their loved one and people are trying to capitalize on his death. This discussion is in the wrong place in my opinion. I'll just keep praying that things will some how turn out in the best interest of the loved ones that MJ leaves behind. This is indeed a tragedy.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:55 am |
  13. Ms. Bernstein

    I am amazed at all of the speculation and beating around the bush with regards to Michael Jackson. The bottom line is-who was with him prior to his death? Why did it take so long to call paramedics? Everyone is looking out for themselves and afraid to come forth with the truth. Not only that-was MJ awake earlier in the morning-did anyone check on him prior to the doctor who came into his room at 12:00 noon? I have read so many other speculative pieces from wire services-and there are so many rumors swirling around, it is just as bizarre now as it was prior to Michael's passing. All of the "enablers" around Michael seem to be passing the buck and not really caring about being upfront. How could someone rehearse until past midnight and then die the next morning. If you look closely at the final pictures of him during the June 23rd rehearsal-there is a strange look in MJ's eyes-His eyes almost seem in a euphoric state. Who took him home the night prior? Did they notice anything? Who supplied him with all of the perscriptions? It is so sad that we are even having to discuss all of this, however, reports had been coming out for several months about his stamina, or lack thereof-It is now time for even the family to come forth and tell what they know of MJ's pain and addictions. Quit the enabling!

    July 1, 2009 at 1:49 am |
  14. Michelle

    Hi Anderson, medical professionals are not supposed to divulge any information regarding their patients. I am a nurse and that is one of the first things one learns in nursing school. Apparently she is very unprofessional. I wonder if she has ever heard of the HIPPA law? Thank you! Michael rest in peace!

    July 1, 2009 at 1:30 am |
  15. irma

    This lady needs to get real, she has now her 10min of "fame" for slashing Michael like all the others. People please remember this man has family and it does not matter what he did in his personal life it is none of our business! and as for his children , that is exactly what they are HIS children leave them alone! I pray for his family during this time of sorrow. God Bless You Michael Jackson.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:40 am |
  16. abbie

    Please let the king of pop soul rest in peace the family have a lot to deal with monor the lost of there son .brother the turth of tha matter is he was a great man we the fans will always love u and keep you in are heart. He's in a better places to the jacksons family be strong god is mixed

    June 30, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  17. Jean

    Pleeease, would you be respectful enough to MJ's family that he so lovingly put together! You are discussing these children's parternity so openly on national tv like it were a new recipe! Please be a little more respectful to these grieving children. Micheal loved them as his own, he was their dad; no one contested that while he was alive, so stop pushing people to come forward to nab the them.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  18. Andre'

    were there hypodermic needle mark mark on MJ's body????

    June 30, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  19. C.Smith RN

    Anderson, I am surprised that a Women "RN" would be allowed air time for a story that has not been substantiated. There is a remark- "comment" stating ,"Jackson begged for ......" Even by her words in she states he asked. Please explain.....

    June 30, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  20. DeVonne

    This woman sounds like a crackpot. Her story is full of holes and makes no sense. She is ALL OVER THE PLACE. I understand you want to follow leads but some fact-checking should be a requirement!!!

    June 30, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  21. Wanza

    She is a liar and she has never even met the enbodiment of truth! Nutz are falling out of the sky with stories of Michael... who is not here to defend himself against these accusations. Anderson, please don't let this Nut get away with this! She's a disgrace to the medical profession and I'm sad to see that she waited until now to speak on this.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  22. Linda

    Too bad we can't see her nose through the phone. It'll return to normal in about 15 minutes.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  23. Circa1980

    I agree with the Jackson attorney about this story. Why are you giving this woman a national forum when CNN admits that it cannot to independently confirm her story? Why does it matter if Michael Jackson asked her about a drug three months ago? Even if he did ask her, that doesn't mean he took the drug and it doesn' t mean that is what caused his death. I would expect more from CNN. I am saddened by this tragedy, but at least Michael Jackson is resting now and will have peace that he did not have hear on earth. RIP Michael Jackson.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  24. Pat

    Dr. Lee has supplied us with the drug...

    June 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  25. sherry

    I watched both shows larry king and your show and within 30 minutes this woman told too different stories she said on larry king that she did not even know what that drug was she said she called a friend of hers a doctor and he told her what it was and that it was only given out in a hospital and she never mentioned that any one from michael jacksons ever called her on sunday I do not believe this woman for one minute stories should really be checked out before the media lets every nut in the world on tv they all need 15 min. of fame remember chiken little her story will get better with each interview I understand its news that is why I watch tv but no matter what people say that guy had talent and no one can ever take that away I hope people keep in mind even know he had some bad pub he was someones son , someones brother ,uncle,cousin,friend and most of all them childrens daddy no matter what people are saying they called him daddy let him rest in peace

