July 2nd, 2009
03:18 PM ET

New trial of the century?

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/26/jackson.legal.woes/art.mj.pjs.jpg" caption="Michael Jackson shows up for court during his 2005 child molestation trial."]

Marcia Clark
The Daily Beast

The biggest shock for me while covering the 2005 Michael Jackson trial for a television show and a magazine wasn’t the testimony, but rather what the pop star looked like when he arrived at the defendant’s table. Like everyone else, I’d seen the news footage and photographs documenting the step-by-step journey that took him farther from reality, but nothing prepared me for the sight of the wan, paper-thin, waif-like creature who stood just a few feet away. He looked barely alive even then.

So it wasn’t surprising to me when he died last week. What was a shock: the tidal wave of reporting that it was likely drug-induced. Not just a one-time tragic misstep, mind you, but the apparent result of a habit that cost upward of $48,000 a month—a habit that entailed daily doses of the powerful painkiller Demerol, and perhaps Diprivan, an intravenous anesthetic allowed only in hospitals. I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised to hear he’d been on muscle relaxants or low-level painkillers—dancers’ bodies usually don’t fare well over time. But the incessant wave of reports from Jackson confidants like Deepak Chopra leaves little room for doubt that this was no fluke, that this was a disaster long in the making. "When the autopsy comes, all hell's going to break loose,” Liza Minnelli told CBS, “so thank God we're celebrating him now."

Here’s the thing: Jackson couldn’t have gotten his hands on drugs like those, and certainly not in that quantity, unless there was a doctor in the house.


Filed under: Michael Jackson
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Maybe as Liza said there will be hell to pay when the autopsy comes back but I hope that in all the frenzy it is not forgotten that there are some people who have to live with debilitating chronic pain who need some of these medicines to just get through the day. Don't paint everyone with the same brush, please.

    July 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm |

    Michael Jackson was really a victim of having to take total control of his life and career....no mentor to say "NO" . Everyone wanting a piece of the pie and not wanting to rock the boat. No human being can handle that much responsibility...especially not a creative genius. Look at the lonely life in a crowd of Elvis, Marilyn, Anna Nicole, River Pheonix, and countless others who had nobody who was really dependable, just enabalors. I am so glad he snubed his father because it was Joe's duty to look after him first as a son and then as a meal ticket. Michael should be alive this minute but for the strangers he depended on.
    Study the comparison's and there's a patern and still many out there desperate for real authority and love to guide them.

    July 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Angela H, Martinsville Virginia

    Stars can get there hands on just about any drug they want. That is a problem for them cause they can end up dead at an early age. So many stars have been taken away cause of that. We need to crack down on the doctors that give people drugs that could kill them.

    July 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  4. Paula

    It is time to lay Micheal to rest. The legal wrangling could take years and none of the investigations, accusations or speculating about what happened to him will bring him back. Whether by accident or the intentional act of some evil intented person his children are in need of love and support and this should be the only focus. Joe Jackson showed us how much he cared about Micheal with his inapproiate behavior at the BET awards. Micheal worked his butt off for his fans and was the bread and butter for the entire Jackson family. It is now time to stop! and show respect for Micheal whether we approved of his life style or not . Joe Jackson was nothing but a pimp who used his children to do what he was supposed to do in terms of providing for his family. Maybe he should dust off his resume and Katherine you now have the resources to leave this ass hole

    July 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  5. Sabrina in Las Vegas

    I think that if you are going to give medications, you are ultimately responsible for their death if it was from a medicine you gave.

    Don't give them something just to appease them.

    If a royal physician gave a medicine to a royal family member and that person died from it...I gaurantee you that person will be done for.

    These concierge doctors work like a royal physician in that they cater to a specific set of people...learn to say no to their demands and stop being the enabler.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Carissa G.

    I wanted to find out why there hasn't been any coverage regarding Michael Jackson's death and Anorexia Nervosa. I understand there is a lot to cover regarding the death of this icon, but it seems to me that his life long struggle with AN has been totally ignored. Heart failure is often the sad end for many people who have struggled with this disorder most of their lives. A human who is 5'10" and 115 lbs, rehearsing vigorously for hours everyday, and eating very meagerly, certainly exhibits the signs of this disorder. Is Michael’s struggle with AN being over looked because he is a man, as society often views AN as a disorder of young women? Perhaps instead of trying to ban and lessen the dosages of pain medication we should be more concerned with our society’s psychological condition where people willfully starve themselves, literally to death.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  7. d2

    There's no way Michael Jackson only weighed 112 pounds, I just watched the video from 2 days before he died, he weighed at leat 145-150 lbs. The autopsy will prove that. Also, chronic insomnia can lead to insanity, ask any psychiatrist. The need for sleep is a basic need as a human and sleep deprivation can lead to all kinds of mental states and anguish. Someone who doesn't respond to normal sleeping medications will be driven to whatever he thinks will make him go to sleep, it's that desperate.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm |