Jacksons – AEG trial DAYS 68-69. FIVE DOCTORS and NURSE DEBBIE ROWE
Susanne said about Debbie Rowe’s testimony:
- “I almost can’t take any longer how much Michael suffered. It becomes clearer with every word she says what was done to him, but on the other hand it’s also great that many of these health issues are once and for all clarified for the public – scalp burn, vitiligo, discoid lupus, tissue scarring etc. A few years ago I never imagined others than the fans would learn about it in a way it can’t be denied anymore – through a trial with witnesses and everything on record including medical documentation.”
Indeed, it is a tide of emotions and all of us feel that the whole matter has become much bigger than simply the AEG trial. The truth we hear is painful and extremely sad, and it will become even sadder if we don’t learn our own lesson from what was done to Michael.
Michael flashed like a comet across the sky and left us alone, and if everything remains as it was before it will be the worst outcome of all.
Everyone now has something to sit down and think about, and learn from his life story. The first impression is that he really had too much and the second impression is that there was almost no one in the world who did not let him down – the media, the public and all of us included – and this is what makes it so terribly sad.
They threatened us that they would “tell the whole truth” about Michael but they didn’t take into account that the truth about Michael cannot harm him. It is lies that hurt him a lot for the long decades when all those wild stories were raging, while the truth about Michael can only heal.
And this healing process is very difficult for us because learning how much Michael had to suffer and remembering what fun we had at his expense is now giving us an overwhelming feeling of shame, especially when we compare what we thought about him and what all of it was really like.
The hush that fell upon us is necessary. In this silent reflection we will probably be able to join into one man the laughing, gentle and loving genius and the humble sufferer who had to cope with so much physical and emotional pain. For me, for example, these two Michaels are still disassociated from each other as I simply cannot imagine that what we saw on the outside could go hand in hand with so much grief and suffering in his real life.
Another incredible fact is that all of it is revolving around 1993 again. For decades they were telling us fictional stories about Michael’s preoccupation in those very months – and now we see that all he was really preoccupied with was his poor scalp and the metal things they put into his skin to stretch it, and that he was in tremendous, totally inhuman pain and had to be given drugs for a mere survival, and that his buttocks were indeed riddled with injections as a result of it and that liar never noticed them because he never saw his body in the first place, and when the surgery was done the doctor washed his hands of Michael leaving him to his own devices, and other two doctors competed with each other in his pain treatment never minding the consequences, and the consequence was a drug dependency and when one doctor really tried to help and replace narcotic drugs with non-narcotic ones another doctor who didn’t know a thing arrogantly said he knew better and ruined all his efforts and started the narcotic cycle once again, and all this was very well seen by Paul Gongaware and his friend Dr. Finkelstein who were accompanying Michael at the time and there is absolutely no possibility for Gongaware and therefore AEG not to know in 2009 about Michael’s past trouble, and all they say now is a big, very big lie.
And after that they talk of some “dark secrets” of Michael Jackson? And what about hundreds of skeletons packed in their cupboards which fall all over you the moment you accidentally open their door? Look at Dr. Sasaki for example.
Dr. Sasaki’s video deposition was played on Tuesday August 13, 2013, day 68 of the trial.
Over here he says that he was approached by Dr. Hoefflin for making surgery on Michael’s scalp to reduce the bald spot. This was evidently done after at least two not too successful attempts by Hoefflin to do the same (in 1984 and 1989) so this time he wanted someone else to have a try.
Dr. Sasaki made his first surgery on Michael’s scalp on March 16, 1993 which was exactly the time of those crazy allegations. It was also whole nine years after the burn and had to be done because the first two legs of the Dangerous tour showed to Michael that he could no longer perform with a hair piece on his head.
Karen Faye said about it in her first testimony on May 9, 2013:
- “He was basically okay afterward the initial burn. His skin healed. We used a small hair piece that would cover the top of his head where he’d been burned. Doing that wasn’t the best for performances so Michael had an operation on his scalp for the hair to grow back. A bladder had to be inserted under the skin and stretch the skin”.
The way Dr. Sasaki describes it he used a different technique and after cutting the bald spot put metal pieces on both sides of the wound, then connected them with stitches and then “cranked them together”. The idea of this medieval torture was to get 30% of more stretched skin than usual. This was followed by another torture of placing a balloon under his skin to stretch it even further.
I tried to fold my skin on my head and found that it is impossible though in other places it is no problem, so what pain it took to detach the skin from the skull is hard to even imagine – actually it reminded me of all those horror stories about scalping centuries ago. I also noticed that pulling all skin to the top of the head produces the effect of a face lift which in my opinion may explain certain things, for example, MJ’s looks in “Rock my world”. I always wondered about the way he looked there but now understand.
Dr. Sasaki did not say a word about the pain all that skin stretching was giving Michael. However he said that he relinquished the pain management of his patient willingly and passed it over to Michael’s doctors. For Dr. Sasaki it is “highly unusual” not to take care of the patient after surgery but the fact that Dr. Sasaki did it willingly makes me think that he was only too happy not to have to do with the consequences of the operation.
In consistence with the present AEG’s strategy that Michael cultivated friendship with doctors for “drugs only” Dr. Sasaki answered questions about Neverland and said that he was there twice with 5 years between the visits. What Dr. Sasaki remembers about those visits is that they were talking with Michael about … the Bible, and no drugs were asked for as the judge specifically noted in one of their sidebars.
Since the two visits were 5 years apart and all of it began in 1993 it means in 1998 Dr. Sasaki was still making his medical procedures on Michael’s head. And indeed, Dr. Sasaki says that in October 1997 he made his second operation on Michael’s scalp, only he did not explain the real reason why he did it – he said it was to “reduce the width of the scar”.
The real reason was explained by Debbie Rowe who said that “the area that was done fell apart” and all the pain began again.
Well, it couldn’t have been any different as Michael had lupus and lupus results only on more scarring and poor healing, and I clearly remember Arnold Klein being terribly against those operations. Over here he talks to Larry King about it:
KING: Did he have hair?
KLEIN: He had lost a great deal of it. You forget this first fire…
KING: That was the Pepsi fire, right?
KLEIN: Yes. But then what happened is he used a great deal of what are called tissue expanders in his scalp, which are balloons that grow up — blow up the scalp. And then what they do is they try to cut out the scar. Well, because he had lupus, what happened is every time they would do it, the bald spot would keep enlarging. So, I mean, he went through a lot of painful procedures with these tissue expanders until I put a stop to it. I said no more tissue expanders, because he had to wear a hat all the time and it was really painful for him.
KING: So what would his — without the hat, what would he look like?
KLEIN: Well, he had a big raised ball on the top of his head because of this device. It would expand the tissue, which you cut out. But (INAUDIBLE) would you — (INAUDIBLE) too much stretch back in the scar, you understand?
KING: Did you see him one other time?
KLEIN: Of course I did. But he would have a stretch back on the scar. I mean the scar would get worse after they removed it. And I had to put a stop to it. So I told Michael, we have to stop this.
For us it is a torture to even read about all those medical experiments on Michael’s scalp. However Dr. Sasaki sounds absolutely undisturbed and calmly informs us that “normally” pain lasts for 6 weeks after the operation. He also says that “never talked to Michael Jackson about his pain treatment.” The idea is evidently to show that he did not supply MJ with painkillers but all it tells us is that this indifferent man couldn’t care less about the way his poor patient was coping with his pain.
It is also clear that Dr. Sasaki is not telling us the whole truth, as on the one hand he says he did it willingly, but on the other hand he feigns surprise that Michael was handled by other doctors, though how could it be otherwise if he willingly gave Michael up? Fortunately Michael’s cooperation with Dr. Sasaki ended in May 1998 and Michael remained with the other doctors who didn’t make his life easier either.
I find the unperturbed way Dr. Sasaki explains the surgery he did on Michael totally amazing. However AEG could have put their hand to it too as they cut out from his video deposition a piece about the neuroma (a painful bundle of nerves forming a keloid) which the operation resulted in. We know about that neuroma from Dr. Schnoll who reviewed Dr. Sasaki’s deposition and said about it:
Q. Prior to the Dangerous tour, in the very beginning of it, did he have scalp surgery?
Q. And what kind of surgery — tell the jury a little bit about what that surgery was for.
A. Well, that surgery was to repair the damage to his scalp. There was some contractions, and so they inserted a balloon under the scalp to stretch the scalp back to a normal configuration and remove the scar tissue.
Q. And did you — based on your review of the records, your knowledge of this condition, is this a painful condition?
A. Yes. And in addition, I think — I might not pronounce it properly — Dr. Sasaki reported he had neuroma formation at the time.
Q. Tell the jury what a neuroma is.
A neuroma is like a scar that forms on a nerve.
The information about the neuroma was cut out from Dr. Sasaki’s deposition and was not heard by the jury. This is what was left of it after all the cut-and-paste job (the video was shown after the AEG financial expert William Ackerman’s testimony):
Tuesday August 13, 2013 DAY 68
AEG called their next witness via video deposition Dr Gordon Hiroshi Sasaki
Jury entered at 3:27 pm PT. Katherine Jackson left for the day.
Q: Question by attorney
A: Answer by Dr. Sasaki
He graduated from PomonaCollege in 1964, degree in Bachelor of Arts.
He went to YaleUniversity for his medical school, graduated in 1968.
Dr. Sasaki served in Vietnam and wore several hats as doctor, including anesthesia and plastic surgery on days off.
He laughed at that last comment.
Q: Did you ever provide medical treatment to MJ?
A: Yes, I did.
Dr. Sasaki said he did two surgeries on MJ’s scalp and 3 on the upper lip for contouring.
March 16, 1993 was the first surgery Dr. Sasaki performed on MJ. It was to reduce scar on the scalp, the bald spot.
Second surgery was on October 31, 1997 for scar revision to reduce the width of the reduced scar on the scalp.
Dr. Sasaki: The medical care, which included post operation and pain management, were taken out of my hands willingly.
Dr. Sasaki said the care was placed into two other doctors that Mr. Jackson thought would be the best.
Dr. Sasaki said the other two doctors were Steven Hoefflin and Arnold Klein. At some point Dr. Metzger as well, he said.
Dr. Sasaki on how he met MJ: I received a phone call from Dr. Steven Hoefflin, a plastic surgeon.
Dr. Sasaki said he was asked to assist him in providing different alternatives to take care of the bald spot on his scalp.
The consultation with MJ and Dr. Hoefflin was set up, Dr. Sasazi said. Dr. Hoefflin is a well known plastic surgeon in Los Angeles.
The surgery in 1993 lasted about half an hour. Dr. Sasazi explained he put a metal on a side of the defect and a metal on the other side.
He then put stitches going from one side of the metal to the other, crank it to put the sides together.
Dr. Sasaki said the method results in about 30% more skin from stretching. He then put ballon in the scalp to stretch further to cover scar
Dr. Hoefflin was his first assistant in the surgery. Dr. Sasaki said he knew generically that in 1988 MJ had a burn in is scalp [Correction: in 1984].
He said he understands the burn happened during a Pepsi commercial and it had healed, but MJ wanted to reduce the scar.
