Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Michael Jackson Case: Dr. Arnold Klein and His 51 Demerol Shots


I haven’t really gotten into the day to day stuff of the Dr. Conrad Murray-Michael Jackson murder trial, mainly because it’s on TV and we’ve heard most of it already. On Monday morning, the jury resumes deliberations.

I was surprised that over the weekend Dr. Arnold Klein, Michael Jackson’s long time dermatologist, gave a TV interview. He’s counting on viewers having short memories.

Last August Klein was lucky. The judge in the Murray case ruled that Klein’s treatment of Jackson right before he died couldn’t be introduced in the trial. Murray’s defense team wanted it in. The judge said it would confuse the jury.

Maybe. Personally, and this has nothing to do with anything: I do think that Dr. Murray was responsible for Michael Jackson’s death thanks to his negligence. But I also think that Klein’s treatment warrants examination. Klein sued the Michael Jackson estate in October 2009 for $48,000 in unpaid medical bills. The bills were from March through June, 2009. I first reported that Klein had sent AEG Live a bill for that amount just a few days after he died.

Dr. Klein’s bill refutes just about everything he’s said or done regarding Michael Jackson. What’s interesting is that in time, details of his lawsuit–which hasn’t been settled or adjudicated as far as I can tell–have vanished into the ether of time. Over at TMZ, they’ve actually removed the papers and replaced them with a statement from Klein’s lawyers. But I have those bills, and they remain a damning document.

The bills show that Dr. Klein gave Michael Jackson 51 injections over a two month period. Often it was twice or three times in a single visit. The last one was on June 22, 2009–three days before Michael died. Demerol passes through the body quickly, though. It’s very possible that by the morning of June 25th, the Demerol had evaporated from Michael’s body without a trace.

The bills also show thousands of dollars in miscellaneous charges. Klein says these exorbitant fees were those cost of him renting helicopters and the like to fly to Michael’s side on the weekends. There’s a charge, for example, of $7,500 for ” weekend office call” on April 25, 2009. Was there a yacht involved? I assume Dr. Klein has those receipts.

But the disturbing part of the Dr. Klein bills isn’t the Botox or Restalyne or Latisse–the cosmetic stuff. It’s the Demerol. And even if Demerol wasn’t found in Michael’s body, and wasn’t a contributing factor to his death, it’s still extremely troubling. The DEA “raided” or inspected and took files from Dr. Klein’s offices in June, 2010. We haven’t heard what they found or why they did that.




Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also 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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