Jacksons – AEG trial DAY 44. Dr. FINKELSTEIN’S DEPOSITION and truth about opiates
Several things are worrying me about the AEG trial. And one of them is that there are too many instances when the media publishes only half-truth, quarter-truth or even one tenth of the truth about the witnesses’ testimonies at the trial. With very few exceptions the media cuts facts into pieces, takes several, boosts them out of all proportion and brushes aside the rest or mentions them in a way that no one really notices. The result is extremely slanted reporting.
For example, Dr. Finkelstein’s video deposition about morphine he gave to Michael Jackson on the Dangerous tour was reproduced by the media in incredible detail and with noticeable exaltation, but the reason for giving the painkiller explained by Dr. Schnoll was mentioned only in passing, if ever at all.
Dr.Schnoll who consults all major drug- producing companies in the US on the effect of opioids said that these drugs were given by Dr. Finkelstein and other doctors to Michael on a completely legitimate basis to help him cope with pain from the scalp surgery.
The series of operations on his scalp was made following the Pepsi burn and one of them was just on the eve of the last leg of the Dangerous tour, in 1993.
Dr. Schnoll explained that it resulted in a neuroma, a scar formation of nerve tissue which is as excitable as the nerve itself, is extremely painful and gives a sharp, shooting type of pain which never goes away and is very difficult to treat.
Despite all those horrific details revealed the LA Times chose to address the two days of Dr. Schnoll’s testimony with a quick couple of sentences only, while a relatively short Dr. Finkelstein’s video deposition about him giving drugs to Michael was thoroughly savored like some juicy delicatessen.
This way the media reports the fact, but fails to report the reason for it. And in matters of drug dependency the reason for the dependency is the core of the very problem and it is absolutely critical to know how it started.
If this is not done such half-reporting can make you call someone a “junkie” and if you are not told the second half of the story you will never know that it was President Kennedy who was given opioids on a legitimate basis as he had a spinal injury and was suffering from a severe pain. And he by the way was the one who averted a nuclear catastrophe in the 60s.
Dr. Schnoll said that if it is impossible to treat a patient’s underlying condition he may stay on opiate painkillers for the rest of his life, and that these people are perfectly able to fulfill their duties. In fact when under the medication they function even much better as it relieves them of the pain which otherwise would wholly debilitate them.
THE BIG DIFFERENCE
Let us agree about one thing once and for all – the patient who has a severe underlying condition and was made dependent on a drug by doctors, who were unable to find another way to treat their patient except with painkillers, is absolutely not to blame for the resulting dependency.
And this patient absolutely cannot be confused with someone who takes drugs for recreation in order to get high.
Putting the pain sufferers dependent on drugs on a par with some irresponsible addicts is the same as throwing into one class street addicts who get AIDS by passing over an infected syringe to one another and an innocent child like Ryan White who got this disease through a blood transfusion and doctor’s neglect.
The result is the same – both get infected, but the reasons for the disease are totally different and I don’t know how hypocritical one should be not to notice the difference. The first are innocent victims of the circumstances, doctor’s negligence or incompetence, and the second are victims of their own indulgence, irresponsibility and very often of simple but tragic curiosity.
This difference between drug addiction and a forced drug dependency is what Dr. Schnoll was essentially talking about, however if you read the LA Times you won’t see any of these “subtleties”. If you look at their articles you will be hardly able to tell one doctor from the other as the headlines are virtually undistinguishable and freely use the word “drug addict” while neither of the doctors called Michael that way.
In contrast to LA Times neither Dr. Schnoll nor Dr. Finkelstein used this word for Michael Jackson – one of them said that Michael was dependent and explained why, and the other said he gave Michael opiates to dull the pain and that he developed a problem (which Michael admitted himself).
The word “addict” was not even applied to MJ as it is totally inconsistent with Michael Jackson’s behavior in the first place. Dr. Schnoll said about it:
Q. What evidence is lacking for considering him to be a drug addict?
A. It would be taking drugs when not prescribed by a medical professional; taking larger amounts that were prescribed; drug-seeking behavior; taking drugs that were not prescribed for him. Those kinds of behaviors.
Those who have read the court transcript will be surely impressed by the way Dr. Schnoll’s highly enlightening testimony was cut, twisted and minimized by the LA Times:
Specialist: ‘I don’t know’ if Michael Jackson was a drug addict
By Kate Mather
July 3, 2013, 7:04 p.m.
Michael Jackson’s drug use was again the topic of conversation in court Wednesday, where an addiction specialist testified that he saw no evidence the singer was addicted to painkillers or the anesthetic propofol that ultimately led to his death.
Dr. Sidney Schnoll acknowledged that after Jackson interrupted his 1993 “Dangerous” tour to seek treatment for an addiction to painkillers, he was given propofol during medical procedures and Demerol for back and scalp pain.
But Schnoll said that based on his review of the case, there was not enough material to provide a definite diagnosis.
“I don’t know if he was a drug addict,” Schnoll testified. “I’ve not seen any evidence that would give me the information that would allow me to make a diagnosis of addiction.”
Jackson’s drug use has come up several times during the 10-week trial, including opening statements when Jackson family attorney Brian Panish said the singer had at times been “dependent” on prescription medication after being badly burned while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984.
Schnoll, hired by the Jacksons’ attorneys, said that even if the singer was addicted or dependent on drugs, “If he got proper treatment, he would have had a normal life expectancy.”
He added: “If his underlying medical conditions — the pain, the insomnia — had been appropriately treated, he may have been able to get off of those medications or been treated appropriately.”
When asked by Jackson family attorney Michael Koskoff if other factors — including Jackson’s family, career, financial resources and love of fans — would have helped improve the success of any treatment, Schnoll said it would.
But a cardiologist such as Murray, Schnoll said, would not be “competent” to treat any drug problem Jackson might have had.
“He was an intervention cardiologist, which is a highly specialized area of medicine,” Schnoll said of Murray. “Intervention cardiologists have no background in treating problems of substance abuse, they have no background in treating pain … they look at hearts, which is totally unrelated.”
And those who are familiar with Dr. Finkelstein’s deposition will be amazed by the meticulous way every detail of that drug story was reported by Jeff Gottlieb. The author is trying so hard to stigmatize Michael that even makes two factual mistakes – Dr. Finkelstein didn’t call Michael an addict and it is impossible to give “a 24-hour morphine drip” to anyone at all.
Dr. Finkelstein was intermitting morphine with IV fluids as Michael was dehydrated and Dr. Finkelstein testified to that too.
Michael was awake, they chatted, watched 3 Stooges and even had squirt gun fights. I doubt that any of these activities would have been possible if he had been under round-the-clock morphine.
Doctor says he told AEG exec that Michael Jackson was a drug addict
A doctor who traveled on Michael Jackson’s 1993 worldwide “Dangerous” tour testified that he gave the singer a shot of Demerol and a 24-hour intravenous morphine drip while they were in Thailand and that he told a ranking AEG executive that the singer was a drug addict.
By Jeff Gottlieb
July 8, 2013, 2:46 p.m.
A doctor who traveled on Michael Jackson’s 1993 worldwide “Dangerous” tour testified that he gave the singer a shot of Demerol and a 24-hour intravenous morphine drip while they were in Thailand and that he told a ranking AEG executive that the singer was a drug addict.
Dr. Stuart Finklestein, who testified via a video deposition that was played for jurors Monday, said he was a long-time friend of Paul Gongaware, who was tour manager of the “Dangerous” concerts and is one of the defendants in the wrongful death suit brought by Jackson’s mother and three children.
The testimony came in the 43rd day of the wrongful-death trial, a case that seeks to put blame for Jackson’s death of entertainment titan and two music industry executives.
Finklestein is now an addiction specialist, but when he went on tour with Jackson his job was to minister to the crew. He said the first time he met Jackson was when he was called to his hotel room, where the singer appeared to be in pain. Finklestein said he was put on the phone with Allan Metzger, the singer’s doctor in Los Angeles. Metzger told him that Jackson had a severe headache and that he should administer pain medication.
Finklestein said he gave Jackson a shot of Demerol, “but his buttocks were so scarred up and abscessed that the needle almost bent. … He obviously had had multiple injections in his buttocks prior to arriving in Bangkok.”