The scar was in the middle part of the scalp, Dr. Sasaki said.
Dr. Sasaki: He was kind enough to invite myself and my family to Neverland.
Dr. Sasaki: We went up there, he was not there, but he was not supposed to be there. The staff served us lunch and showed us around.
Dr. Sasaki said he visited Neverland Ranch twice, once with his family and once at MJ”s request.
Dr. Sasaki: I think he just wanted to have me look at his wound, which was healing quite well.
More than talking about him, we talked about the Bible, Dr. Sasaki said.
He said he was there for medical purposes, though. The visits may have been 5 years apart.
Dr. Hoefflin strongly suggested he managed the pain medications since he knew the patient better.
Dr. Sasaki said that with celebrities, when he doesn’t get to see patients frequently, he prefers not to treat them.
Q: Did you provide any post operation pain care?
Q: Was that unusual?
A: It’s highly unusual
Dr. Sasaki said if he doesn’t see the patient regularly he prefers not to give pain medication.
He said he never talked to MJ about the pain treatment.
Dr. Sasaki: I think when you’re dealing with high profile clients, some doctors prefer to keep it under control.
Dr. Sasaki said he did the surgery but didn’t see the patient until 2-3 months later, which is highly unusual.
Q: Did you prescribe any medication to MJ?
Dr. Sasaki said normally a patient who undergoes that kind of surgery has pain lasting for 6 weeks.
Dr. Sasaki testified from his record that on June 30, 1993 he had the first post op follow up at the Dr. Klein’s office.
He said MJ was experiencing pain due to his work and rehearsals. He had to wear a hairpiece to camouflage the scar.
Dr. Sasaki said he told Debbie Rowe that the area should be exposed to air as much as possible to heal.
On July 3, 1993, Dr. Sasaki prescribed Percocet for MJ. It was the first time he prescribed pain medication to MJ.
Dr. Sasaki said he spoke with Dr. Klein and that Klein suggested Percocet.
Note: “Percocet is a short-acting oxycodone combination product, meaning that the narcotic is paired in tablet form with an over-the-counter analgesic, in this case, acetaminophen. Percocet is dispensed in tablet form in the following dosages: the first number represents the milligrams of the active narcotic, oxycodone, in each pill; the second number represents the milligrams of acetaminophen in each pill: 2.5 mg / 325 mg - 5 mg / 325 mg 7.5 mg / 325 mg - 7.5 mg / 500 mg - 10 mg / 325 mg – 10 mg / 650 mg.
Depending on the combination of narcotic Oxycodone and non-narcotic acetaminophen in the pill the maximum daily dosage is 6 to 12 pills, so if MJ were to take the maximal doze per day, the 45 tablets would be enough for 4-8 days.
On July 20, 1993, there was another request for Percocet, due to strenuous rehearsals, prescribed with the knowledge of Dr. Klein.
On Aug 10, 1993, Dr Sasaki received a phone call from Dr. Klein that MJ was experiencing extreme pain.
Doctor said pain was normal 4-6 weeks after surgery due to the nerves growing back.
Dr. Sasaki suggested to Dr. Klein that MJ be seen by a pain management specialist.
I was concerned about pain patterns and his use of Percocet, Dr. Sasaki testified.
Q: Was he taking too much?
Q: Where you the only person prescribing Percocet to MJ?
A: I don’t know
Dr. Sasaki said he prescribed 45 tablets of Percocet each time.
Dr. Sasaki told Dr. Klein and MJ he would no longer prescribe Percocet to MJ since he was asking for too much.
Q: Was that very frequent?
Percocet prescription, 45 tablets each time, were prescribed on: July 3, July 20 and Aug 10, 1993.
On Aug 15, 1993, Dr. Sasaki said he saw patient, with Debbie Rowe. He was complaining to pain in scar area, area had healed completely.
Dr. Sasaki said he injected site with pain reliever, gave Demerol 100 mg, suggested MJ to see pain specialist.
Aug 15, 1993 Dr. Sasaki prescribed Demerol to MJ under Omar Arnold. This was the first and last time Dr. Sasaki gave Demerol to MJ, he said.
Dr. Sasaki explained Demerol is for acute pain, not chronic pain, following major surgery.
Q: About how often do you prescribe Demerol?
Because I don’t do that kind of surgery that requires that kind of pain medication, Dr Sasaki testified. [A LIE!]
Dr. Sasaki said MJ was the only patient he injected with Demerol.
He testified he is not familiar with MJ’s announcement in 1993 about being dependent on prescription medication.
I’m totally ignorant regarding that, Dr. Sasaki said.
May 1998 was last time Dr. Sasaki saw and spoke with MJ. He knew doctors Hoefflin, Klein and Metzger treated MJ back then.
That ended the video deposition. Jurors ordered to return tomorrow at 10:45 am PT. Juror 6 has a court hearing somewhere else.
Debbie Rowe is expected to take the stand tomorrow. We hope to see you then for complete coverage of her testimony.
For the latest, watch @ABC7 and go to http://www.abc7.com . Have a good evening everyone!
So on June 30, 1993 the wound was still unhealed, but Michael was already rehearsing wearing a hairpiece. On July 3 Dr. Sasaki prescribed Michael the first painkiller in a pill form and on July 20 there was another request for it due to the strenuous rehearsals.
Though the rehearsals were rare they did take place as Michael was to soon leave on the third leg of the tour. But another reason why the pain was increasing was Evan Chandler’s extortion based on horrible allegations. On July 9 Pellicano taped Evan Chandler’s phone conversation with David Schwartz where he threatened Michael with a massacre and ending his career unless he met him at 8 am the next day for some sort of a talk where his plans to make films at Michael’s expense were surely to be laid out.
So Michael had much more reasons for having all that dreadful pain than ‘just’ an unhealed wound and a neuroma keloid forming on his scalp.
On August 10, 1993 Michael was already in extreme pain. His tour was to start in two weeks but his health was still a mess and a week later the Chandler threats were to become the worst of his nightmares. Marcel Avram complained that on August 19 Michael asked him to cancel or postpone the tour. The lawsuit he filed when Michael cancelled the Dangerous tour said:
He alleges that Jackson barely rehearsed for the tour and indeed requested to cancel or postpone it on Aug. 19–less than one week before the first concert was scheduled to take place in Bangkok.
So Michael did want and need more time for healing and getting off his medication, only he couldn’t do anything about it and had to go on the tour.
Dr. Sasaki says that for 6 weeks after the surgery the pain is “normal” forgetting that even one day of that anguish for a patient is unbearable without painkillers, and does not say that since March 16 this kind of pain lasted for Michael for five months. The reason for it was complications from the surgery and Michael’s terrible neurological state due to the shock of the allegations.
The next day, on Wednesday August 14 Debbie Rowe was speaking at the trial about the same period of Michael Jackson’s life only this time it was not a formal and fragmented account but the whole truth full of extremely painful details.
Debbie was forced to testify as she was subpoenaed by AEG, so she is not a willing participant in the case. Same as in 2005 her incredibly truthful and sincere testimony was an absolutely crucial one.
She named Hoefflin and Klein “idiots” for competing with each other in post-operative management of Michael’s pain, said she approached a third doctor, Dr. Metzger when she realized the hopelessness of the situation – Michael was to leave on a tour but was still dependent on Demerol for his pain and Dr. Matzger worked out a plan to replace narcotics with non-narcotic painkillers. She also mentioned a certain Dr. Forecast sent by the insurance company who exacerbated the problem and turned it into a complete mess by arrogantly defying all recommendations of Dr. Metzger.
We have already heard about Dr. Forecast from Karen Faye who said that on one occasion he drugged Michael so much that he fell over a potted tree and when Karen asked for the concert to be cancelled he took her by the throat, pressed her into the wall and said she didn’t know what she was doing. The concert was eventually cancelled but I will never forget that scene, and hope you won’t either.
Debbie’s account was absolutely dramatic. I am grateful to God that he gave Michael a nurse, friend and wife like Debbie Rowe:
Wednesday August 14, 2013 DAY 69
Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Very busy day today in Jackson family vs AEG trial. Debbie Rowe took the stand.
Katherine Jackson was present in court, wearing a floral jacket with purple, fuchsia and grey.
Deborah J. Rowe on the stand. AEG attorney Marvin Putnam is conducting the direct examination. She’s testifying pursuant to a subpoena.
Putnam: How are you doing today?
Rowe: It’s a little warm in here.
Putnam: Did you do anything to prepare for your testimony today?
Rowe: I took a shower (people laughed).
Putnam named several attorneys for both sides and asked Rowe if she knew them. She knew some by name only, mostly she said no.
Rowe said she lives 60 miles away. “I sat in traffic at a light for 20 minutes! 20 minutes!”
He became a patient, that’s how I met him, Rowe said about MJ.
Rowe said she breeds and trains quarter horses and paint horses for 10 years. She was born in Spokane, Washington.
Rowe’s father was a pilot for the Air Force. Her parents divorced, the kids moved to Los Angeles. Rowe was 11.
She went to Hollywood High, ValleyCollege, studied to be a nurse tech, EMT, began working with Dr. Klein.
Rowe studied to be EMT — Emergency Medical Technician. She worked for extern time with Shaffer ambulance company.
Rowe began working with Dr. Klein in July 1978-79. She said she’s not good with dates, but is good with facts. “I hated history,” she jokes.
She graduated high school in 1977, went to college for a year, EMT class and then began working at Dr. Klein.
One of the girls who studied with her worked in the insurance billing of Klein’s office and said the dermatologist was looking for assistant
He was a legend in his own mind, Rowe said about Dr. Klein. “We had a very high profile clientele.”
Rowe said Klein is a dermatologist, began working on skin diseases, then specialized on Botox and collagen, which he’s most known for now.
She worked with Dr Klein until 1997. Rowe said she’d take patients to the room, take their history, find out why they came to see the doctor
She explained the procedure, return call for the doctor, did biopsy reports, scheduled appointments.
Michael encouraged me to go back to college, Rowe said, that’s why she left Dr. Klein’s office in 97.
Rowe did Antioch University for 2 1/2 years. She got a degree in psychology. Rowe left LA and started her horse breeding in Palmdale.
Rowe said Dr. Klein would see high profile patients after hours or weekend. She got a call from Dr. Klein and tried really hard not to go.
She said even though they we not registered nurses, Dr. Klein called them nurses instead assistants.
Rowe said she opened the door of the room and MJ was there.
“I introduced myself, said nobody does what you do better, you’re amazing. And nobody does what I do better, I’m amazing.” She said MJ laughed about it and that’s when the friendship started. This was in 1982 or 84.
This was the first time, to Rowe’s knowledge, that MJ went to see Dr. Klein.
Putnam asked what kind of treatment it was. Rowe asked judge if she’s allowed to disclose medical information about patient. Judge said yes.
He was there for acne, Rowe responded. MJ was a patient of Dr. Klein until the time he passed away.
Rowe said Dr. Klein would call her, but she was probably the worse nurse, not formal at all.
She said she’s great hand holder but not a good to have scientific discussions. And Michael liked her casualness that way.
He came in more frequently, Rowe said after MJ was diagnosed with lupus in 93.