    June 30, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  26. Pat

    I believe we now know the drug that was given to MJ.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  27. Allison

    I'm sorry, but I don't believe a word this woman says. She is tripping over her words and she changed some information just from the time she spoke to Larry King and then to Anderson Cooper. This woman, to me, just wants her few moments of fame, or maybe she feels that making these false accusations somehow connects her to Michael. Whatever it is, it sounds like nonsense to me.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  28. Amanda Walton Fort Erie Ontario

    It's so sad, it brings tears streaming down my face. This beautiful man was crying for help to so many people for so long and no one could truly help him. God I pray he is now in peace and pray his kids and the Jackson family will find peace too soon.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  29. Lucille Carter

    I am so disappointed in how the media is focusing on so much negative about a man that gave so much of himself.I pray for the family ans especially the children and his mother. How cruel it is to bring up so much derrogatory at a time like this. I feel Mrs.Jackson pain,I have lost a child and losing your child is like no death you can even imagine. I believe that it was Micheal's time to meet his creator,his season was over and GOD called him home. For every thing there is a a reason and MJ had fullfill his purpose here on eath. To the family think of the good that he has done and know that he is resting in the bosom of THE LORD. My prayers are with you, Walk in faith and keep your head high because the final judge is Our Lord. To the MIGHTY JACKSON FAMILY. Michael was and is truly loved.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  30. Tammi

    Anderson - I hate to question the decision of the family , after all they have been through, but why would they not try to hold the public viewing in a arena of some sort. Soooooo many people want to pay their respect and Neverland may not be able to accomdate them. WE LOVE YOU MICHAEL FOR ALL YOU HAVE GIVEN US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIP!!!!

    June 30, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  31. Ellennita M. Hellmer

    Anderson...we turned on your broadcast tonight looking forward to hearing more about the withdrawl of US troops from Iraqi cities. Instead, we are being treated to a full hour of Micheal Jackson minutia. Don't get me wrong, I loved the performer as much as the next gal and am concerned about his death, but a FULL HOUR?

    Anyway, in our distress we were forced to turn to Fox News for information. It is a very sad day for America, and quite possibly all of human kind.

    Please get back to reporting on non-tabloid news that actually affects us.

    –A fan from your Hurricane Katrina days

    June 30, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  32. rose marquez

    whiy not let those kids perform any way as a tribute to michael

    June 30, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  33. Felicia

    I am really not sure what to think of this lady. All I know is no matter what she says you can not tell a lie twice not the same way anyway. I will be glad when it over so Michael can finally rest in peace.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  34. Cathleen

    This woman who claims to be a Nurse Practioner broke HIPAA regulations by sharing this information publicly. The information she had should have been shared with the proper authorities to assist in the investigation. She should not have gone on multiple shows on CNN to discuss this and in my opinion, is using this opportunity to boost her practice. As healthcare providers, we have a responsibility to protect the privacy of our patients including those who have already passed away. I find this woman and her motives to be morally reprehensible and she should be taken to court for her actions.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  35. @JGbraineruption

    She is a liar anything for money. You caught the woman lying on your show Anderson. When she said she had not talked had relations with Jackson for 3 months. With all the doctors around why would he call her an "RN"

    June 30, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  36. Rtia

    Michael Jackson's kids are bi-racial. (part African American). Their olive skin color is a dead give away to those of us who are of African descent. The doctor who supposedly fathered Michael's children doesn't look African American.

    Why would Michael have someone else father his children when he could have easily used his own sperm? I'm willing to bet that Michael is their biological father. The kids look like a combination of Debbie Rowe and Michael.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  37. Lily

    I am very surprised that the LAPD did not know about Cherilynn Lee and Diprivin and her claims that she was contacted by Michael Jackson's staff on Sunday about him feeling ill. Wouldn't the LAPD have known about Cherilynn Lee if the LAPD had interrogated Michael's staff and entourage about Michael's medication and health?

    June 30, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  38. Terry

    Along with the rest of the world, I have to wonder why Cherilyn waited this long to come forward. No disrespect to her, but this seems to be a never-ending parade of people with inside information....it is disturbing enough to listen as a viewer...my heart goes out to the Jackson Family as they too surely follow these updates knowing that the world is holding court in judgement at a time when they are pleading for respect for Michael's positive contribution to the world.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  39. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    O.k. that would explain what my cousin Susan said she heard: That the physician that was with Michael had just given Michael an injection. An injection can be given in place of an iv drip. We did it all the time in an Oral Surgeon's office I used to work with. It was done per request just before a surgical procedure. I kmow what Ms. Lee's talking about. She's right it's dangerous.

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    p.s. Sorry, but, if this is what the physician did, that makes him liable.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  40. Jake

    How could he get that drug. Please solve this case and end it. RIP MJ

    June 30, 2009 at 10:18 pm |