September 2nd, 2009
05:38 PM ET

'Michael Jackson was a drug addict'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/02/walker.jackson/art.james.walker.jpg caption="James L. Walker Jr. says the evidence shows Michael Jackson was addicted to drugs."]
James L. Walker Jr.
Special to CNN

Michael Jackson died of an overdose, according to the preliminary finding of the Los Angeles coroner described in court documents. The King of Pop apparently was given a variety of drugs that included the powerful sedative propofol, according to authorities.

The news came as a shock to some. But the reality it pointed to was this: Michael Jackson was an addict.

A drug addict is a person who has become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance or drug.

I operate a halfway house and we deal with this struggle regularly with our men, who have become addicts, and they continually tell me how hard it is to overcome. They also tell me that people are vulnerable to addiction whether white or black, rich or poor: Drugs don't discriminate.

I am also an entertainment lawyer who understands the pressures of working in the music industry and the experience of insomnia that Jackson apparently complained about over the years.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Michael Jackson
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. anybody home?

    It appears this person who claim to know so much about addicts misses the boat totally. Not even once he referred to the root of addiction, not once he mentions pain MJ lived in, not once he considered that MJ family was the perpetrator and cause of MJ despair. How American – how shallow – how predictable – how blind. But perhaps this is intentional – how would this guy get famous and how would he earned living if addicts were cured? He needs addict to embellish his ego. So I don't believe he is really interested in their well being, he exploits them like everyone else.

    September 3, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  2. Jackie

    calling a dead man a drug addict 24/7 on tv isn't respectful at all! do you know how many people love this guy? and look up to him? and idolize him?...you might not like him but thats your problem. if you have nothing nice to say then shut your face!.. his family and his fans don't want to hear this! it hurts. what is wrong wit you people?? just leave him alone. let him rest in peace!..you don't call billy mayce a drug addict when a STREET DRUG was found in his body...but you call MJ a drug addict because he was GIVEN a medication by a DOCTOR to help him sleep?? he didn't take thing for the heck of it...he had problems sleeping and i'm sure mike didn't just get up one day and said i'm going to take propofol today...a doctor must have told him about it in the begining. dr. maurry or not...i don't blame him!!! he went through so much because of the media and people who were threatened by his accomplishments. jealousy and greed makes people turn evil. michael was an innocent man with a beautiful heart. and don't say anything about HIS kids. he obviously took good care of them. if you can't see that then your blinded by the damn press and media's dumb comments and lies. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE MAKING STUFF UP! let the king of music REST IN PEACE!

    September 3, 2009 at 5:44 am |
  3. Robin Michelle

    Michael Jackson was what we made him.

    Sometimes a beautiful heart and soul falls victim to their fame. This is a sad case of Michael giving us something to talk about and in doing so he became addicted to the only thing that gave him peace and tranquility (besides his children I'm sure.)

    If you listen to Michael with your heart, you will hear the words and feel the emotions of a peaceful, loving and beautiful soul who cared for the whole world.

    September 3, 2009 at 4:45 am |
  4. Dan Williams

    It seems that doctors can't say "no" to their patients, especially the rich ones.

    September 3, 2009 at 3:15 am |
  5. Stephen

    Oh, I just read the first page of your article... you're paving your road to Hell, probably half-way there already. How does perdition *feel*?
    Must hurt to have sold your soul.

    September 3, 2009 at 2:22 am |
  6. misi,

    The Man was never able to grow up! He was taking drugs to numb him from whatever he was going threw! He had money his Dr, was giving him whaty he was paying for! Greed will have people do things that they know are unethical. Doctors give pts what they ask for but they dont help them get off the medications that they know are habit forming. Drug addicts know how to manipulate to get what they want and he had the money to get what he wanted, even if the DR didnt prescribe it!

    September 3, 2009 at 2:04 am |
  7. Catrina

    I am so tired of people pointing the finger and judging.Michael Jackson just like Elvis and so many icons died young and should be remembered for what they contributed to the world let the man rest in peace.

    September 3, 2009 at 1:49 am |
  8. Samuel Noble

    Like this was ever a surprise. You get to many docters and to many celebritys prescribing and taking the wrong type of meds-this tends to happen alot. If for one moment each celebrity remembered actually how human they are..all the choices that they make in life would be reconsidered.
    Most celebritys like Micheal are under pressure to do stupid things to gain media attention by producers and also movie peoples. Noone should be under that type of pressure. Micheal Jackson was an extremely good singer.
    The parents of Micheal Jackson didn't make such a great effort to get him help. Money changes everything. The price for worldwide frame is losing yourself not just to your fans or people who see you at your concert but to your family as well. The people who are supposed to love you and encourage you to do good.
    I also blame Micheal for this to. He chose to make certain choices that lead there. He had no need to do plastic surgery. He had no need for an oversized ranch and he really had no need for Doctors that didn't act like Drs. He deserved so much better...however we are all responsible for choices we make in life. He was a great singer..however to me it seems his family was waiting for him to die-which in my opinion is just sick.