NOTE: This is a typo and should be 1983. Dr.Klein explained to Larry King that he diagnosed Michael with lupus the very first day Michael entered his office:
KING: Doctor, how did you first meet Michael?
DR. ARNIE KLEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON’S DERMATOLOGIST: I met Michael because someone had brought him into my office. And they walked into the room with Michael. And I looked one — took one look at him and I said you have lupus erythematosus. Now, this was a long word.
KLEIN: Lupus, yes. I mean, because he had red — a butterfly rash and he also had severe crusting you could see on the anterior portion of his scalp. I mean I always am very visual. I’m a person who would look at the lips of Mona Lisa and not see her smile. I would see the lips.
KING: Was he there because of that condition?
KLEIN: He was there only because a very close friend of his had told him to come see me about the problems he had with his skin. Because he was — he had severe acne, which many people…
KING: Oh, he did?
KLEIN: Yes, he did. And many people made fun of him. He used to remember trying to clean it off and he’d gone to these doctors that really hurt him very much. And he was exquisitely sensitive to pain.
So he walked into my office. He had several things wrong with his skin. So I said — and you have thick crusting of your scalp and you have some hair loss.
He says, well, how do you know this?
I said, because it’s the natural course of lupus. So I then did a biopsy. I diagnosed lupus. And then our relationship went from there.
Rowe: “We would speak on the phone, quite often.”
They spoke regularly until they were divorced. Rowe said she married MJ in 1996. They were married for 3 years.
She said she didn’t move to Palmdale until 2002.
Rowe said besides acne, they treated MJ for lupus and vitiligo.
She said she doesn’t remember when collagen was approved by FDA. I know for sure it was during “Dangerous” tour. Putnam said it was 1992/93
MJ was receiving collagen before the tour for acne scar. Botox was not available yet.
Putnam: Was he being given pain medication or numbing?
Rowe: Not in the beginning, I think we did it without anything once or twice.
Rowe said they’d give MJ 100 mg of Demerol intramuscular. “I gave him the injection,” she said. “Because of the pain of collagen injection.”
Putnam: Where there other drugs for pain?
Rowe: The only thing was 100 mg of Demerol.
He had a low tolerance for pain, Rowe said.
Putnam: How about percodan?
Putnam: How about Vicodin?
Rowe: Not for procedures in the office.
Michael respected doctors tremendously that they went to school and studied. And meant no harm, Rowe said, crying.
Rowe begins to cry.
Unfortunately some doctors decided when Michael was in pain that they would try to outbid each other on who could give the better drug.
So he listened to the doctors. Rowe said the doctors were Klein and Hoefflin.
MJ asked Rowe to be present to make sure everything was ok.
“Michael had a very low pain tolerance,” she said.
His fear of pain was incredible, Rowe said, crying. “And I think the doctors took advantage of him in that way.”
Rowe: If someone comes to you and say they’re the best at what they do and someone else that you see claims the same, who do you listen to?
Rowe said Dr Sasaki prescribed Percodan and Vicodin to MJ after the scalp surgery.
Sasaki’s procedure on MJ was extremely painful, Rowe said
Michael Jackson’s doctors:
Klein — dermatologist
Metzger — internist
Hoefflin — plastic surgeon
Rowe went to see MJ twice a day and over the weekend when he had the surgery.
Rowe said docs Klein and Hoefflin were competing. “I was concerned that he was not getting better, the two doctors were going back and forth and I needed one doctor to talk to me. And I chose Dr. Metzger.” Rowe said.
She said she called Metzger as a friend, since it was probably not appropriate to call another doctor to rat out the doctor you worked for.
Klein was not doing what was the best for Michael, Rowe testified.
The only physician who ever did anything, who cared for Michael was Dr. Metzger, Rowe said, crying again.
Putnam asked if there was any other doctor who treated until he passed. “Dr. Murray got in there and killed him, so I don’t know,” she said.
Rowe said that after the burn, his scalp had scars and, because he was black, he developed keloid, thickening, painful scars.
He didn’t want to wear the hairpiece, Rowe said. They were going in and having balloon expansion surgery every week.
His sensitivity to pain was off the charts at this time, Rowe explained.
Putnam: What was your concern with Dr. Hoefflin?
Rowe: Overprescribing medications.
You don’t call someone and say here, let’s take dilaudid instead of aspirin when you’re trying to get off, she said.
These idiots were going back and forth all the time and not caring about him, Rowe said.
Dilaudid is a form of morphine, she said.
Putnam asked if MJ took the stronger painkiller.
No, because I took it away, Rowe said. “Hoefflin gave it to him and I said no, you’re not taking it. So I threw it away.”
He was so afraid of pain because the pain was so great, Rowe recalled.
Rowe said she ended up with Michael all the time, until the procedure was over. “I think he had to rehearse for the tour.”
Dr. Metzger laid out plan to reduce Demerol and substitute medication for non-narcotic.
Rowe: To wean him off narcotic to non-narcotic, because he was leaving to go on tour.
I was the one giving the medication to Michael at the time, Rowe said.
Rowe: He (MJ) had a place in CenturyCity, I worked in BH, I would be there every day to take lunch, stopped before going home.
She would come back if MJ needed. That lasted 6 weeks, until MJ went on tour, she said.
Rowe said she didn’t know anything about Propofol back then. She now knows Diprivan is the same as Propofol.
MJ was getting Diprivan for procedures. Rowe said she doesn’t know if it was at Dr. Hoefflin or Klein’s office, maybe for collagen injection
Rowe said Klein had a handful of patients who got Demerol for collagen injections.
Hoefflin had an anesthesiologist and surgical suite in his office. Over the years, Rowe said Hoefflin gave Diprivan to MJ probably 10 times
Rowe: However, there were occasions that MJ wanted to have it, he had extensive scarring on his nose that made it difficult to breathe.
Rowe said there were occasions Michael asked Hoefflin to do inject steroids on his nose, and Dr. Hoefflin would put MJ out.
He didn’t treat him, he would tape him as he had injected him, Rowe testified.
It took him a little while to wake up, 4-5 hours, which I think it’s normal for plastic surgeon.
Rowe said when anesthetist David Fournier woke MJ up, it was maybe 1 hour for Michael to recover. With Hoefflin, she was there for 4-6 hours
Rowe explained Dr. Hoefflin said he didn’t see the scaring in MJ’s nose, so he wasn’t going to do the procedure.
Putnam: But he told Michael he had done the procedure?
Putnam asked when Propofol was used in MJ. “Only with the injections for scarring around the nose,” Rowe responded.
Putnam: Otherwise he would not have Propofol?
Rowe: Diprivan. All the time I went to see Dr. Hoefflin he put him under.
Rowe: Fournier is a nurse anesthetist, would come to the office with all the equipment to monitor Michael.
Rowe: He was allowed to do it until 1996, when law changed and it had to be done at surgery center.
Rowe said she doesn’t remember who the person giving Diprivan was in Dr. Hoefflin’s office. She described Fournier as a very nice man.
Rowe said MJ got Diprivan (Propofol) when Dr. Klein injected collagen, if we had to do acne treatments.
She said Dr. Klein has 5-6 patients who take Diprivan for collagen injection and Botox.
After lunch, Rowe is back on the stand.
Putnam: How are you doing, Ms. Rowe?
Rowe: I missed you…
Putnam asked if MJ talked about going to doctors office to sleep. “He talked with Dr. Metzger about that,” Rowe said.
She testified that after Hoefflin put him out, it took him 4-5 hours to wake up. Whereas in Klein’s office, in one hour he was fine.
He did have trouble sleeping, Rowe said.
Putnam: Did he tell you he sometimes went to a doctor to be put under to sleep?
Rowe: It was he got sleep after he had the procedure done.
Putnam: So he didn’t get put under to get sleep?
Rowe: No, I misunderstood what you asked (during her deposition).
Putnam: And did you have an understanding MJ would seek help to sleep at doctor’s office?
Rowe: Not until we became friends
Putnam: Did he ever discuss it with you?
Rowe: Only when I was there
Putnam: Did he get sleep at doctor’s office?
Putnam: Do those include the 3 times he was out of the country?
Putnam: You were insisted to be there?
Rowe: I wanted to make sure he woke up (crying)
Putnam: Why did you insist on that?
Rowe: He was put down, procedure didn’t take 1 hour, but for some reason the anesthesiologist put him under, he slept longer than Fournier.
Rowe clarified that MJ wasn’t put to sleep, he didn’t have the IV running, he was in the recovery room sleeping.
Rowe: For whatever reason, he was in the recovery room for 5-6 hours as opposed to an hour in our office.
I don’t know what the difference in how they sedated Michael, Rowe said.
Putnam: Did it concern you?
You make it sound like he was going in all the time, but he wasn’t, Rowe said crying. “You’re talking about a 12 year period.”
Rowe said the scalp surgery was different from the time he was having scar tissue on his nose and couldn’t breathe.
She said MJ would go in sometimes every 6 months, some times sooner than that to see Dr. Hoefflin.
Putnam: How often was he seeing Dr. Klein?
Rowe: In the early 90s, not that often.
Rowe: We tried not using an anesthesiologist, and that’s when Klein suggested to use Demerol.
Rowe: After his scalp surgery, it’s when the issue with his pain became more of a problem. His fear of pain became a bigger issue.
He didn’t have that before, the Demerol he got was enough, Rowe explained.
Rowe said MJ didn’t come in for collagen unless he had to do a performance or appearance somewhere.
Putnam: Did you believe when he told you he was in pain?
Rowe: Klein was injecting him in the lower eyelid, yeah, I believed him.
Rowe said in the beginning when they did the collagen they were doing it on the nasal-labial fold.
But the pain was closer to the nose area because of the scarring, it was turning black and blue.
Rowe: When he’d lose weight, this would come up. He would lose weight because he was rehearsing. He lost 8-9 lbs of water every show he did.
Rowe: It’s when you get to the eyes and around the eyes, it does hurt. We didn’t start doing the center of the face until later.
Rowe said in “Dangerous” tour (92-93) there was collagen for nasal-labial fold, acne treatment and management of lupus.
Rowe said she was assigned to MJ. “He was my patient,” she said. She was the assistant Michael would have.
Rowe said MJ was getting Diprivan with Dr. Hoefflin because it was for surgical procedure.
Rowe said after the procedure with Dr. Sasaki in 93, she was concerned with MJ’s use of prescription drugs.
I don’t remember if it was worse and worse (the pain), or it was just not getting better, Rowe said.
Rowe: MJ had seen Hoefflin, Hoefflin had given him dilaudid and MJ called Klein. Klein didn’t understand anything he was saying on phone.
I left the office and stayed with him at the Sheraton, Rowe said. She believes dilaudid is a morphine.
NOTE: In his interview TMZ (Nov.6, 2009) Klein said he confiscated the Dilaudid given to Michael by Hoefflin which was lying about as Michael did not use it:
Klein I don’t think he had a terrible problem with Demerol because you didn’t find tons of narcotics. Now I went over his house once and in his house I found all this Dilaudid that he got from his favourite plastic surgeon and I flushed it all in the toilet, you know? …But I’m telling you, if’s there a bottle of drugs they find in his house and it’s not used, right? There’s these bottles that were not used. It means he didn’t use that drug because it was not important to him. If it was important to him he would have used it.
Levin Yet you had enough alarm that you flushed it down the toilet.
Klein Dilaudid is milligram for milligram ten times stronger than Morphine.
Rowe: He was heavily under the influence of whatever Hoefflin had given him. The bottle on the dresser when I walked in and I took the pills
Rowe: I put them in my purse
Putnam: You took them?
P: Did you tell him you were taking it?
Putnam: What did you say?
Rowe: I’m taking this, you’re f***ed up, I’m sorry..
Putnam: What did he answer?
Rowe: He said yeah, and then I asked if he was ok. Then I unplugged all the phones in the hotel room
Rowe: He liked to talk on the phone, you couldn’t understand him, I didn’t want him to embarrass himself. I was there all night.
Rowe said she doesn’t know why MJ was at the Sheraton, she thinks he never told her.
Rowe said there was Dr. Sasaki in 93, MJ was getting ready for a tour, a leg of a tour, I don’t know which.
Rowe: We couldn’t get grip of pain, Sasaki had stepped away, Hoefflin and Klein were having a pissing contest over who gave him better drugs
Not a contest, a pissing match, Rowe said.
NOTE: In retaliation to Klein Dr. Hoefflin stated that he reviewed Michael’s medical records for August 1993 and found that Klein and Debbie Rowe had given too much Demerol to MJ. However now we know that Debbie Rowe was replacing part of Demerol with a non-narcotic drug suggested by Dr. Metzger and the records state what MJ was formally, not factually given.
“I was shocked to see the huge amount of narcotics … and other medications that both Dr. Klein and [Jackson's former wife] Debbie Rowe were injecting into Michael,” Hoefflin states.
For example, Klein and Rowe, who worked as a nurse for Klein, injected as much as 1,850 mg of Demerol into Jackson during a three-day period in August 1993, according to Hoefflin’s declaration.
“It is my understanding that this dangerous trend did not end until Michael’s death,” Hoefflin states.
Hoefflin additionally says he believes, based on media reports, that while treating Jackson, Klein “or someone else at his direction, used Demerol, propofol and tranquilizers on Michael Jackson.”
Hoefflin also says the singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, wanted him to try and find out what happened to her famous offspring . “Jackson’s mother asked Hoefflin to privately investigate her son’s death,” according to court papers filed on behalf of Hoefflin with the Court of Appeal.
But Klein’s lawyers dispute the claim. They state in their appellate court papers that Hoefflin “misrepresented his authority to make statements on behalf of the Jackson family and the estate of Michael Jackson.”
The plastic surgeon says he and Klein had a falling-out in 2002 when the dermatologist “advised Michael Jackson not to go into a planned drug rehabilitation program.”
Out of the medication the two “idiots” gave to Michael sometimes Debbie gave him none at all:
Rowe said MJ was fine the next morning, he didn’t need anything.
I didn’t leave dilaudid with him and didn’t leave the medication that Klein sent him, Rowe explained.
Rowe said she took meds from Klein’s office and she knows Hoefflin’s drugs came from his office also, there was no prescription.
Putnam: Was Dr. Klein giving MJ Demerol?
Rowe: If he was seeing Klein for acne treatment, yes.
Rowe said it started with 50 mg of Demerol, Klein bumped up to 100 mg, then 100 mg with 50 mg of Vistaril. She said the Vistaril was to give less demerol. Vistaril is like benadryl, she explained.
Q. And did you have an understanding as to why Dr. Kelin was giving those two drugs together?
Rowe: To give less Demerol. Because Vistaril causes the medication to work more efficiently, or enhances it.
Rowe: There were times I’d take half the Demerol out and give more Vistaril. Because I didn’t think he needed that much.
Putnam: Did you ever tell Klein you changed the doses?
Rowe: No. He was my boss, he was the doctor, he didn’t need to know I called Metzger.
Putnam asked about the Fentanyl patch. Rowe said she doesn’t know the details of the patch, but knows about the patch.
Rowe: It was after Dr. Sasaki. … Because we couldn’t get a grip on the pain as that tissue expander gets bigger and bigger, it causes a lot more pressure, a lot more pain, it’s stretching all scar tissue I don’t remember where in this three-month treatment the patch was used.
Putnam: So you were reducing the dosage. How often did you do that with Mr. Jackson in this time period?
Rowe: If he came in more than once a week. The closer it got to him leaving to go on tour the more often it was because he would have to fly Klein to see him on tour, and that got expensive.
Q. Were you concerned about any other drugs that Mr. Jackson was taking?
A. Michael was getting ready to go on tour. It was after the Sasaki surgery. He wasn’t completely off the Demerol, but he was right there. He was on Toradol, which is a non-narcotic, and he was right there. And it was a fight to get him there, because he had such fear of the pain that what would happen if we didn’t catch it before it gets to a certain point, then you have to go overboard, you have to go a different way. And he was doing so well, and I didn’t want anything to get screwed up.
Rowe: I talked to him and asked him how he was one morning, and he said he didn’t feel good. And I said, “well, I’ll just bring you soup for lunch then” and I said, “I have to see a patient, so I won’t be there until later”. And I probably would have gotten there like 1:30 or 2:00 and everything was gone at the house. His instruments, his clothes, everything was gone. And I called – I think it was Evvy that was working for him – and she said, “he’s gone on tour” and I said, “well, how could he just go on tour? He doesn’t have any of the stuff” and she said – she sounded like they took him, there was really nothing we can do.
Rowe: I didn’t know he was leaving. So I called Dr. Metzger and told him how concerned I was. And I got a call from Dr. Metzger after I’d already gotten home from work that day, and he said that I needed to take all the medication that I had had for Michael for bringing him off the Demerol and getting him on the Toradol – I needed to take it to this doctor at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills. And I said okay. Now, Dr. Metzger had written specific instructions on what medications were supposed to be given, when they were supposed to be given, and I had all of my notes that I wrote after I did – I always called the doctor before I did something, I always made a note when I did it, I always called the doctor afterwards to let them know what was happening.
I met the doctor at the Peninsula, and I offered to go over everything with him; and he just grabbed the bag and said, “I know what I’m doing.” And he didn’t want to listen to anything I said, Rowe recalled crying.
And I called Dr. Metzger and told him I was worried about it. And then I found out that Forecast had gone to Bangkok and the first thing he did was give Michael 100 milligrams of Demerol. And I’m like he screwed everything up that we had done, Rowe said, crying.
Rowe then points to Jessica Bina, attorney for AEG, and says “She’s mad because… what????”
Judge said attorneys need to talk sometimes.
Putnam: Were you trying to get him off the drugs?
Rowe: At the very end of this time period yes
R: Because he was going on tour. That was after the procedure with Gordon Sasaki, and before he was gone on tour.
Q. And did that happen one time or two times in Century City?
R: I was there almost every night.
You can’t do narcotics forever. He knew that. He knew he had to go on Toradol, Rowe recalled.
Rowe said Dr. Metzger designed a plan diminishing the amount of medication and increasing or using other ones.
Q. And did Dr. Metzger come and stay with you at any point in CenturyCity with Mr. Jackson to try to help with this?
Rowe: He saw him during the day. I don’t know if Dr. Metzger went to see him at the house or the condo or if Michael went to his office. But when I was there at night, I was by myself.
Q. An did you stay every night?
R: Most nights.
Q. And why was that?
R: He was my friend.
Q. Were you staying there to help with the post-op, or were you there to help him try to get off the drugs?
Q. And did Mr. Jackson understand that you were trying to help him get off the drugs?
R: Yes. – - We talked about it.
Q. And did he say that he wanted to get off the drugs?
R: I kind of don’t give people that luxury of an option.
Q. What do you mean by that?
R: I’m probably one of the only people that said no to him, so as far as I was concerned , this is what the doctor decided, and this is what was going to be done. And he respected the doctors, and their opinions, and what they wanted with the prescription drugs, so he did what he was told to do by the doctors.
Q. You mentioned that you talked to Dr. Metzger about your concern about the fact that Dr. Hoefflin and Dr. Klein were competing with each other in terms of giving drugs, correct?
Rowe: Yes. And Metzger did speak to both of them.
She heard Metzger on the phone with Klein, said they then became using Vistaril. “I think that was the point that Klein added Vistaril to using Demerol.”
Q. You said that by the time you went to the Peninsula, you thought it was going well?
R: I did.
Q. Why was that?
R: Because he was like a quarter of a patch of Demerol — it may have been Fentanyl and maybe all this time I thought it was a Demerol patch and I remember incorrectly. But it was only a quarter of a patch that he had, and he was on Toradol. There were no injections.
Q. And was he proud of himself? Was he glad?
R. Michael wasn’t a prideful person, so —
Rowe said she told MJ in Mexico City that he had a problem with drugs.
During the 3 week period in Century City, she didn’t say it was a problem. “I said you’re taking too much, you can’t take this forever.”
Q. Were you proud of the fact that he managed to wean himself off it in a three-week period?
A. I was relieved that he was able to take something less and that he wasn’t in the pain that he was in after the surgery.
Putnam: Do you know the amount of Demerol he was taking?
Rowe: Dr. Metzger probably did because of the plan he had put together.
Putnam: Was it a difficult 3 weeks?
Rowe: It was for Michael. The fear of the pain, he was very restless. There was a lot of stuff going on [the Chandlers], and I had no idea anything was going on, I didn’t even know he was getting ready to go on tour.
Putnam: And when you went to his apartment everything was gone?
Rowe: I didn’t know he was leaving.
Rowe: But we weren’t finished with everything, and that was why I was so upset that this Dr. Forecast wouldn’t listen to what Dr. Metzger — Forecast hadn’t been in on anything that had happened over the last few months. He didn’t know, but he was taking everything and being an arrogant ass about it.
Rowe said she was at the Peninsula Hotel for not even 5 minutes. She met Dr. Forecast on the lobby.
Q. Did you bring Dr. Forecast something?
R. I brought him the medications, I brought him the records, the copies. I brought him the plan that had been laid out by Dr. Metzger, and all my notes.
Q. And where did you get that material?
R. My information I have. I had a copy of the plan because Dr. Metzger had to give it to me. And I would fax him or call Metzger — I was very obsessed about taking notes when I was doing something, especially if it was out of the office. And I took the notes, and I would fax them to Dr. Metzger, but at the end when anything was done, I would give him the original notes and they would be in his chart.
Q. And this material you brought to Dr. Forecast, it was all in your possession before you brought it?
R. Yeah. It’s not like it was a ton of material. It was – it was whatever the patches were. I believe there was some Demerol, there was some Toradol. I don’t remember if it was injectable or if it was the pill form. And there was my notes and everything that had been done. And I made sure Metzger’s number was on it, Klein’s number was on it, and that is both their home number and the office number, like the private lines and stuff.
Q. And had Dr. Metzger told you to bring that to this Dr. Forecast?
Q. And was that all the material you had been using the prior three weeks for this program?
Q. And did you have an understanding when you went there that this Dr. Forecast was going on the tour?
R. That’s what I was told.
Dr. Klein treated MJ while on tour. Rowe went with him. She remembered going on the Dangerous and HIStory tours and end of Bad tour.
