Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Conrad Murray is ‘surrounded by sharks,' driver says

November 11, 2011 | 10:09 am

Louis Perry
The man who drove Dr. Conrad Murray throughout his six-week trial described Michael Jackson's personal physician as "a really good person" who is "surrounded by sharks."

Louis Perry, a Los Angeles-based security executive, said he came forward to talk to The Times because he felt sympathy for Murray and is not sure that a controversial documentary scheduled to air on MSNBC Friday night would serve the doctor's best interests.

"I think the show is going to do more damage than any money that he might have made," Perry said.

Perry said Murray at times grew weary of the constant filming, his driver recalled. "He would say, 'I am tired of these guys. I can't wait until this thing is done,' " Perry said.

As the trial and production of "Michael Jackson and the Doctor" neared an end, the producers asked Perry to sign a release — clearing them to make him a part of the program. But Perry declined to sign and his lawyer responded with a letter, saying Perry had not been compensated for appearing in the documentary. A lawyer for October Films answered that the driver would not appear in the finished product.

In an interview with The Times, Perry said a British documentary film producer gave Murray and his defense team free lunches and rides to court during the six-week trial. That arrangement raises new questions about the documentary, "Michael Jackson and the Doctor: A Fatal Friendship," which is scheduled to air Friday evening despite calls for the network to cancel it.

The arrangement gave the London-based production company access to Murray and his defense team. U.S. broadcasters generally frown on giving financial aid to the subjects of news reports.

NBC, parent company of MSNBC, says it plans to move forward with plans to air the hourlong documentary Friday night and again Sunday. The network said it had not paid the cardiologist or his legal team.


Michael Jackson's deathbed, personal items to be auctioned

Conrad Murray jury yelled, quarreled on way to Jackson verdict

Michael Jackson's estate demands MSNBC ax Conrad Murray documentary

-- James Rainey and Harriet Ryan

Photo: Louis Perry, the head of Kadima Security Services, drove Conrad Murray to court every day. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times