Thursday, 29 September 2011

Jackson visited skin doc regularly, emerged slurring

Updated at: 1155 PST,  Thursday, September 29, 2011
Jackson visited skin doc regularly, emerged slurring LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson went regularly to a Beverly Hills dermatologist and sometimes emerged from the sessions talking slowly, witnesses said Wednesday at the star's manslaughter trial.

The pop icon at times went almost every day to the doctor, Arnold Klein, said his head of security and his personal assistant, who testified on the second day of the trial of his personal doctor Conrad Murray.

"There were times when he was going almost every day it fluctuated," said security chief Faheem Muhammad, who also referred to a "cream" that Jackson "wouldn't want the world to know about" removed from the room where he died.

News channel cited lawyers for Murray as claiming that Jackson became addicted to another drug, Demerol, from the visits to Klein, and that this could have prevented the singer from sleeping, even with heavy sedatives.

Jackson died from an overdose of medical anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009, allegedly administered by Murray to help the singer cope with extreme insomnia.

Jackson's personal assistant Michael Amir Williams, who worked for Jackson during the last two years of his life, also said the visits to Klein's office were regular. "At a certain point, it was very regular," he said.

On Tuesday the trial heard a chilling audio clip of an apparently heavily-drugged Jackson slurring almost unintelligibly, in a phone conversation with Murray only weeks before his death.

Williams said Jackson sometimes talked slowly after emerging from his sessions at Klein's office -- although never as slow or unintelligibly as the audio recording played in court.

"He would talk slow like that. I never heard it that extreme, but I can definitely say he has come out, and he's a little slower," he said.

Another witness, Paul Gongaware of concert promoters AEG, said he noticed that Jackson had "a little bit of a slower speech pattern, just a slight slur in the speech" after a visit with Klein.

A spokeswoman for dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Klein said the doctor had no comment on the case, adding that he was not scheduled to be a witness at the trial.

Williams meanwhile said that Murray asked him, in hospital shortly after Jackson died, to take him back to the house to that he could remove "some cream in Michaels room .. that he wouldn't want the world to know about."

Reports over the years have speculated about the gradual lightening of Jackson's skin over the years, and his brother Jermaine recently said that he suffered from vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disorder.

In other testimony, Muhammad said that several days before his death on June 25, 2009, Jackson had asked him to call a nurse after having strange symptoms, in which one of his hands was hot and one foot cold.

The security chief said he could not recall if he had managed to speak to the nurse, but said he understood that Murray was contacted by someone else to see to Jackson about the problem. (AFP)

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