    September 3, 2009 at 1:43 am |
  9. KSuzanne

    Why do we care folks...can we move on to really address the REAL issues of our lives?

    September 3, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  10. JC-Los Angeles

    Michael Jackson was a drug addict? Next thing you'll say is that the earth is round.

    September 3, 2009 at 12:46 am |
  11. lillian

    i truly hope in time all these negative remarks about michael jacksons ,' addiction' will stop....there is no excuse... but his doctors, should have helped ... not by continuing medications at the same strength, but by weaning him off at some point. true... he had many medical problems that required the use of stronger doses of meds.. but doctors.. have a way of getting you out of the way so they can get to the next patient. if people are not aware of side effects then they get caught off guard..not realizing they can become addicted .as a retired nurse, and retired n.y.s. certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor..( by choice..)...i have had many clients who came into their addictions after remaining on meds after a major surgery, and many who resorted to street drugs....for whatever reason...the bottom line.....michael jackson, was here he contributed to many causes world wide..he opened many doors for a lot of people. i admired this youngman.i will miss him terribly..its over now.let him rest in peace. words can no longer cause him pain, sleepless nights, or heartbreaks..he is now in a better place....give his family the respect. find something else to talk about. go out and help someone who needs help... maybe we can make the world a better place( from michael jacksons words in his song)." i do every day..."..

    September 3, 2009 at 12:39 am |
  12. Rosy

    I totally disagree with Walkers summation of the coroner's letter (was not the Coroner's Final report); the Coroner listed the medications in MJJ's System and noted as the cause of his death which matched the drugs named by Dr.Murray as the medication he gave – one was given orally and the others via Intravenous route of some type (meaning IV Push or continous drip). If MJJ was a Drug addict he was treated in the past and apparently still in remission when Murray came a lone to care for him on his trip to the UK for 8-9 months. The unanswered question for me is who was the MD who planted the seed that Dipravan and Versed, other drugs etc could be used as treatment for sleep deprivation and severe insomnia which is a treatable by numerous methods for a recognized medical condition. Heather, it is really sad for you to make a statement that because he had a problem with sleep insomnia, therefore he is a drug addict then he would not be a good father. It is very apparent that MJJ was an excellent Father to these children and a hand on family. Nannies and tudors were there to perform a service for the children only; and, MJJ was a hands on father who seem to spend more time with his children than the average parents today spend with their children. I think entertainment attorney and others should be careful how we speak so flippantly about another man's pains and hurts in life. You do not blame heart attack victims or breast cancer victims; however we are so judgemental and cruel when speaking of individuals with drug addictions. I find it interesting that MJJ accomplished more in his so called drug induced state that most of us accomplish in a lifetime without drugs or this type of pain. If you take time to know him you will find he was more than just what the media does so well to protray him. He spoke about his difficulty sleeping often on interviews and how his creative and innovative mind was always working none stop. He talked about how difficult it was to get assistance with the problem and how nothing recommended by his MDs in the past worked very long or consistently. DJ AM apparently committed drug induced suicide, so are you going to slam him and dogging him out as well? You media types, hypocritical haters, and entertainment attorneys need to do some real reporting and investigating on how it can be controlled and how many more individuals (it is not just Hollywood will die before we demand the medical community follow their hippocritic oath and standards of medical care! AMA should be working with local, state, and federal government to provide assistance to MD and patients severing from severe drug addiction and other dependent disease processes such as overeating, smoking, sexual issues, etc.! It sounds like the mental health and substance abuse issues should be a big push in supporting the Health Care and Health Insurance Reform debate of the summer!

    September 2, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  13. Dee Val

    Today 9/2 it was reported that Michael Jackson's Death Cert. says, "shot by someone else" what does that mean? Isn't Homoscide, still the Cause of Death? We want justice for Michael.

    September 2, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  14. Hilary Smith

    I think your story is self-fulfilling. The caption is in quotes – why?, it's what you wrote.

    You pick a tag line that will draw people to this article, but the truth is your momma could be a drug addict too....maybe to prescription drugs.

    And you end with your resume.

    Just another sucka trying to ride on MJ's coat tails.

    Whatever. Get your own life man.

    September 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  15. Quiana - Philadelphia, PA

    People really need to leave Michael Jackson alone and let him rest in peace. If you were not close to him and/or spent time with him or his kids then you have no comment/opinion.

    R.I.P. MJ

    September 2, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  16. Heather,ca

    I agree. Drug addicts also have the worse taste in doctors.

    It aslo completely explains his strange behavior and the things he said. He may have tried to be a good father. But I'm sure the nanny was always there to do her best to create a stable home life for the kids.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm |