Michael Jackson 'fearful' about comeback tour, doctor testifies
Michael Jackson asked a longtime physician two months before his death about intravenous sleep medications, saying no drugs taken orally would help him sleep, a Beverly Hills doctor testified Monday.
Dr. Allan Metzger, who said he knew Jackson for about 15 to 20 years, said the singer mentioned to him at the meeting that he was “fearful” about his upcoming comeback tour.
The testimony of Metzger marked the first time jurors heard about a physician other than Dr. Conrad Murray who treated the pop star for his chronic insomnia. Called to the stand by Murray’s defense, Metzger said Jackson did not ask about a specific drug but mentioned he wanted “some form of an anesthetic.”
At the April 18, 2009, meeting at the singer’s home, Jackson did not mention propofol, the surgical anesthetic that killed him, the doctor testified.
Under cross-examination by a prosecutor, Metzger said he advised Jackson against using such drugs for insomnia.
“When Michael Jackson inquired about intravenous sleep medication, you explained to him that was dangerous, life-threatening and should not be done outside of a hospital, is that correct?” Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren asked.
“That’s correct,” he replied.
Asked by Walgren if there was “any amount of money” that would have persuadedhim to give Jackson propofol at his home, Metzger said: “Definitely not.”
Metzger said Jackson had long suffered from sleep problems that didn’t seem to be easily treated with various medicines.
“Particularly after performing, he could not come down,” Metzger said. “Many medicines just did not work.”
Attorneys for Murray have told jurors that Jackson was so desperate for sleep because of pressure to perform during the concerts that he gave himself a lethal dose of propofol. They also initially sought to call to the stand a string of witnesses to portray Jackson as a drug addict “on the hunt” for the surgical anesthetic that killed him, but most were barred by the judge overseeing the trial.
-- Victoria Kim