Sunday, 28 June 2009

MJ's medical history a blur, says biographer

Michael Jackson had a long and intricate history of health problems, say people who knew him but it has always been difficult to separate the rumours from his medical history.

‘‘It’s always been a subject of confusion,’’ said J Randy Taraborrelli, a Jackson biographer who knew him for 40 years. ‘‘His doctors have generally not betrayed him, so there is no way to be conclusive about this kind of information.’’
A celebrity website citing an interview with an unidentified ‘‘close member’’ of the Jackson family, reported the entertainer was injected with Demerol about half an hour before he went into cardiac arrest. A senior law enforcement official told a news channel that Jackson was ‘‘heavily addicted’’ to the painkiller Oxycontin and was injected daily with that medication, along with Demerol.

The young Taraborrelli who first met Jackson when the singer was 10 said he was private about most of his health matters and doctors would sometimes change their opinions of things that were ailing him. ‘‘Just when you think you have information, someone comes and recants the diagnosis,’’ said Taraborrelli, author of ‘Michael Jackson: The Magic and The Madness’, written in 1991 and updated in 2005. ‘‘It just got to a point where I stopped trying to verify.’’
Stacy Brown, co-author of the 2005 book, ‘Michael Jackson: the Man Behind the Mask’, said the singer’s family had been very concerned recently about his use of painkillers, especially Demerol that had been one of the concerns for a long time. He said Jackson was receiving one injection per day, always administered by a doctor.

In 1993, in a recorded statement, he said that charges of child molestation against him were contributing to his continued drug use.

‘‘I became increasingly more dependent to (sic) the painkillers to get me through the days of the tour,’’ he said. ‘‘My friends and doctors advised me to seek professional guidance immediately in order to eliminate what has become an addiction.’’