One of the biggest mysteries of the Michael Jackson case is how Dr. Conrad Murray found his way into Michael’s life.

Randy Phillips, head of AEG Live, has said repeatedly to me and to others that Jackson simply told him to hire Murray and pay him $150,000 a month. On the face of it, Murray was a cardiologist with offices in Las Vegas, San Diego, and Houston. He seemed OK. Phillips told me, “This is who Michael wanted.”

Did Michael have his own arrangements with Dr. Murray? This is still unknown.

But Murray, unbeknownst to the Jackson camp, was awash in personal debt. He was also not board certified.

A Jackson insider/employee recalls that Murray simply appeared on the scene this year, in 2009, and not in 2006, as his lawyer has claimed. Jackson spent 2006 in Bahrain, France, and Ireland. He could not have met Murray then.

“We were told he was one of the top 10 doctors,” says the source, “and that he had knowledge of mental issues. I asked again, ‘Is he a psychologist?’ I was told no, but he was great.”

The doctor, according to my source, sent out a message to the Jackson camp not to interfere with him. “I was told the doctor said not to placate Michael…tough love. This made me more irate. The mixed messages were insane. I begged [people on the inside]. I said, ‘Michael has lost 15 pounds since May!’ People thought they had it under control. They didn’t.”

This friend of Michael’s continued: “Everyone ‘thought they had it under control. There was too much at stake to think it wasn’t.’We just kept on going, hoping we could get the show up in London. Michael told me he wasn’t able to sleep. (my signal he was looking for’ drugs). He said his mind didn’t stop creating.

“I called Alberto (the security guard who eventually called 911) and told him to keep a close watch on’ Michael because I was concerned.’ I asked Alberto how often they were taking him to see [Arnold] Klein. He said two to three times a week.

“My suspicion is he was going there to ’sleep.’ Michael cannot sleep after performances.’ His adrenalin is so high, it takes him about 24 hours to relax. He rehearsed harder than ever…I think he really wanted to get this together and wanted to sleep to be able to do it again on Thursday. His heart was so weakened by his weight loss, his mental state and his physical exertion…it finally broke. And whoever was on watch failed him.

“I think both doctors contributed to his final demise.’ But it was’ years of anguish that drove him to finding ways to escape the pain.”

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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