Clear

Winnipeg, MB

12°c Clear

Full Forecast

Music

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jackson's former doctor worried about singer's drug addiction

Posted: 07/9/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

Advertisement

  • Print

 

LOS ANGELES -- A doctor who treated Michael Jackson during a 1993 concert tour that had to be cancelled when the singer entered rehab testified Monday about the signs that led him to conclude the singer had a problem with prescription pain medications at the time.

In videotaped testimony, Dr. Stuart Finkelstein said he was later asked by concert promoter AEG Live to act as Jackson's personal physician during the ill-fated This Is It tour in 2009 but wanted to know if Jackson was "clean."

AEG executive Paul Gongaware said he didn't believe Jackson had any prescription drug issues, Finkelstein testified.

Finkelstein's testimony was recorded during a February deposition that was played for jurors hearing a negligence lawsuit by Jackson's mother against AEG Live LLC. Katherine Jackson claims AEG failed to properly investigate another doctor who later gave her son an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and that the company ignored warning signs about her son's health.

Finkelstein said he first suspected Jackson had a dependence on pain medications in 1993 while working on the Dangerous tour. He recounted spending 24 hours in the singer's hotel suite and administering morphine intravenously to deal with Jackson's pain.

He said he gave Jackson morphine during their first meeting because the singer's buttocks were scarred from previous unspecified treatments and he was concerned about giving an injection of the painkiller Demerol.

High tolerance

He said he also noticed that Jackson appeared to have a high tolerance for morphine and had on a patch that administered another opiate drug.

Finkelstein said he gave Jackson one other painkiller treatment before the Dangerous tour was halted after what he described as an intervention by Elizabeth Taylor and others in Mexico City.

The doctor, who now specializes in addiction medicine and works for concert promoters treating injuries to performers, said he relayed his concerns about Jackson's painkiller use to Gongaware, then a Dangerous tour worker.

Gongaware is now a top AEG Live executives and a friend of Finkelstein, the physician said.

Finkelstein said he and Gongaware had five to 10 conversations in 2009 about working on Jackson's This Is It shows. Finkelstein said he wanted $40,000 a month and was not hired.

Jackson died after Dr. Conrad Murray administered an overdose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. Murray, who agreed to work on the This Is It shows for $150,000 a month, provided Jackson with propofol as a sleep aid.

AEG Live denies it hired Murray and says it bears no responsibility for Jackson's death.

Finkelstein is the first medical professional who treated Jackson to testify in the case, now in its 11th week.

Last week, jurors heard from addiction medicine specialist Dr. Sidney Schnoll, a paid expert witness who said he did not see anything in Jackson's medical history that indicated the singer was addicted to any medications. His analysis was based on medical records that dated back to the late 1990s, after the Dangerous tour.

Finkelstein said many of his records involving his Dangerous tour treatment of Jackson had been stolen.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 9, 2013 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.