Bad tour was just acne treatment, Rowe said. Dangerous tour was acne, collagen and vitiligo; HIStory acne, vitiligo, lupus, collagen.
Putnam: How about Botox?
Rowe: I don’t think Botox was approved before I left.
Putnam: How do you travel with collagen?
Rowe: It’s almost like you ship the seed of love from a horse in a thermos.
Rowe: I’d give Demerol and Disteril and Dr. Klein would treat him.
Putnam: Was there a time on tour you were concerned with MJ misusing Demerol?
Rowe: Mexico City
Rowe said MJ was supposed to go to Puerto Rico after Mexico City, but never made it.
He was a hot mess, Rowe said when she saw him in Mexico City.
He was depressed, he had taken something, I don’t know what he had taken or he had gotten it from, Rowe recalled.
He was on something, that he was taking something. I thought he was back on Demerol, Rowe said.
Rowe: I walked into the room, his suites were never a mess. The suite was a mess. He wasn’t kept, he was always kept.
Rowe: He wasn’t making eye contact, he wasn’t speaking, he didn’t make sense when he did and he said was having problem with his scalp again
We got in a fight, Rowe said. “I’m hot headed, I went off on him about Forecast.”
Rowe: I was angry that Forecast had intercepted Metzger, that Forecast had undermined everything that was done.
I thought Forecast was hurting him not helping, Rowe explained. “He was arrogant.”
It had only been 6 weeks since Rowe had seen Michael. “Then I went to Mexico City and he was a completely different person,” she said.
“You cannot go to Puerto Rico.” Rowe said, “You go to Puerto Rico, it’s like being in the United States, and you can’t go looking and acting like this.” I said. “You need to straighten up, you need to face whatever it is that’s going on, and we’ll get through it. You can’t just do this.” I was really angry.
This fight went on for 2-3 days, Rowe said. “You have to go somewhere to get better or it’s not gonna work,” Rowe told MJ.
Putnam: Did he admit he had a problem?
Rowe: He knew that he screwed up. He knew he was messed up. He did.
He went to some place in England, rehab.
Rowe: “Michael and I had very few fights. When we had them it was lulus.”
NOTE: Lulu, Definition: Thing considered to be outstanding in size, appearance, etc.
“And because we were such good friends, when we would get back together, it was both of us – I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” She cried on the stand again.
I’m talking about what happened, why I flew off the handle, why –if he flew off the handle, why he got angry. So we talked about it, and I said, you know, “I’m not about to lose my best friend over something like this … I realized you’re going through it, I’m not. I realize I can’t protect you, I can’t – I can’t make everything better, as much as I want to, so you have to do it.” And I reminded him how strong he was. I said, “It will pass.” I said, “You haven’t done anything, and you just need to be strong”.
Q. Did he say why he was angry with you?
A. He was – he wasn’t really mad at me. It was more he felt that he had disappointed me. And I told him that he hadn’t disappointed me; that I blamed it on Forecast, and that I feel a doctor has a responsibility to a patient. Forecast was yet another doctor that didn’t put him first as a patient, as a human being, as somebody who needed a doctor.
Q. Did you confront Dr. Forecast?
A. No. They wouldn’t let me see him, the management people.
He trusted people. He foolishly, foolishly trusted a lot of people, Rowe said. “He knew I was going to go and chew his a** out.”
Rowe: I asked security to talk to the doctor, they said I needed to get it cleared, and was told no.
As far as she knows MJ completed the rehab program.
Putnam: Did you see him after rehab?
P: How did he look?
R: He looked great
P: Did you talk to him about it?
R: No, it didn’t interest me at the time. He said he was feeling better and was ok, Rowe testified.
Putnam: After that time, was there ever another time where you were worried about him in terms of his use of Demerol?
A. I’m trying to remember. I’m really trying. Not like that, no. Because – no, because he was fine. He was clean. Because it was, you know, within like three years. I mean, at that time, he’d started doing I think the History album, and he was recording, and he was really, really busy, like all the time busy.
Q. And he seemed fine?
A. Yeah. He would actually come to Klein’s office – I went to pick him up a couple of times because oh, my god, he was a horrible driver, and I didn’t want him driving the Canyon from the Valley to Beverly Hills by himself because then he’d be like on the phone. Cell phones were kind of new in the cars, and just – it was sad. He needed a driver.
Q. He seemed okay to you?
A. He was fine. And then he saw Klein, and then I would take him back to the studio and he’d be working.
Q. And during that time, would he still be getting Demerol from Klein when he would have procedures?
A. I would have to see the chart. But I know on occasions, no, there was no Demerol or Vistaril.
Q. You said on occasions. On other occasions, were there?
A. Yes, After the surgery, the area that was done fell apart, just because of the Discoid Lupus, the skin was what you call friable, it’s very soft, mushy, and it just – everything just started falling apart. So it started with the pain again and managing so that he wouldn’t get the Keloids and the scarring.
Q. And he continued to get Demerol then, from Dr. Klein in this time period up until you left Dr. Klein’s office?
A. He did, but he wasn’t at the office an inordinate amount of time — many times.
Q. So you weren’t worried?
A. No, because I saw him on the set working when he was doing videos, taping videos, and he looked great.
She saw him on set of “Ghost” and he looked great, Rowe recalls.
Putnam asked about MJ using Propofol for sleep. It happened only in Germany, and it was 2 days, she responded.
Rowe said Prince was a baby, it was 1996, 97 during HIStory tour. “There were 2 anesthesiologists and equipment, looked like surgical suite”
Putnam: So in Germany during HIStory tour, MJ was taking propofol/diprivan to sleep?
Rowe: Only those two occasions.
I believe it was set up through Dr. Metzger, she said.
Putnam: And no procedure was being done, just to sleep?
Putnam: Two nights in a row?
Rowe: You guys haven’t seen a concert of his. There’s no way – no way he could ever do a concert two nights in a row. His shows were so physical. And so he always had at least one night, usually two nights in between, from what I remember.
Rowe explained the two occasions during the German tour when Propofol was used right the night before the show:
Day 1 night before show — Propofol
Day 2 show
Day 3 nothing
Day 4 Propofol
Day 5 show
Rowe said Propofol was not done in Paris and London. In Germany, MJ was in a hotel room, doctors came in and set it up.
I didn’t know we were going to have a second time. She said she didn’t know there was going to be a first time either.
Rowe said MJ had called Metzger and said he didn’t sleep. “I called Metzger to find out what we could do,” Rowe described.
They had set everything up and Metzger said the doctors were coming. Rowe said she voiced her concerns to MJ and Metzger.
She said it was a little drastic to do something like that and they were in another country, she didn’t know the name of the medications.
Rowe said Dr. Metzger talked to Michael and it wasn’t Dr. Metzger’s first choice.
Putnam: Why diprivan, not sedative, sleeping pills?
Rowe: I think he tried and it didn’t work. And if he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t perform.
He said he was at the end of his rope and didn’t know what else to do, Rowe recalled.
P: Did he indicate he had done it before?
Putnam: Did he indicate he was worried about this?
Rowe: He didn’t seem to be. We sat with the doctors and went over all the risks/concerns
“They said it was the same stuff we had used in the States,” Rowe explained.
She’s familiar with Fentanyl, Diprivan, but not Propofol, never used that word. “They warned him that any anesthesia is dangerous” Rowe said
Putnam: Did you tell him you were afraid he might die?
Rowe: No, I said what happens if you die.
“He had so many procedures done with Hoefflin I don’t think he was worried about it,” Rowe said.
Putnam: Did he seem worried at all?
Rowe: No, he just seemed worried about not sleeping.
Rowe said the doctors did a physical on MJ prior. “I was very impressed, I was very comfortable with Michael being under their care.”
Debbie left his side because the baby was there and she was going back and forth. It was a hard 8 hours period, Rowe said about Diprivan/Propofol. “It was 8 hours and that was it.”
Rowe said next day MJ warmed up with his voice coach on the phone. He never talked to anybody on the day of the performance, rested voice during the day, but when he was at the venue he did the meet-and-greets and was with Karen to do the make-up.
I spoke to him the next day. I asked how he was feeling and he said that he had felt better, Rowe remembered.
Putnam: Did you remain concerned he had done this?
Rowe: No, it was the one time
Putnam: But then he did it again one day later?
Rowe: He said he hadn’t slept after the concert. And I called Dr. Metzger, and I believe it was decided that this isn’t something you can do all the time. You absolutely cannot do it.
Rowe: Dr. Stoll and his assistant did it. They did a physical, it was almost exactly the same as the first time.
They were a little more emphatically you can’t do this, we are not doing this again, Rowe said.
Rowe: It was the end of the tour or something that he was going to be going home, so we were going to get the sleep – have the issue addressed, and he’s always had a sleep disorder, but I don’t remember why it had kicked in high gear like it had at that point.
Q. And when you say that you were going to have it addressed, what do you mean?
A. Like we were going to like go to a sleep — sleep facility for – I don’t know what you call it.
Q. And did you do that?
A. We did. We did biofeedback. There were a couple of doctors that he spoke to and saw regarding the sleep. But again, I don’t remember how long after that was.
Q. Do you remember the doctors’ names?
A. No. I didn’t go to those appointments. I was the one that suggested let’s do biofeedback and things like that, but I don’t know the doctors to talk to for that, so Dr. Metzger had set those up. And I believer Dr. Metzger was with him, or had set up the appointments and stuff, and that he just went.
Even with the doctors in Germany, he woke up, she said. “He was not sound asleep like when he saw Dr. Hoefflin.”
Rowe: In Germany, he was awake right away after the drip had stopped and was able to function and walk around within an hour. With Hoefflin, he was in the recovery room, with oxygen, for 5-6 hrs
He’d come to Klein’s office and sleep, Rowe said.
Putnam: With Diprivan?
Rowe: No just sleep. He slept when he had procedures.
Rowe: He slept when he had the procedures at Hoefflin and he slept after Hoefflin had done the procedure.
Rowe: But that was the only place that had happened that I had seen Michael have anesthesia, that was only place it happened, at Hoefflin’s
Putnam: After second time in hotel room, were you concerned he was going to do it again?
Rowe: That wasn’t going to happened again.
Q. And tell me about that conversation.
A. It wasn’t really much of a conversation other than that’s just not going to happen again.
Q. And why not?
A. It just wasn’t going to happen again. We weren’t going to do it.
You don’t give someone Diprivan to sleep. It’s not appropriate, it’s not a labeled use, Rowe expressed.
Rowe: He didn’t do it after that. He did it one more time. After those two times, he never did it when I was around. It was not going to happen.
Q. And if he did it any other time after that, you weren’t present, correct?
A. No, because it would not have happened.
Putnam: Did security, nanny see him being put under?
A. Did they come in while he was asleep? I’m not going to let someone come in there while he’s asleep. That’s kind of rude.
