Jacko’s last day: drugs, darkness and dementia
MICHAEL JACKSON’S last hours were spent in extreme distress in which he begged for his father as he lapsed into a drug-fuelled emotional breakdown, according to a graphic new account by his biographer.
The tormented superstar was “high as a kite” on powerful painkillers, reading the Bible, writing dark, nightmarish poetry and hysterically accusing the money men who managed his career of “betraying” him with their plans for a gruelling 50-date London booking.
Author Ian Halperin, who predicted Jackson’s death eight months ago and whose book on the troubled star, Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson, is high on the bestseller charts, has re-interviewed a number of aides, family friends and investigators. And now he has revealed that Jackson spent the 12 hours before he died in an increasingly paranoid and agitated state.
Shortly after midnight on the day of his death, June 25, Jackson finally snapped. Demanding that the tour be called off, he asked an aide to call his father, shouting that Joe Jackson was the only person he still trusted.
When Jackson was informed that he could not be reached, he ordered his $165 000-a-month personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, to “put him out” with an intravenous drip that included an anaesthetic normally used in hospital operating theatres.
“Michael was cracking up. He had been injecting himself for more than 12 hours, he said, for excruciating pain,” Halperin reveals in an exclusive interview from New York, where he is making a documentary about the singer’s tragic death.
“He begged to see his father, but they lied to him. They told him they couldn’t get hold of him.
“If Joe Jackson had been allowed to see him that night, I believe Michael would still be alive.”
The singer, a chronic insomniac, got up at noon on June 24.
At 12.30pm, the writer says, he began to inject himself with Demerol and lidocaine, as well as a psychiatric drug. At 2.40pm, he emerged from his bedroom, still clad in his pyjamas.
“He was a bit high,’ says Halperin, “but he struck up a conversation in the living room with an aide. He reminisced about his childhood.”
The singer then retreated and got dressed. Three phone calls came into the mansion between 1pm and 4pm. Jackson refused to take them.
He was scheduled to rehearse two dance numbers that afternoon with his youngest son, Blanket, seven.
“Michael cancelled the rehearsal,” says Halperin. “He couldn’t keep in sync because of the drugs and the pain.”
At about 4.30pm, the door to Michael’s suite was shut.
No one could tell Halperin with certainty how the star occupied himself in the next six “missing hours”, but a toxicology report indicates he continued to ingest drugs.
At about 10.40pm, his staff heard music coming from the room. When the door swung open again, about two hours later, Halperin says, he seemed morose and consumed with fear and anger. The star had changed back into pyjamas and a shabby pair of brown slippers.
At 1.20am, he received a phone call. “It was from one of his advisers,” Halperin says. “He got in a shouting match about finances. That was when Michael said he was calling off the tour. He said some of his advisers didn’t care about his welfare. There were undesirables around him who he feared would hurt him physically and financially.”
In the early hours of the morning of his death, Jackson began to scribble poems.
“He was as high as a kite. What he wrote was dark, sort of frightening,” says Halperin.
“The poems were found hanging in his room on strings. He was over the edge.”
The star muttered his last known words to an aide at about 2am. “Michael told him: ‘Don’t worry about me. I am going to sleep.’ Twenty-five minutes later, Dr Murray was seen leaving his room. Michael was in a deep sleep. He never woke up.”
BREAKDOWN: Michael Jackson in his heyday.