Randy Jackson testifies about drug concerns
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A jury heard videotaped testimony Friday from Randy Jackson, who described more than half a dozen interventions his family attempted to try to get Michael Jackson to stop taking prescription medications.
Randy Jackson, the pop superstar’s younger brother, said several of his siblings were involved in the efforts, and they occasionally brought interventionist doctors to try to convince their brother to go into rehab. The superstar always refused and kept his family at a distance in the final years of his life, Randy Jackson said.
His videotaped testimony was played for jurors by lawyers for AEG Live LLC, which is being sued by Jackson’s mother. She claims the company negligently hired the doctor convicted of giving the “Thriller” singer a lethal overdose of an anesthetic in June 2009.
AEG denies it hired the physician, Conrad Murray, and its attorneys have said Jackson made choices that led to his death. Their case has already featured testimony from several medical professionals who treated the singer, including one who gave him an implant to block the effects of opiate drugs.
Randy Jackson says the interventions took place in various locations including New York, Las Vegas, Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and Taiwan and dated back to the mid-1990s.
He said almost every time he tried to intercede it was after a call from a nanny who cared for Michael Jackson’s children and told him the singer was over using prescription drugs. He said he never saw his brother take drugs but twice saw him in a condition where he was slurring his speech. He said he later fired the nanny after he encountered her at a pharmacy picking up prescriptions for the singer.
Randy Jackson said he never heard of the drug propofol until after his brother died from an overdose of the anesthetic.
However, he said he did not talk to his brother much in the five years before his death and was unable to get into his rented mansion during the period before he died because security guards blocked his access.
“Michael didn’t want to be around the family too much because he didn’t want them to see him like that,” Randy Jackson said. “He was hiding from me.”
He said most of the interventions were attended by his sisters Rebbie and Janet and his brothers, Tito, Marlon, and his father, Joe Jackson. But he said his mother only came along once or twice. He said she was unwilling to accept that Michael was addicted and he felt “she was in denial. She just didn’t want to believe.”
He said his brother refused repeatedly to go to rehab.
Katherine Jackson testified earlier in the trial that she asked her son once about his prescription drug use, but he denied he had a problem.
Randy Jackson said his brother was terrified during the run-up to his 2005 child molestation trial in Santa Maria. At one point Randy Jackson said he had to take his brother to a hospital because “he was under the influence of something.”
He said he had no idea what drugs Jackson was taking.
“He was very frightened, and I had to get him to court,” Randy Jackson said.
Outside court, Katherine Jackson’s lawyer, Brian Panish, said that Randy Jackson’s testimony showed “what everyone knew, that Michael Jackson had a problem with prescription medications. Apparently the only ones that didn’t know that were the people at AEG.”