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Michael Jackson trial: Doctor expected to discuss sleep, drugs

September 18, 2013|By Jeff Gottlieb

Jurors in the long-running Michael Jackson wrongful death trial are expected to be shown video testimony Wednesday from a physician who allegedly arranged for the singer to be given a powerful anesthetic during a mid-1990s concert tour.

Allen Metzger, who treated the performer for 15 years, twice arranged for German doctors to administer the anesthetic propofol to Jackson in a hotel room when the singer was having trouble sleeping during a stint of concerts in that country, Jackson’s former wife Debbie Rowe testified last month.

Rowe’s testimony provided the first evidence that Jackson had a history of using the drug or that he had used it as a sleep aid prior to the days leading up to his death in June 2009, when the singer was fighting insomnia as he prepared for a comeback tour.

PHOTOS: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009

Jackson died after he was administered a fatal dose of propofol in his rented Holmby Hills mansion by Dr. Conrad Murray, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is serving a jail term.

Testimony in the trial, which started in late April, has been delayed for about a week because of an illness in a juror’s family.

Jackson’s mother and three children are suing concert producer and promoter AEG Live, saying the company negligently hired and supervised Murray. AEG says that the doctor worked for Jackson, and that any money it was supposed to pay the physician was just part of an advance to the singer.

MICHAEL JACKSON: Complete trial coverage

Rowe testified that Metzger was one of the only doctors treating Jackson that she trusted.

Metzger testified at Murray’s criminal trial that the singer was concerned about his health, especially his insomnia, and asked for an anesthetic to help him sleep. Metzger testified he advised against using propofol.

He also testified during the manslaughter trial that the singer was feeling anxious about his scheduled 50 concert dates in London but felt up to the task.

After Metzger’s video deposition is played, AEG is expected to play a deposition from Prince Jackson, Michael’s oldest child. Prince Jackson, 16, testified for about 90 minutes earlier in the trial, detailing life with his father and the singer’s final moments.

Prince Jackson also testified that his father felt he needed more time to rehearse before starting the “This Is It” tour. He said his father would sometimes cry after getting off the phone with AEG Live Chief Executive Randy Phillips and his manager.

“He would say,`They’re going to kill me, they’re going to kill me,’” Prince Jackson testified.


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