Q. That’s why I’m asking. So did anybody come in besides the doctors and you when Mr. Jackson was hooked up?
A. Grace might have, my nanny.
Q. Okay. But you just don’t recall?
A. Do you let people in your bedroom? Because that’s kind of weird.
Rowe took notes of the procedure and gave Dr. Metzger to include in his chart. “Then I took the copies from the doctors and asked them to write the letter and then they also sent Dr. Metzger a letter, I think later –”
“I worked with Dr. Klein until 1997. I would go to Europe every – every other week to see the kids – well, to see Prince. We were making Paris.”
Rowe: After Michael and I decided to separate, Michael got “custody” of the doctors.
Rowe: It was more important for me that he had Metzger.
Rowe: Because Metzger cared about Michael as a human being, wanted the best for him, talked to him for hours.
Rowe: Michael could be strong-willed for about 10 minutes, then reasonable and he respected Dr. Metzger very much.
Rowe: We were married. When I was no longer working with Dr. Klein, I felt like I had a completely different role in his life.
I couldn’t go in to Dr Klein’s office and look at his chart, it’s illegal. I felt if he wanted me there he’d talk to me about it Rowe said
He needed somebody to be there for him, to not take him, to not look at him as a cash cow, Rowe expressed.
Rowe: I wasn’t sure how Michael would be when he woke up. We’d stay in different areas of the hotel because fans would keep the baby awake and I enjoy my sleep.
Rowe said that he told Grace if MJ came up and was not right to not let him alone with the baby.
Klein at one time was a brilliant physician, and it was very sad what happened to him, Rowe testified.
Rowe said they would get together at Klein’s office and talk. “Everybody agreed that it was a little too much to have Diprivan to sleep.”
Paris was four when Rowe saw Michael the last time. That would’ve been in 2003.
Putnam: When it came out he died of overdose of Propofol, how did you react?
Rowe: I actually called Dr Klein and said ‘what did you give him, you killed him’ because TMZ had shown – - Objection.
She thought he was responsible in some way Rowe testified, but eventually she learned that it was this Propofol stuff
Rowe: I didn’t know what Propofol was. I still didn’t know what it was. I think it was at a deposition I was told it was the same thing (as diprivan)
Putnam: Other than Germany, was there any other time MJ used Diprivan to sleep?
Rowe: Not that I was aware of, no.
Putnam concluded direct examination.
Deborah Chang, attorneys for the Jacksons, did cross examination at 3:55 pm PT.
Chang asked how Rowe was. “I have a headache to die for, I’m tired,” Rowe said.
At the day of the deposition, plaintiffs didn’t show up. Rowe said AEG attorneys told her they didn’t want to come.
Rowe hung up on Mrs. Jackson’s assistant when asked to talk to KJ’s attorney because she said she didn’t want to testify on anyone’s behalf.
She’s here now because of defendant’s subpoena, would not come to testify voluntarily.
Rowe is not the legal guardian of either Prince and Paris Jackson. Mrs. Jackson and TJ Jackson are, she said.
Chang asked if prior to this year is it true she spent little time with Prince and Paris. Rowe said that was true.
Rowe said she reestablished seeing daughter Paris this year. She never spoke to the kids about this lawsuit.
It was not like we ever hated each other, Rowe said about MJ.
Chang: Do you agree you were close friends for 20 years?
Rowe: Yes, longer.
Chang: But communication got complicated because of divorce lawyers?
Rowe: There were divorce lawyers/personal assistants that were annoying and difficult.
Rowe said at Klein’s office they did studies of collagen and Botox. She knew Dr. Klein well.
Chang: Despite what you think of him now, was Dr. Klein considered a respected dermatologist?
Rowe: He was, he was brilliant. He was a professor at UCLA and Stanford.
First time MJ went to Dr. Klein he was still in his 20s, and acne caused embarrassment, Rowe said.
MJ had discoid lupus, which is a disease in the skin, Rowe said. Discoid lupus is not systemic lupus, which is throughout the body.
His scarring was from the burn in the Pepsi commercial, Rowe said. MJ also had vitiligo, which causes discoloration of the skin.
Chang wants to show a picture of a black male’s hand with vitiligo. Defendants objected, Chang asked for sidebar.
Judge broke session until today at 9:30 am PT. Rowe is ordered back. We hope to see you here for full coverage.
Putnam keeps talking of propofol which was used mainly for procedures and only twice for off-label use when MJ “was at the end of the rope” and had to get ready for the two final concerts during the History tour, while Debbie keeps talking about opiate medications the dependency on which was really growing on Michael and became his real problem in 1993.
Propofol wasn’t Michael’s problem until AEG forced Michael into 50 shows and even then it could have been avoided or brought to a minimum if Michael had had enough time between the shows for natural sleep, and hadn’t been terribly pressurized by AEG about those rehearsals. It was Michael’s last resort and if things had not come to the worst there would have never been any need for propofol either.
But opiates in 1993 were a problem. However even here things were quite reversible while Debbie and Dr. Metzger were working on weaning Michael off them.
The opiates turned into a real problem only when two more doctors stepped into Michael’s life and these were Dr. Forecast and Dr. Finkelstein. Debbie says that Michael was progressing well, but one or the other of those two doctors ruined everything by disregarding Dr. Metzger’s recommendations and this spinned Michael’s dependency on opiates out of control, making him cancel the tour and bringing upon him all the financial and reputational problems it involved.
Which one of those two doctors undermined Dr. Metzger’s plans to wean MJ off narcotic painkillers? Debbie Rowe says it was Dr. Forecast, so I looked at him first.
Both Debbie Rowe and Karen Faye say that this arrogant doctor was sent by the insurance company. His mission was most probably to make sure that Michael’s health was in line with his insurance policy obtained by Marcel Avram prior to the tour, see that MJ should not take drugs, be on the spot in case some emergency took place and decide whether he was eligible to the insurance premium in case of the tour cancellation. And take overall care of Michael’s health of course as he was assigned to Michael as his personal doctor.
In his video deposition on July 8, 2013 Dr. Finkelstein said Dr. Forecast’s job was to take care of the principal (Michael Jackson):
Q. What was his role?
Dr. Finkelstein: He took care of the principal, Mr. Jackson.
Q. Do you know who was employing Dr. Forecast?
A. For sure or for my speculation?
Q. For sure. For sure. I mean, do you know what — do you know who was paying his checks?
A. No, I don’t.
If Debbie is correct in her assumption it means that this arrogant doctor was the first to give Michael narcotics and ruin Dr. Matzger’s plan to replace them with non-narcotic pain relievers.
So the doctor sent by the insurance company to make sure that he would not take drugs was actually the one who gave them to Michael? And though his business was not to allow a cancellation happen he was the one ultimately responsible for it? What incredible discoveries we are making here …
Dr. Finkelstein said that Dr. Forecast joined him after the Bangkok concert and was through the entire tour till its cancellation in November 1993. At one point Finkelstein learned that Forecast had broken into his suitcase and taken narcotic medications for MJ. This was in Mexico city where he says that Dr. Forecast grew “a little concerned”. After Mexico they started to collaborate and Dr. Finkelstein even wanted “to detox Michael in Switzerland” and so on and so forth with all the rest of his rubbish.
I call Dr. Finkelstein’s story rubbish because not a single date is correct there – Switzerland was long before Mexico City and Mexico City was actually where the tour ended, so starting collaborating in Mexico was a little too late – if they really wanted to help Michael it should have been done much earlier:
Q. What happened in Mexico City?
Dr. Finkelstein: After I took care of Mr. Jackson and he went on stage, another doctor from England came and assumed responsibility for Mr. Jackson. And we were in Mexico City for three weeks’ period of time. And I came back from a trip to the pyramids, and my suitcase, out of which I had all my medications in, was broken into. And at that time, the doctor, you know, told me what — that he had broken into my suitcase to get medications. And he was a little concerned. He didn’t want to get kind of blamed for a problem that he felt that he inherited. And we started to kind of collaborate because we didn’t want to take the hit for something that somebody else had done before us, and we started to strategize on how to deal with this situation.
Q. And did you come up with a strategy?
A. I came up with my strategy.
Q. What was that?
A. I wanted to; you know, detox him in a chalet in Switzerland and go on with the tour.
Q. And was — and this other doctor from England, was that a man named Dr. Forecast?
Q. And was — and this other doctor from England, was that a man named Dr. Forecast?
Q. And did Dr. Forecast tell you why he broke into your suitcase?
A. To get the medication.
Q. And — but what — why did he need the medication so badly that he broke into your suitcase to get it?
A. He didn’t have any.
Q. And — but who was the medication for?
A. The medi- — I had a suitcase full of whatever medication I thought that 160 people would need traveling around the world. So, I mean, I just carried — I tried to anticipate every — any problem that could happen to be prepared to deal with 160 people in third world countries and anywhere around the world.
Q. Ok, I understand. But did Dr. Forecast break into your suitcase to get any specific medication? If you know.
Q. What specific medication did he break into your suitcase to get?
A. The pain meds.
A. I don’t recall if it was Demerol or morphine or both.
Q. Ok, and did he break in to get the pain medication to give it to Mr. Jackson?
Q. Ok, so you saw Dr. Forecast give the medication to Mr. Jackson?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know who was employing Dr. Forecast?
A. For sure or for my speculation?
Q. For sure. For sure. I mean, do you know what — do you know who was paying his checks?
A. No, I don’t.
Q. Ok, did Mr. Jackson collapse or something in Mexico City? Was there — was it like — was there an issue or just — what happened, I mean?
A. He did not collapse.
A. It seemed that it — I — it seemed that Dr. Forecast was having a harder and harder time keeping up with the demand for the pain medications. Also at that time in Mexico City, I do recall that there was a videotaped interview for a deposition concerning Chandler on the child molestation charge, and at that time, they had a videotaped deposition in Mexico.
Q. And are — did that deposition cause Mr. Jackson some stress?
Q. Ok and do you believe that that stress also increased his urge to take the opiates?
The deposition was not for the Chandler case – it was due to another ridiculous claim that some Michael’s songs were plagiarized by him, but the two days of the deposition were surely a strain (in addition to all the rest of it!).
We saw the deposition and Michael was a complete darling there as he patiently answered a hundred silly questions, but we also noticed that he had some memory lapses and was not quite himself.
Paul Gongaware was naturally in the know of what was going on with Michael as Dr. Finkelstein shared his observations with his friend. So when now Gongaware says that “he never knew” until he suddenly heard Michael’s announcement on TV in 1993 is a big, very big lie:
Q. And it was your understanding that Mr. Gongaware was aware of the opiate problems that Mr. Jackson was having; correct?
Dr. Finkelstein: Yes.
Q. And did you ever discuss with Mr. Gongaware your thoughts on how you could perhaps, you know, help Michael get better?
A. We would have had that discussion with Dr. Forecast.
Q. Ok, and do you remember what was discussed?
A. We thought that we needed to do an intervention. He needed to be detoxed.
Q. And is that what led to Elizabeth Taylor coming into Mexico City?
….Q. Ok, Now, was Mr. Gongaware in Mexico City?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Well, did you speak to Mr. Gongaware a lot on this tour?
A. He’s my friend.
Q. Ok, Did you talk to him every day pretty much on the tour?
A. Pretty much.
Q. And would you talk to him about what was going on with the artist?
Q. So is it a fair assumption that you would have told Mr. Gongaware what was going on with Mr. Jackson’s opiate problems on the tour?
