LOS ANGELES (AP) — A doctor who treated Michael Jackson during a 1993 concert tour that had to be canceled 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.
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.
Jurors also heard Monday from Kenny Ortega, a choreographer and director who worked with Jackson on preparations for the “Dangerous” tour and later shows, including “This Is It.” Ortega was not present on the “Dangerous” tour at the same time as Finkelstein and testified that he never saw Jackson take any medications.
Ortega, who raised concerns about Jackson’s health during rehearsals for the “This Is It” shows, has not yet testified in details about his interactions with the singer in his final months. Ortega will resume testifying on Tuesday afternoon.
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.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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