Jackson doctor admits ‘stupid’ mistakes

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Báo Thanh Niên English - 37 month(s) ago 2 readings

Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of Michael Jackson’s manslaughter, admitted in comments broadcast on Thursday that he made mistakes on the day of the pop icon’s death but denied criminal culpability.

Murray recalled how he went into the room next to Jackson’s bedroom to make telephone calls while the star lay dying -- and justified not telling police about having given him propofol, as “I did not think it was important.”

The doctor’s previously unheard comments were made to British journalist Steve Hewlett and aired on Channel 4 immediately before the showing of a controversial documentary charting the singer’s demise.

Murray, 58, claimed Jackson had requested “milk” -- his slang term for propofol -- at 10:40 am on June 25, 2009, to help him sleep after a restless night.

In accounting for the one hour and 40 minutes between administering the drug and emergency services being called, Murray said he had sat with Jackson, checking his vital signs until he believed the effects had worn off, before moving to the adjacent room at 11:20 am.

“If you say: ‘Dr Murray, that was really stupid, you should have had a look,’ then I agree,” the doctor said.

Murray did not inform police that Jackson had taken the drug because “they never asked me” and “I did not think it was important.”

The doctor also accepted he had made a mistake in not keeping medical notes on Jackson, but argued this failure “was not responsible for his death”.

Murray said he had been trying to wean Jackson off the drug -- an anaesthetic the singer had been taking to treat insomnia since before they met.

Jackson was so hooked on the intravenously administered drug that his veins were “like spiders webs,” explained Murray.

“I said to Michael: ‘the only time I have seen that type of venous appearance was in people like drug abusers’,” he recalled.

Murray angrily rejected suggestions he had become more drug supplier than doctor, saying: “I am in no way anything you just mentioned.”

According to media reports, Murray was being paid $150,000 (110,000 euros) a month as Jackson’s doctor, but claimed he has “yet to receive one dime of it.”

The interview took place eight weeks before a Los Angeles jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, around the time he announced he would not testify in court. He is due to be sentenced later this month.

The managers of Jackson’s estate on Wednesday condemned as “reprehensible” the documentary “The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson”, shown in Britain immediately after the interview was broadcast.

Jackson’s executors demanded US broadcaster MSNBC withdraw plans to screen the program -- along with an interview in which Murray quotes Jackson’s last words in 2009 as “begging” for propofol.

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