However at the moment Dr. Forecast is our much bigger concern.
When asked at what time Dr. Forecast joined the tour Dr. Finkelstein did not remember it exactly, and said it was after Bangkok and probably before Singapore, but to him it didn’t really matter, and at that time it really sounded like it was not that important:
Q. Was he on the tour with you in Bangkok?
A. He joined after Bangkok or — it would have been — it was either — it might have been — the next stop was Singapore. Again, does it really matter whether it was Singapore or Bangkok?
Q. Fair enough.
A. But it was right afterwards.
Q. Ok, We’ll go back to him joining. But in Mexico City you saw Dr. Forecast administering the medication to Michael Jackson; correct?
However now the moment Dr. Forecast joined the tour matters a lot because it was to him that Debbie Rowe gave a box with all Michael’s medical history, notes from Dr. Metzger on how to wean Michael off narcotic drugs and all necessary medication, and he was supposed to go on with the weaning process once he took Michael under his care.
But from what we hear from Dr. Finkelstein and Karen Faye it looks like Dr. Forecast drugged Michael Jackson immediately upon joining the tour as the dramatic scene witnessed by Karen Faye was just before the Singapore concert which was the next stop after Bangkok.
The picture of that scene described by Karen Faye in her first testimony at the AEG trial produces a poweful impression:
Q. Were there any other doctors on the tour?
A. There was another doctor – - Dr. Forecast. I don’t know where he came from.
A. Did you learn that Mr. Jackson was being given various medications in Bangkok?
A. I learned they were administering a balance of medications, strong enough to overcome Michael’s pain, but not strong enough that he couldn’t perform.
Q. Did you ever see Mr. Gongaware hanging out with Dr. Finkelstein?
A. Yes. Quite often because they were friendly. They were friends.
Q. Dr. Forecast. Was it your understanding that he was a medical doctor?
A. I just knew he was brought on. He was the insurance doctor.
Q. There was a time on the tour you discovered Michael had been given too many drugs and couldn’t perform. What did you learn?
A. Yes. Michael came into the dressing room. He was stumbling. He had a hard time walking. He actually fell over a potted plant/tree. Dr. Forecast was there. I told him: Michael can’t go on. He has to enter on a toaster. Toasters are very small. You have to curl up and be shot out of it. He could lose an arm. I’m seeing Michael in this state and I said you can’t put him in this position. I feared for his safety. I feared for his life. I told Dr. Forecast: You can’t. You can’t make him go out there like this. I put my arms around Michael and said: You can’t take him. And he said: Yes I can. He put his hands around my neck, backed me against the wall and said: You don’t know what you’re doing. I couldn’t breathe. I almost fainted. I fell to the floor. He grabbed Michael and took him off to the stage.
Q. That was Dr. Forecast.
A. That was Dr. Forecast.
Q. Did that show eventually get cancelled?
It sounds incredible but though both of these doctors gave Michael painkillers during the tour none of them ever discussed between themselves or with Michael the reason for all the medication they were giving to him – well, at least Dr. Finkelstein says that he did not. To be able to properly treat Michael they should have known how and when the problem started, for what reason and when the surgery was made and what complications it resulted in. This was an easy thing to do as Dr. Metzger was offering them his full help and even provided his and Klein’s telephones.
However Dr. Forecast was evidently so arrogant that he was indisposed to listen to anyone at all and was only worried about “taking the hit for what others had done to MJ”, and Dr. Finkelstein never asked any questions either and had only a very general idea of Michael’s problems. Finkelstein says about it:
Q. And was Dr. Forecast on the tour that entire time?
Q. And were either you or Dr. Forecast administering pain medication to Mr. Jackson the entire time?
A. I know that I administered pain medication one other time when Dr. Forecast was not available. And I know that I saw Dr. Forecast administer medication in Mexico City during the deposition. And Dr. Forecast and I were kind of in communication because he didn’t kind of want to take the hit for what other doctors had done before him.
Q. Ok, and did you have an understanding that Mr. Jackson had previously had a burn injury on his head?
Q. Ok, What is the basis for your understanding that Mr. Jackson had a burn injury on his head?
A. Pepsi-Cola commercial.
Q. And what’s the basis for your understanding that Mr. Jackson started taking pain medication after the burn injury?
A. Maybe conversations with Karen Faye.
Q. And what about conversation with Dr. Metzger?
Q. What about Dr. — conversations with the artist?
Q. What about Dr. Forecast?
Dr. Finkelstein explains their disinterest in the problem by everything around Michael being “secretive”, though the only thing he needed to do was call Dr. Metzger and properly ask or at least look into the box provided by Debbie Rowe which contained Dr. Metzger’s notes:
Q. Did Dr. Forecast ever say to you, in effect, that he was — that Michael was secretive about his medical care and what drugs were being administered?
A. Everything was secretive.
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. It seems that, you know, never did one doc know — you know, it seems like nobody ever knew the whole story. Everything was compartmentalized, and people were separated and segregated.
Q. Other than the phone call that you testified to in Bangkok with Dr. Metzger, did you ever speak to Dr. Metzger at any other time about Michael Jackson’s medical care?
A. Speak with him, no.
The above statement has one important detail – Dr. Finkelstein talked to Dr. Metzger on the phone when the tour was in Bangkok, and this makes us realize that Dr. Finkelstein was on the tour before Dr. Forecast’s arrival and was actually the first to give Michael narcotic medications.
So the first man to ruin all Dr. Metzger’s work was actually not Dr. Forecast but Dr. Finkelstein? Not that Dr. Forecast was any better as he drugged Michael on his very first day with the tour, but still – what did Finkelstein do to Michael in the few days before Dr. Forecast’s arrival?
Oh, he did a lot….
The fact that Dr. Finkelstein was the first to ruin everything done by Dr. Metzger and Debbie Rowe to wean Michael off narcotic drugs is perfectly consistent with Karen Faye’s testimony about it. She says that at the beginning of the tour, in Bangkok it was indeed Dr. Finkelstein who was attending to Michael:
Q. At a point in Bangkok, there was a doctor on the Dangerous Tour. What was his name?
A. Dr. Stewart Finkelstein.
Dr. Finkelstein wasn’t Michael’s personal doctor – he was to attend to the crew and the rest of the company, but he treated Michael Jackson when Dr. Forecast was not available, and in Bangkok Forecast was not yet there. Dr. Finkelstein confirmed it in his video deposition that initially he was the only doctor on the tour.
Dr. Finkelstein seems to be in complete oblivion of the fact that it was him who ruined Dr. Metzger’s efforts and sent Michael into the spiral of disaster as he is telling of the events in Bangkok with rare candor:
Q. And under what circumstances did you meet Michael Jackson?
A. I was hired to go on a tour called the “Dangerous” tour in 1993 and was in Bangkok. And Michael Jackson came to perform a concert there. And then after he performed the concert, I was requested to go to the principal’s hotel room.
Q. And when you say “the principal,” who are you –
A. Michael Jackson.
Q. Thank you. And — okay, sir. So who hired you to go on the “Dangerous” tour?
A. I think it was a — I think it was Mama — Mama Promoters was Marcel Avram.
Q. Marcel Avram?
Q. And when Mr. Avram hired you to go on the “Dangerous” tour, what were you hired — what was your role supposed to be?
A. I was supposed to be the physician for the crew.
Q. At the time you were hired, were you supposed to also be the physician for the artist? When I say “artist,” I’m referring to Michael Jackson.
Q. And what did the security guard say to you, if you recall?
A. You need go to the principal’s hotel room.
Q. Ok, and did you talk to anyone else about going there other than the — other than that 1 security guard?
A. I don’t recall who summoned me to the room. Someone summoned me to the hotel room.
Q. Ok, back to 1993. Did you go to Mr. Jackson’s room after you were asked by the security guard?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And what did you see?
A. Mr. Jackson.
Q. Ok, and what was Mr. Jackson doing?
A. He was in his hotel room. He appeared to be in pain. And then I was put on the phone with his treating physician in Los Angeles.
Q. And who was that?
A. Allan Mel- — Metzer?
Q. And what did Mr. Metzger say?
A. Told me that Michael Jackson had a severe headache and he was in a lot of pain and asked me to administer some pain medications.
Q. And what did you say to Mr. Metzger?
Q. And did Mr. Metzger inform you what pain medications to administer?
A. I have no independent recollection. I know what I did, but I don’t know —
Q. If he said it?
Q. And did you administer pain medications to Mr. Jackson?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And what did you administer?
A. I attempted to give him a shot of Demerol, but his buttocks was so scarred up and abscessed that the needle almost bent. And at that time, I’m thinking we were going to have erratic absorption and that that was not a safe route to administer medication to him because it may accumulate and then all of a sudden dump in his system or not get to him, in which case at that point in time I ran an IV, and I administered some IV pain medication.
Q. And do you recall what IV pain medication you administered?
Q. And, sir, I notice from your website, there’s a lot of mention of opioids; am I correct?
Q. What is an opioid?
A. Opioid can be natural chemicals or synthetic chemicals that occupy pain receptors of the brain. There’s Mu, Kappa, Lambda and orphan receptors. Opioids are medications that are used to treat pain.
Q. Is Demerol an opioid?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And is morphine an opioid?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you’re an expert in opioids; correct?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Ok, And, sir — okay. So at this meeting, when you gave an IV of morphine, what did you do next?
A. Can I clarify –
A. — the question?
Q. Yeah, please.
A. Because there’s a time period.
A. At that time period of time, I wasn’t an expert.
Q. Ok, Fair enough.
A. So that needs to be pointed out.
Q. At the time you administered –
A. In 1993.
A. Remember, I was studying.
Oh my God, so this doctor did not even remember what medications Dr. Metzger told him to use and remembers only what he himself decided to give Michael – a shot of Demerol which didn’t work after which the good guy decided to give him morphine by IV!
And then we find out that he was not even an expert on addiction but was “only studying”! But if he was only studying then why didn’t he listen properly to what others were telling him?
Q. But you were spending half your time working on addiction medicine, and you were taking CME courses at that time; correct?
Q. Ok, So it’s not like you were administering these drugs without knowing what you were doing?
A. I knew what I was doing.
Q. And you were qualified to administer –
A. And I was qualified to do it. So you were qualified at that time, though, to administer both Demerol and morphine; correct?
Q. And you were properly licensed to do so; correct?
Q. And going back, at — so at this — what would you call this? A meeting in his room or a consultation or would you — how would you characterize it?
A. I spent the next 24 hours, approximately 24.4 hours, in his room intermittently administering medication until Mr. Jackson was capable of going on stage and performing the second concert that was — that we were scheduled to do in Bangkok. We did postpone that concert.
Q. Ok, So let’s go to this 24-hour period that you spent in Mr. Jackson’s room. You state you were intermittently administering medication; correct?
Q. And what were the medications you were administering, if there was more than one?
A. It was morphine and IV fluids.
Q. And was Mr. Jackson conscious during this time?
Q. And was he speaking to you?
Q. What was he speaking about, if you recall?
A. We were watching Three Stooges and having squirt gun fights and talking about growing up in Encino on Havenhurst. He lived next door to a young woman that I dated in high school.
