Home Uncategorized Michael Jackson Sleep Issue Isn’t News: He Was Using Drugs for it...

So much was made last week of Michael Jackson not sleeping for the last 60 days of his life. First of all, it was an overstatement. He may not have been sleeping at night, but he slept during the day. You may recall an interview I did with a long time friend of Michael’s who ran into him at Dr. Arnold Klein’s office one afternoon in May 2009. It was clear he was sleeping there. He also looked and felt great, very refreshed. http://www.showbiz411.com/2009/07/01/20090701jacko-michael-jackson-joanne-horowitz-studio-54-arnold-klein

More to the point: one look at Frank Cascio’s excellent and revealing book, “My Friend Michael,” describes Jackson’s sleep problems, his use of Demerol and Propofol early on. Cascio was with him for a good part of the 90s into the early 2000s. I think, frankly, it undermines the testimony from last week. Cascio traveled with Jackson extensively, and knew all of his peccadilloes. His book lays out Jackson’s life in minute detail. I wonder if all the lawyers in the current case have read it.

Cascio wrote: “Now, on tour, and again in deep physical pain, Michael turned back to those drugs. Maybe he was simply following doctors’ orders: his adrenaline was so high after each show that it was the only way he could sleep. For all I really know, the treatments may have been his idea. However it came about, over time Michael began to rely on Demerol to wind down after the shows, and most likely to escape from the overwhelming stress, pressure, and responsibilities of his extraordinary life…How impossible it must have been to dial down from the hyper mode of the show to the complete calm of sleep….him. The doctor came, and then Michael went right to bed. I understood that he was taking medicine to help him go to sleep. I knew nothing about prescription pain medicine….

“…an anesthesiologist started showing up two or three times a week, some weeks, to help Michael sleep. I paid the man in cash, because all of Michael’s medical issues had to be kept from the public and their cost off the books. The doctor was perfectly straightforward with me. “What I do,” he said, “is put Michael to sleep for a couple of hours. Then I ease him out of sleep.” It was the same treatment I had witnessed after Michael’s accident in Munich. The doctor would set up equipment and an IV in Michael’s room, and would stay with him, the door closed, for about four hours. He said that the treatment was risky, but he assured me that he knew what he was doing…”

“On those nights, he couldn’t sleep unless this dangerous drug— the drug that would eventually kill him— was administered. For a long time I thought it was okay and normal. I didn’t think he had a drug problem. Over the years, I had grown accustomed to seeing doctors coming and going, particularly during tours, when Michael was under great stress and needed help falling asleep. I thought he was simply someone who had serious medical problems and used drugs to treat them.”

And this is just a little bit of it. The idea that AEG’s concert rehearsals caused Michael to lose sleep– and thereby be vulnerable to dying– doesn’t ring true. Not when you hear that Jackson was living like this for two decades.

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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.
5 replies to this post
  1. I actually like Roger , for the most part, but i think people should start copying and pasting their comments on his site, on social media, and compare it to what he puts up.
    After all , social media isnt controlled by the Jacksons or Randy Phillips and AEG
    We have already seen the BS from the 90s and even 2005 misrepresented in the tabloid press.
    NOBODY is that stupid , not to realize this is dictated by AEG

  2. Still no comments ? what about mine.
    Why didnt you bother to put it up ?
    Because I think AEG could potentially,be held liable for controlling the doctor and possibly creating a conflict of interest,with that doctor , by forcing MJ to attend rehearsals he wasnt contractually obligated to go to?
    That their emails imply he is working for them , since they “brought him into the fold”?
    And to say that MJ had drug issues for twenty years, which we all knew about , except AEG, ???and they are watching him deteriorate in front of their eyes, and not question what Murray is doing for all that money.?

    What do you think? They just fell off the turnip truck?
    They knew the risks working with MJ when they went into this thing, they were just gambling on it , and hoping to make tons of money .
    Klein may not have known what Murray was doing, but Murray AND AEG certainly knew about Klein..
    Since they were telling Murray what to do, why didnt they tell Murray to call Klein and ask what he was giving him for treatments.
    Seems to me they were more interested in covering themselves for insurance purposes, then caring about the human being dying in front of their eyes.
    And wasnt Murray on the phone straightening out the insurance for AEG, lying, saying MJ was fine , when he was probably already dead in his bed?

  3. This is so true. The Jackson family lawyer Panish is making a total fool of himself for taking on this stupid case. The way Panish examined Randy Phillips (The AEG CEO) on the stand was a total disgrace, and somebody owes Mr. Phillips an apology for dragging him/ AEG unnecessary to court like this. All they did was to give MJ the break he so much needed to resurrect his career/finances. Yes, they pushed him a bit to get him to step up his game and take the tour seriously – but that is a whole different thing than to cause his death. We already have one guy in jail for that named Dr. Murray. AEG hired Murray on BEHEST of MJ, that is a proven fact. This is all about the greed from certain Jackson family members. No wonder MJ went to great lengths to disassociat himself from his own family.

  4. And this is just a little bit of it. The idea that AEG’s concert rehearsals caused Michael to lose sleep– and thereby be vulnerable to dying– doesn’t ring true. Not when you hear that Jackson was living like this for two decades.

    I read the Cascio book.It was very informative.
    I am under the impression this case is about who employed a negligent doctor for Michael Jackson.
    The Jackson team is saying that AEG people, like Paul Gongaware were aware MJ used drugs to sleep , particularity when he had to tour.And that they were pushing him to rehearse when it was not part of the contract that he be there all the time.
    And they were pushing the doctor , who was expecting a big payday , where they held the purse strings , to get him there.
    IF it is proven that they employed Murray , the Jacksons contend , it created a conflict of interest , and breached the care given to MJ because Murray was trying to please the people who had “taken him into the fold “and were in charge of paying his salary , particularly since it was such a large salary and Murray was broke
    And that AEG would know that .
    It sure seems to me like AEG was controlling Murray and after the state Randy Phillips found MJ in before the concert announcements, that he actually says he slapped him and screamed so loud at him , the walls were shaking….He had to know this thing was a shaky situation.
    And everyone in the world was aware MJ had drug issues.
    But they also knew MJ could pull in a fortune for them too, so they went ahead.
    The analogy used in court regarding athletes and team doctors and coaches pushing doctors to have the person play with an injury is interesting.
    I am still waiting to hear AEG side , , before I make up my mind, Not that it matters , Im not on the jury and neither are you .

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