Michael Jackson was beleaguered by the pressures of his comeback tour, which forced him to take a desperate action leading to his death, a Los Angeles court was told on the first day of his doctor's homicide trial.
On the opening day of Dr. Conrad Murray trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, defense attorney Edward Chernoff argued that Jackson caused his own death, unable to cope with his deteriorating finances and pressures to live up to expectations after a ten-year hiatus.
The defense argues that propofol - an intravenously administered hypnotic drug - was found in Jackson's stomach, leading to speculation that he may have consumed it without Murray's approval. In addition, Chernoff claimed that Jackson swallowed a large dose of Lorazepam - enough to put six people to sleep.
The scientific evidence will tell you that was enough to put six of us to sleep. The evidence will show that when Dr. Murray left him in the room, Michael Jackson swallowed a dose of propofol that with the Lorazepam created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly. When Dr. Murray came back into the room, there was no CPR, no doctor, no paramedic, no machine that was going to revive Michael Jackson. He died so rapidly, so instantly, that he didn't even have time to close his eyes, Chernoff was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Chernoff also said the defense planned to show how Michael Jackson got to this desperate point.
Going a step further, Chernoff added that it was Jackson's addiction to propofol which made him crave the drug and that Murray stopped administering it after two months of regular use. Jackson, reportedly, was in the third day of a weaning-off process but couldn't overcome the craving.
Michael Jackson started begging. He couldn't understand why he wasn't sleeping.... When Michael Jackson told Dr. Murray 'I have to sleep. They will cancel my performance,' he meant it, Chernoff was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press.
In a pretrial hearing held in the first week of April, Chernoff spoke about obtaining Jackson's financial records and showing that he was anguished due to his deteriorating finances and the pressure of a comeback performance scheduled at London's O2 arena.
The crux of the defense is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death. We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man, Chernoff is believed to have told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, according to an AP report.
Michael Jackson Kept Suicide Note
In the weeks following Jackson's death, his friends claimed he often overdosed and had been trying to kill himself for a decade, the Telegraph reported back in 2009. A friend of Jackson's is believed to have said that friends were surprised he even made it to 50, while another friend was quoted as saying that Michael always talked about dying young. He wrote suicide notes then tore them up. He kept one with him - he often read it.
The pop sensation was reportedly looking to take his life ever since claims of child abuse surfaced in the 1990s, causing him humiliation.
He wanted everyone to know how sad he was, an unnamed source said.
Lifeless Body and Slurry Audio of Jackson Pain Spectators
As prosecutors played an audio tape with Jackson's sad voice on it, recorded just weeks before his death, and shared a photo of his lifeless body, spectators in the Los Angeles court room looked pained.
The King of Pop was heard saying: We have to be phenomenal. When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, 'I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go. It's amazing. He's the greatest entertainer in the world.'