Q. And at some point in time, did you become confident or believe that Mr. Jackson could go on -continue on in the tour? Is that a bad question? If you don’t understand — if you don’t understand it, tell me.
A. That’s a bad question.
Q. Fair enough. I’m just trying to go through time here. So you’re in the room for 24 hours; right?
Q. Approx- — and then I believe you said you were administering the medication until you felt he could –
A. Until he went on stage.
Q. Ok, and did he go on stage as soon as this 24-hour time period ended?
A. Approximately, yeah.
Q. And did you watch him on stage?
Q. Was he able to perform?
Q. And did he look okay to you?
Q. Ok, Now, I think you mentioned something about the show being postponed?
Q. What show was postponed?
A. The concert, the second concert that was scheduled in Bangkok.
Q. And do you know how long it was postponed?
A. A day or two.
Q. And was it postponed at your recommendation?
The AEG lawyer questioning Dr. Finkelstein makes the conversation sound as light-hearted as it is only possible, but no matter how they present it what we see is that in contrast to all Dr. Metzger’s recommendations Dr. Finkelstein treated Michael Jackson to a 24 hour drip of Morphine intermittent with some other fluids thus ruining all the slow and thorough work done by others to wean Michael off drugs prior to the tour.
And how much morphine did this good doctor testifying now for AEG give Michael during those 24 hours I wonder? He says that the initial dose was 7-10 milligrams though generally it is 2-3 milligrams and this was repeated several times during those 24 hours!
Q. Getting back to the time that you treated Mr. Jackson in Bangkok, do you recall what the morphine dosage you administered was?
A. 10 milligrams.
Q. And did you administer repeated 7 10-milligram doses?
Q. Do you recall approximately how many over the 24-hour period?
Q. Is 10 milligrams a starting — typical starting dose for morphine?
Q. What’s the typical starting dose?
A. 2 to 4.
Q. Did you administer because you had observed that Mr. Jackson had a high tolerance for morphine?
A. Yes, for opiates.
Q. For opiates. Did Mr. Jackson say anything to you with regard to his opiate tolerance, or did you determine the dose based purely on your observation of how he reacted to the medication?
A. I based the dose purely on the observation of how he responded to the first injection.
So all that destruction job was done by Dr. Finkelstein solely on the basis of his “observations”? Not after a proper consultation with Michael’s doctor, for example, but simply because he “thought” that Michael had an opiate problem?
And what reason for thinking that way did he have? He says that Michael had opiate patches on his body, his buttocks were scarred with injections (which could be even from vitamins, couldn’t they?), and he also allegedly received two ampules of Demerol from someone who allegedly had them for MJ.
And this was enough for this great doctor to conclude that Michael was an opiate addict and on these observations alone he decided to give Michael a 24-hour drip of morphine? And he did not even take the trouble to call Dr. Metzger for a consultation?
I think he knows that he behaved in a totally unprofessional way because now his answers strike us as extremely helpless:
Q. But was Mr. Jackson suffering from anything else other than dehydration?
A. I thought that he — I would have guessed that he — I thought he had an opiate problem.
Q. And when you say a “problem,” do you mean a dependency?
A. Correct, sir.
Q. And did you have an understanding of what opiates Mr. Jackson was dependent on?
A. The way that you asked that question is a tough question for me.
Q. Why don’t you answer what I — you think I was trying to ask you.
A. Michael Jackson had a hundred microgram Duragesic patch on and there were two ampules of Demerol that were sent with another member of the crew intended for Mr. Jackson.
Q. And so why are you telling me that?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Well, did –
A. You asked me why I thought there was a problem. So I have someone that I feel that they’re — have, you know, a lot of — have — that obviously has received a lot of medication in the past, that has a high tolerance to medication. He had high tolerance when I administered the medication. So — and obviously, I was early in my training, but in my training enough that it created a concern for me.
Q. Understood. Ok, so you saw — did you see Mr. Jackson wearing a Demerol patch?
A. It was a Duragesic patch.
Q. And how is that patch related to Demerol?
A. It’s another opiate.
Q. Ok, and so is that patch separate from — you just testified something about 2 milliliters of Demerol or something.
Q. Two ampules of Demerol. Ok, How does the two ampules — what were you talking about, the two ampules of Demerol?
A. Two ampules of Demerol.
The ampules he received were allegedly given to him by Karen Faye. I doubt it because Karen was prudent enough to refuse to carry the opiate patches which the tour manager Jim Morey asked her to bring to Bangkok. But even assuming that Dr. Finkelstein is telling the truth how is it possible for a doctor to rely on someone who gives him something even without any instruction, and make conclusions and act on this basis alone? All the time knowing that he has a personal doctor of the artist to call and talk to instead of the make-up artist Karen Faye?
Q. And where did you see the ampules?
A. They were given to me from — by the hair — the makeup artist here.
Q. Was her name Karen Faye?
Q. Ok, so Karen Faye gave you two ampules of Demerol?
Q. Did she give any instruction to you when she gave you those?
Q. Did you have any discussion with Ms. Faye about the ampules of Demerol?
A. Not that I can — I mean, not that I can recall anything about, but I — you know, if she’s giving me two ampules of Demerol, I must have had some sort of discussion, but I don’t recall it.
Q. When she gave you the two ampules of Demerol, was it your understanding that those were for Mr. Jackson?
A. Correct, sir.
Q. Ok, So based on seeing the patch and the two ampules of Demerol were those factors that led you to believe that Mr. Jackson had a dependency on opiates?
Dr. Finkelstein behaved in a way as a pure enabler would who keeps to the formula “the less you know the better you sleep, so it is better not to ask any questions at all”. It never occurred to Finkelstein that Michael could have had all those injections for a legitimate reason after the grave surgery he had. Instead Dr. Finkelstein preferred not to ask questions evidently taking drugs for granted on a pop artist’s tour and a norm in any pop artist’s bedroom. No wonder that he is known in this concert business of theirs as a “rock doc”.
And isn’t it incredible that this person is Paul Gongaware’s friend and was brought to the tour by Gongaware himself and is now testifying at this trial for AEG, speaking with a learned expression on his face about Michael’s dependency on drugs? He is actually enabler No. 1 for Michael Jackson because he gave him a 24 hour morphine drip without asking any questions and by doing it undermined everything that had been done by others before him!
Q. Now, sir, when you were treating Mr. Jackson for this approximate 24-hour period, did you ask him any questions about his opiate usage?
A. Not extensively. It was mostly that — what Dr. Meltzer had told me to do.
Q. And you say “not extensively.” Do you recall any conversation you had with Mr. Jackson?
Yes, the worst enabler in this horrid story turns out to be a friend of Paul Gongaware, who was invited to the tour by Gongaware himself - so symbolically the one who helped to start Michael’s ruin was actually the one who finished it off too:
Q. Ok, so you mentioned that with Mr. Gongaware is how you got involved in the “Dangerous” tour?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And how do you know that?
A. How else would they know me?
Q. So do you believe that Mr. Gongaware suggested you as a doctor to come on the tour?
Q. Ok, and was it Mr. Gongaware who called you to go on the tour, or did somebody else call you?
A. Mr. Gongaware.
Of course Paul Gongaware knew not only of Michael’s problem but of the specific treatment his friend was giving to Michael too – Dr. Finskelstein says that he chatted with his friend during the tour a lot and Michael was one of their subjects. And who else could be a bigger subject for discussion for both of them than the artist on whose tour they were working then?
Q. Ok, Well, did you inform Mr. Gongaware of the situation with the artist?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And what did you tell Mr. Gongaware in regard to the situation with the artist?
A. I said, “I think we’re going to have a problem.”
Q. And did you elaborate on that?
A. I don’t — I’m going to say yes, but I wouldn’t know exactly what I said or –
Q. Well, did you tell Mr. Gongaware you thought that Mr. Jackson had a dependency on opiates?
Q. And what did Mr. Gongaware say to you?
A. He said, “Don’t be a Dr. Nick.”
Q. And by a “Dr. Nick,” was he talking about Elvis?
A. Yes, sir.
Well, actually Gongaware’s friend Dr. Finkelstein did play the role of someone who ruined Michael Jackson’s health and best hopes, and it is almost incredible that the whole story came a full circle and returned to the same people. Now both of them are testifying that they were innocent babies and that it is only Michael who is to blame for everything that happened to him. “He was an adult and knew what he was doing”.
And what about all these guys? Are they adults too and do they know what they were and are doing, I wonder? And why should Michael be responsible for what these people did to him?
Now the only detail that remains to be clarified is who received the box which Debbie Rowe prepared for the tour. It seems that it was Dr. Finkelstein again because in her first testimony on May 9, 2013 Karen Faye said that Dr. Finkelstein had “received the package” and said that it was good she had never agreed to take it – it contained vial and syringes and if she had taken it “she might not be there” (meaning that she could be detained at the customs).
This is what she said:
Q. Was he friends with Mr. Gongaware?
A: I found out he called Paul Gongaware when I said I wouldn’t carry the packages into Bangkok.
Q. Do you know if Dr. Finkelstein gave any treatments to Michael Jackson during that tour?
A. Yes. I assumed it was his job to take care of Michael.
A. What did he give him?
A. He wouldn’t be specific with me. I initially thought I was being asked to carry patches. But when I met him in the lobby for the first time he said to me: It’s a good thing you weren’t carrying the package I received. It has vials and syringes in it. If you’d carried it, you might not be here.
Now Dr. Finkelstein says he got those 2 ampules of Demerol from Karen Faye, while in reality they most probably came from that box he had got from Dr. Forecast and he himself had brought in to Bangkok. Someone in the management must have put her name there in advance because initially the managers planned to send the box via Karen.
It is also noteworthy that when Karen refused to take the box Dr. Finkelstein reported it to no other but Gongaware and they arranged the delivery in some other way – however the name on the box remained.
And this means that not only Gongaware knew of the treatment Michael was receiving from his friend Finkelstein on the Dangerous tour but he himself was among those who arranged the delivery of that box to Bangkok.
Not that the box contained anything criminal – absolutely not! The box from Dr. Metzger was meant for weaning Michael off narcotic drugs and contained all the necessary medications for it, only none of them took the trouble to listen to Debbie Rowe’s explanations or read Dr. Metzger’s notes inside the box, and all of them thought that it had something terrible inside.
History repeated itself again.
At that time Gongaware thought Michael to be an addict though his developing dependency was only secondary to a severe underlying condition of which they had no idea – and they finished him off by all their ignorance and neglect.
And in 2009 they did the same – they also thought him to be an addict and while they were fussing about the addiction of which he had none, he died of something totally different of which they had no idea either, though this time he was even telling him.
He died of simple lack of sleep and they again finished him off by all their ignorance and neglect.
In a way in both cases Michael was the victim of the worst expectations these people were having of him.
* * *
The great TeamMichaelJackson has obtained the after-lunch part of Debbie Rowe’s testimony (PLEASE HELP THEM TO BUY MORE!) and it is providing some very interesting details.
While I am retyping some fragments to add to this post please read the transcript: