Jacko’s last day: drugs, dark­ness and de­men­tia

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PEOPLE - SHARON CHURCHER and CARO­LINE GRA­HAM

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.

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