Michael Jackson's Rx Drug Abuse Exposed in Court

By McCarton Ackerman 05/01/13

The late singer's hidden drug history comes to light during his wrongful death trial.

"Nobody knew his darkest secrets" Photo via

The wrongful death trial for Michael Jackson began in court this week, with an LA police detective accusing Dr. Conrad Murray of "not being honest and forthright" during initial questioning in 2009. Det. Orlando Martinez said that Murray, currently serving a four-year jail sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jackson, may have had "financial gain" as a motive for the pop star's death after discovering that he had hundreds of thousand dollars in debts that included tax liens and child support. He claims Murray closed his practice to work exclusively with Jackson and tied his financial future to him. The lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother and children alleges that AEG Live, the concert promoters for his planned "This Is It" tour, pushed him to perform despite obvious warning signs about his health and negligently hired Murray. It's also been reported that Jackson drank up to six bottles of wine per day and was "paralytic" at the press conference announcing his comeback tour. The Jackson family are suing for damages in the form of earnings that he could have made were he still alive today, which could potentially be in the billions. "[AEG] wanted to be No. 1 at all costs," said the Jacksons' attorney Brian Panish. "We're not looking for any sympathy...We're looking for truth and justice."

Panish detailed Jackson's prescription drug abuse history, saying the singer regularly used demerol and propofol, and that "people who knew him believed he had a problem with prescription medication." AEG Live denies any responsibility in Jackson's death and claims that Murray was not an employee of their organization. Their attorney in the case, Marvin Putnam, said that the concert promoter could not have foreseen the extent of Jackson's drug issues because he went to great lengths to hide them. "The truth is, Michael Jackson fooled everyone," said Putnam. "He made sure that no one, nobody, knew his deepest darkest secrets." The trial is expected to run through this summer.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.