The doctor said he spend the next 24 hours giving Jackson morphine until he was able to go on stage. “We were watching the Three Stooges and having squirt gun fights,” Finklestein testified.
After a second concert in Bangkok was postponed, Finklestein said, he met with promoter Marcel Avram and a publicist. The publicist said “the sound byte is that Michael Jackson is dehydrated,” the doctor testified, and repeated that explanation to CNN.
The doctor said that Jackson was wearing a Duragesic patch, which contains another opiate, fentanyl, that is absorbed through the skin. He also said that Karen Faye, Jackson’s longtime makeup artist and hair stylist, gave him two ampules of Demerol that were for Jackson’s injections. According to Finklestein, Metzger had written a Demerol prescription for Faye. But Finklestein said he understood the prescription was actually for Jackson.
Finklestein said that he told the concert promoters that he thought Jackson was an addict but that no one believed him. The doctor said he also told Gongaware that Jackson was dependent on opiates.
The doctor said that Gongaware, a current AEG Live executive, told him, “Don’t be a Dr. Nick,” a reference to the doctor who supplied Elvis Presley with the prescription drugs that led to his death.
Finklestein said Gongaware was trying to warn him, “don’t get all infatuated where you start administering drugs to a rock star and having him die on you.”
The tour came to an early end in Mexico City when Elizabeth Taylor flew in for an intervention and took Jackson to a hospital in England.
I’m afraid that we will have to talk about Dr. Finkelstein’s story for the rest of the trial, so for fuller coverage of it I made a compilation of ABC tweets and a more detailed account from TeamMichaelJackson posted here. To remind myself and everyone of the events that formed a background to the story I am also adding the timeline from MJJ Timeline and Lisa Campbell’s book.
Here is Dr. Finkelstein’s video deposition played at the AEG trial:
MONDAY JULY 9, 2013 DAY 44
The ABC7 Court News tweets say:
|Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 44, Week 11 of Jackson family vs AEG trial under way.|
|Katherine Jackson present in court wearing silk bright purple jacket. Rebbie is accompanying her.|
|Jacksons’ attorney called Dr. Stuart Finkelstein by video deposition. He treated MJ 93 Dangerous Tour. Kevin Boyle did the questioning.|
|The video began playing at 10:37 am PT. It was recorded on Feb 1, 2013.|
|Dr. Finkelstein said he worked at Cerritos Family Clinic until 2 years ago with his ex-wife Petra Wong, now works at Stuart Finkelstein, MD.|
Boyle: what other training have you had?
Dr. Finkelstein 95 certifications tests, 2010 became aboard, I’m boarded by American board in addiction medicine
Q. Prior to 95 were you treating?
A. I was fulfilling my requirements, 50% time treating addiction med, and continuing medical educations for treating addiction meds. Two years to sit for the test, 4 years to get that. Started working in psychiatrist facility and treating detox,
Q. What year did you finish you med residency?
Q. What year did you work at psychiatrist facility?
A. From 93 onward worked at Charter hospital, college hospital Cerritos,
Q. Consider yourself expert?
Q. We are talking about world famous MJ, did you meet him?
A. Yes hired to go on tour called Dangerous in 93, was in Bangkok, MJ came to perform concert, after that I was requested to go to his hotel room.
So during the Dangerous tour the doctor was hired by the concert promoter and as Dr. Finkelstein will further say the compensation to the doctor was provided by the promoter too. Evidently this was customary practice for all Michael’s tours and “This is it” was no exception. Michael wanted AEG to cover the medical costs and Tohme said that AEG even agreed to it. Now they say different of course.
Q. Who hired you?
A. MAMA Marcel Avram,
Q. What was your role supposed to be?
A. Physician for the crew
Q. Also the artist?
Q. Who provided your transportation to Bangkok?
A. The tour
Q. Did you see MJ before you were asked to go to his room?
Q. Who asked you to go to his room?
A. Probably one of the security was sent to summoned me
Q. Do you know why you were summoned?
Q. What did he say?
A. You need to go to the principal’s room
Q. What else did that security say?
A. I can’t remember if it was security
Q. What did you see in the room?
A. Mr Jackson, he appeared to be in pain, I was put on the phone with his treating physician in LA, Dr Metzger told me MJ was in lot of pain, he asked me to administer pain medication.
Q. Did he tell you what to administer?
A. I cant remember what he said, I attempted to give him a shot of Demerol, but his buttock was so abscessed, the needle almost bent, that was not safe route to administer med, it may not get to him, so I administered a IV and gave him morphine.
– Asked what is opioids –
Q. At this meeting when you gave morphine, what did you do next?
A. Can I clarify? At that time I was not an expert, I was studying.
Q. You were studying, you were licensed to do, you know what you were doing?
A. Yes. I spent then next 24 hrs in his room, until MJ was capable of going on to perform on stage.
Q. The 24hrs you were intermittently administering meds, what was it?
A. Morphine and IV fluids
Q. Was MJ awake?
Q. What were you doing?
A. We were talking about Hayvenhurst, watching 3 stooges, chatting (ABC: having squirt gun fights)
Q. Did he go on stage as soon as this 24 hr period ended?
This was happening on August 24th 1993 after the first tour concert in Bangkok. The second concert was postponed and took place on August 27. The official statement about the postponement was dehydration and in his deposition Dr. Finkelstein confirmed that besides the pain on his scalp Michael was dehydrated.
Here is the background for those events, cited from MJJ Timeline:
August 17: The Los Angeles Police Department opens a criminal investigation against Michael Jackson based on accusations of child molestation made by Jordan Chandler
- August 21: Michael arrives in Bangkok for the third leg of his Dangerous World Tour. The LAPD serve search warrant on Michael’s Neverland Valley Ranch in Santa Barbara and on his condominium in CenturyCity.
- August 24: Michael gives a concert in Bangkok while the media reveal that Michael is under criminal investigation for child molestation which becomes of the biggest scandals of all.
- August 25: Michael’s second concert in Bangkok is rescheduled to august 26 because Michael is suffering from acute dehydration.
- August 26: It was being reported in the news that the investigation had widened to include four more boys. All of the boys interviewed told police their relationship with Michael was purely brotherly, that there was no inappropriate behavior on Michael’s part whatsoever.
Brett Barnes, from Melbourne, Australia vehemently defended his friend telling a Los Angeles TV station, KNBC, “He’s like a best friend, except he’s big”. Brett Barnes & Wade Robson appear on CNN to defend Michael but their admissions that they shared a bed with Michael Jackson (in a friendly, slumber party spirit) only causes more damage…
- Michael’s concert is again rescheduled for August 27 (he releases an audio-taped message to his fans): “To all my fans in Bangkok, Thailand, I am sorry for not performing yesterday as I am really sick and still under medical treatment. I have been instructed by my doctor not to perform before Friday, August 27, 1993. I promise all my fans to perform at the National Stadium in Bangkok on August 27. I will see you all on Friday. I love you all. Goodbye.”
- August 27:Michael finally performs his second concert in Bangkok
Back to Dr. Fikelstein’s deposition:
Q. Did he perform, did he look ok to you?
A Yes, the second concert in Bangkok was postponed at my recommendation for a day. I was on CNN, there was a publicist there, the sound bite was MJ is dehydrated, I went on to TV and said that
Q. Was MJ dehydrated?
Q. But was he suffering from anything else?
A. I thought he had an opiate problem.
Q. Do you mean dependency?
ABC7 Court News:
|Dr. Finkelstein: MJ had 100 micro gram duragesic patch on and there were 2 ampules of Demerol that were sent to him with another crew member|
|The doctor said he had someone he felt that obviously had received a lot of medication in the past, had a high tolerance to medication.|
|Dr Finkelstein: It was early in my training, but it was obviously a concern for me. Duragesic is also called Fentanyl, another opiate.|
|Boyle: You testified about 2 ampules – what were you talking about, the ampules of Demerol?|
|Dr. Finkelstein: We are talking about natural opiates and synthetic opiates. The patch, the medication is absorbed through the skin.|
|The doctor said the ampules were given to him by the make-up artist, Karen Faye. They were for MJ.|
Q. So we have the patch, ampoules given to you by Karen Faye, scarring on MJ buttock, high tolerance, led you to believe?
A. That he was dependent on opiates
Q. Did you ask him any questions about opiates?
Q. Was Mr Gongaware tour manager of that tour?
A. I don’t know his title he was my friend, he used to be road manager working for Concert West, he worked for Warren Miller, we skied together, its because of Gongaware I got involved on the Dangerous tour, he called me to come on the tour
Q. Was compensation discussed, who would be providing that?
A. The promoter Marcel.
Q. When the Bangkok show got postponed, did Gongaware postpone it?
A. I did.
Oh, so it was Dr. Finkelstein who postponed a concert? Can any of us imagine Conrad Murray postponing a concert scheduled by AEG? It is simply impossible! Conrad Murray was so much pressurized by AEG that he was not able to give Michael a sick leave even for a rehearsal and the only time he tried it ended in a riot meeting where the artist was played a tough love and now-or-never card.
And after that AEG says that Murray was a totally independent doctor?
Dr. Finkelstein confirms that Gongaware knew of the drugs he was giving to Michael on the Dangerous tour. Gongaware naturally doesn’t remember it now. This amnesia helps AEG bosses to support their official position that Michael was in excellent health up to the last minute. Dr. Finkelstein continues:
Q. Did you tell Mr Gongware about anything?
A. Yes, I told him I think we have a problem, cant remember exactly what I said.
Q. Did you tell him MJ had a dependency to opiates?
A. Yes he told me don’t be a Dr Nick, that was Elvis’s Doctor
Q. So was it your understanding PG knew you were providing Mj with meds?
A. Yes there was a meeting I informed them about problems with Michael Jackson
Q. Did you tell them MJ had dependency on opiates?
A. You are asking me to speculate, I told them I don’t know if they believed me,
Q. And PG was at that meeting?
A. Well I made that statement to him regardless of whether he was at the meeting
Q. You say they didn’t believe you?
A. Well, I wasn’t an addiction specialist, they didn’t believe me, my concern was for MJ, I informed the promoters and Paul Gongaware.
Q. As what point did they come to believe you?
A. Yes in Mexico City, after MJ went on stage another doctor came from England, I left when I got back my suitcase with all the meds my suit case was broken into, that doctor told me he took the meds, and said he didn’t want to get the blame for a problem he had inherited.
Q. What did you do?
A. I wanted to detox him in Switzerland and go on with the tour
Q. Was that doctor Dr Forecast?
Q. Why did he break into your case?
A. I had enough meds for what I thought 160 people would need in third world countries, so had many meds
Q. What med did he take?
A. Pain med
A. I cant remember Demerol or morphine
Q. Was that first time you say Dr Forecast?
Q. In Mexico you saw Forecast administering meds to MJ?
Q. Then what happened?
A. They powers got together, they called Liz Taylor and got MJ to London
Q. Who are the powers?
A. I don’t know, managers, promoters
Q. Was Gongware part of that group?
A. Don’t know
Q. Did MJ collapse in Mexico?
A. No, it seemed Forecast was having hard time keeping up, also there was deposition for child molestation charge from Chandler (correction: it was a deposition for a copyright infringement)
Q. Did those claims increase MJs problems?
Q. So there were cancellations?
Q. Did Liz come to get MJ?
Q. Were they cancelled?
A. I don’t know if they were postponed or canceled, but we stayed much longer in Mexico then anticipated
Q. Do you know what Forecast role was on tour?
A. Are you asking me to speculate?
Q. No what did you see him doing?
A. He took care of the principal, Mr Jackson
Q. Do you know who was employing Forecast?
A. For sure NO.
Let me interrupt Dr. Finkelstein and remind you of what Karen Faye said about Dr. Forecast:
Panish: Dr. Forecast. Was it your understanding that he was a medical doctor?
Karen Faye: I just knew he was brought in. 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 are 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.
From Dr. Finkelstein we learn that when Michael was deposed in Mexico he was under medication given to him by Dr. Forecast.
Actually it was noticeable even in the video though Michael remembered all his songs, answered all questions and was extremely patient and polite – in short he was his usual self though a little dazed and slow.
In his deposition Dr. Finkelstein remembers Michael as a sweetheart – kind, never yelling, never demanding and never treating people bad. This was the way he observed him even when under the medication.
So Michael’s personality traits did not change even when he was given morphine and this is extremely important as MJ’s detractors can in no time use his then drug dependency for their usual dirty allegations.
But lying to us that under medication Michael was different is useless – we remember that even in a half-unconscious state he spoke to Murray about God and his dream to build a hospital for children, and even under morphine he remained the same big kid who played squirt gun fights both with teenagers or adults like Dr. Finkelstein who was ten years older.
Dr. Finkelstein’s deposition continues:
Q. Was Gongaware in Mexico?
A. Yes he was my friend, we talked all the time.
Q. Do you think you would have told PG of MJs problems?
A. Of course
Q. Then what happened in the tour?
A. I went home
Q. Do you know length of time between Bangkok and Mexico?
A. Approximately 3 months
Q. Was Forecast on tour entire time?
Q. Did Forecast administer meds the whole time?
A. I saw him do it in Mexico during deposition, we were in communication, he didn’t want to take the hit for what other Doctors had done to him.
Q. Did you have understanding MJ had burn injury?
Q. From where?
A. Pepsi commercial
Q. How do you know he took medications?
A. From conversations with Karen Faye.
THE SCALP SURGERY
Since Karen Faye was mentioned again let me remind you of her earlier testimony in May this year which is already forgotten by everyone. She is explaining there what the media is not – the reason why Michael was in so much pain before the last leg of the Dangerous tour:
Panish: Did anything unusual happen before the [Dangerous] tour started?
Faye: Yes. We were doing the short film for Addams Family. Michael was going through the pain from the scalp surgery with the inserted balloon (bladder). He was having slow release pain medication patches put on his scalp to help him.
Putnam: And he had this surgery just before going to Bangkok?
Faye: I really don’t know the exact date of the surgery, sir. I worked with him on the shoot and the actual inflation device was under his scalp, just before we left Bangkok, the device was removed, an operation to bring the skin together on his scalp had already been complete.
Q. And you saw his scalp every time he performed, right?
A. Not every time he performed. But I had to deal with his wounds and covering them.
Q. Do you remember seeing any signs of that surgery on the prior leg of the tour?
A I do not recall on which leg of the tour, the in between stages, when he had the surgery.
Q. You do remember between legs of the tour he had the surgery and then you saw the results, but you don’t remember between which leg of the tour he had the surgery, correct?
A Correct. Or the year?
Q That was 92-93. This was 1993, we’re talking about Bangkok. And to be really specific, I can tell you it was August 23, 1993.
A And you’ve done your homework, sir.
Q And you said yesterday he would get headaches as a result of the surgery, correct?
A Yes. Migraine headaches. He was in a lot of pain.
So that balloon was put under Michael’s scalp sometime in 1993 and on August 23, 1993 it was removed? Goodness gracious, how could we miss all these dates before?
First of all this scalp stretching was happening throughout the period of the so-called “molestation” of Jordan Chandler and second, the worst days of that balloon treatment and the final surgery came right at the end of August when Evan Chandler made his vile accusations.
The surgery on Michael’s head was a week after the police investigation started, a couple of days before the media scandal broke out and just one day before Michael’s first concert in Bangkok! Isn’t it really too much for one man?
Dr. Finkelstein continues:
Q. Is dependency a character flaw?
A. No, it’s a brain disease, if they are exposed enough to it their brain becomes dependent on it, or its genetic.
Q. The reason MJ was dependent was it because he was a weak person, would you agree to that?
Q. How do you describe MJ?
A. HE WAS A SWEETHEART, HE WAS KIND
Q. Did you ever see him yelling, demanding things?
Q. He didn’t treat people bad if they were in lower rank?
Q. Gongaware was on tour the whole time on tour?
Q. Do you have any thoughts how Gongaware could help MJ get better?
A. We had that discussion with Forecast, and that was to do an interventions
Q. Between Bangkok and Mexico any cancelations?
A. Yes there were frequent cancellations and postponements
SHOWS and CANCELLATIONS
Let me interrupt them again and say that despite Michael’s obviously terrible condition there were not as many cancellations as one could expect. The first several concerts were postponed due to Michael’s wounds being still fresh from recent surgery, and the last several concerts were postponed due to the dependence on drugs he had developed by then, but the shows in the middle were performed as planned.
The MJJ Timeline says that after the second concert cancelled (the first was in Bangkok) Michael had a brain scan in hospital:
August 28: Michael arrives in Singapore.
August 29: Michael gives a concert in Singapore on his 35th birthday.
August 30: Joseph, Katherine, Jermaine, Tito & Rebbie Jackson give a press conference to support Michael & announce the Jackson Family Honors Police search Michael’s hotel room at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
The second concert in Singapore is cancelled when Michael collapses backstage moments before the show is due to begin suffering from a severe migraine.
August 31: Michael undergoes a brain scan in hospital and he releases a second audio-taped message to apologize for the late cancellation of his concert. Attorney Gloria Allred is retained to represent Jordy Chandler.
September 1: Michael performs his second concert in Singapore and after the show he goes shopping until 2:30 am.
September 2: LaToya Jackson supports Michael on US Today Show.
September 3:Michael arrives in Taipei with Elizabeth Taylor. Joe, Katherine, Jermaine, Jackie, Rebbie & the 3T also arrive in Taipei to support him.
September 4: Michael performs in concert in Taipei .
September 5: Michael goes shopping to Toy’s R Us in Taipei with the 3T.
September 6: Michael performs his second concert in Taipei .
September 7: Michael & the 3T arrive in Fukuoka (Japan) then board a bus to Huis Ten Bosh, a theme park, where they stay for two days.
September 9: Michael returns to Fukuoka .
September 10: Michael performs in concert in Fukuoka.
September 11: Second concert in Fukuoka .
September 12: Michael arrives in Moscow (Russia).
September 13: Michael goes shopping in Moscow and tours the Kremlin museum of armory.
September 14: Gloria Allred mysteriously resigns from representing Jordy and is replaced by Larry Feldman. A civil suit against Michael is filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Michael shoots a video of himself marching with Russian army soldiers. September 15: Michael performs in concert in Moscow .
September 17: Michael arrives in Tel Aviv ( Israel ). At Michael’s request, Dominic Cascio and his children Frank & Eddie arrive from NYC to support him.
September 18: Michael visits Jerusalem . He is met by religious protesters at the ancient Western Wall but is welcomed at Masada , another historic site.
September 19: Michael performs in concert in Tel Aviv.
September 21: Second concert in Tel Aviv. Two detectives fly to Manila to question Mark & Faye Quindoy.
Back to Dr. Finkelstein’s deposition:
Q. After Mexico you never joined the tour?
A. No, it didn’t carry on
Q. After Dangerous tour did you work with MJ again?
Q. On tours?
Q. Any music related events?
A. I get called out to Staple Center, if someone has sore throat, sprained ankle, or other complaints, I was there two weeks ago
Q. Were you called By AEG personal?
A. By promoters, as rock doc, I don’t know how my name is out there, probably because I’ve been doing it for 30 years
Q. You get called to Orange county to do similar work?
Q. When did that start getting called at Staple Center as “Rock Doc”?
A. Probably since 83 when my older brother was managing Concert West, before Staple Center was doing concerts as AEG
Q. Did you ever get contacted again for MJ?
A. Yes, month to two months before MJs death
Q. And who contacted you?
A. Paul Gongaware.
Q. What did he say?
A. Hey stewy you may have another chance to go on tour with Michael Jackson
Q. How many calls did you get for this tour?
Q. What did you talk about?
A. I said is he clean?
Q. What did he say?
Q. Why did you ask that?
A. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened before
Q. What else?
A. I asked him how he know MJ was clean, he said they had a medical, and MJ’s physician said he was clean, and he asked me how much I wanted to charge
Q. How much did you want?
A. $10,000 A week, $40,000
Q. Did Gongaware want you to go on tour?
A. Yes he wanted me to he was working it out for me
Q. Obviously you didn’t go?
Q. Were you ever told you were not going to be hired?
A. Must have been
Q. Did you learn anything from actually speaking to Gongaware about Murray?
A. I remember there was a lot of money
Q. Did you discuss with Gongaware about MJ problems?
A. He told me he thought MJ was clean, because he passed his medical
Q.Was there any discussions about what happened in Bangkok?
Q. Is Propofol an opioid?
Q. Someone who is opioid dependent seek out other meds to curb there problems?
A. Yes its very common, for some reason they gravitate to “Gabo receptor” drugs, (names lots of drugs, ++barbiturates) and
Propofol. Usually with Propofol it occurs with those in the medical field, it has a high fatality rate its not something you mess around with, there is no reversal agent for it, there have been 80 cases of Propofol addiction reported
Q. What about alcohol, would someone who has opioid dependency use alcohol?
Q. You have all walks of life that have opioid dependency?
Q. Lawyers, mothers, fathers, etc. etc.,?
Q. What is “rock doc”?
A. I don’t know, but the newspaper put me on the front page, I don’t know how your name gets on that list.
[…] Bob Finkelstein used to be manager of Concert West and Management 3, Paul Gongaware knew him
Q. Do you know Randy Phillips?
A. Yes he has something to do with Anschutz group, seen him at birthday parties, John Meglan, he works for AEG,
Q. Have you seen him at music events?
A. Yes but no meaningful conversation
Q. Back to PG and TII tour was anything else discussed aside from what we have discussed? What it discussed if housing would be provided for you in UK?
A. NO, there were not a lot of discussion till I get hired
Q. And you were told by PG why you were not getting hired?
A. Yes he told me Michael wanted a different doctor
Q. Did he tell you CM was a cardiologist?
A. We didn’t talk much about that at all, PG was my friend.
CAHAN NOW QUESTIONING DR FINKELSTEIN
Q. You testified you administered IV to MJ, what dosage of demerol was it?
A. 150 over
Q. Would that be typical to those that are naïve to opioids?
Q. Was it in his buttock?
A. I tried
Q. He had a lot of scarring ?
Q. Do you know how many shots he may have had?
A. Significant, extensive amount
Q. Why did you think it was opioids injections that caused the scarring?
A. Because he had a patch on, there was another person with two ampoules
Q. Do you recall whose name those were prescribed to?
A. Yes, Karen Faye
Q. Demerol was not for KF, who was it prescribed by?
A. Dr Metzger.
Q. What was morphine dose?
Q. How many over 24hrs?
A. Don’t know
Q. Is that typical starting dose?
Q. What is starting dose?
Q. Did MJ say anything to do in regards to opioids?
A. I based it on observations
Q. Was he suffering pain?
Q. Did you ever administer pain meds when he was not in pain?
Q. Every time you administered pain med did you believe he was suffering pain?
Q. You were asked what PG know about MJ during tour, setting aside that first meeting if PG
(sorry laptop died at this point, lost few q and A)
Still Cahan questioning Dr Finkelstein:
Q. Did Forecast ever tell you MJ was secretive about what drugs were being administered?
A. It was always secretive, no one doctor knew the full story.
Q. Other then speaking to Forecast on tour did you ever speak with him again?
A. Once in 95 corresponded with him, I was asked to go and see Michael because he was in pain, then I went on dive trip, for some reason MJ canceled rehearsal, I faxed my records over to Dr Metzger
BACK TO BOYLE
Q. Did you have antidote?
A. Yes Narcan. If I am going to administer medication, I am going to have safety plan
Q. You mentioned Klein came on Dangerous tour?
A. Yes he would come in repeatedly
Q. How about Dr Hoefflin?
A. He came couple time for weekend on Dangerous tour
Q. Did you spend time with him?
Q. You were not on History tour?
Q. Do you have any medical records of meds administered in Bangkok?
A. No they were stolen in Istanbul
Q. So you made records?
Q. In Mexico?
A. I kept a journal of everything I did but those were stolen in Istanbul. I had records from one visit in 95, but they got filed if I don’t see anyone for a long time, so they got called out, disposed of
Q. All those records of treating MJ?
Q. So any records you had of treating MJ were stolen, destroyed?
Q. Can you tell me about your visit to MJ in 95?
A. I had a call from Brad Buxer. He was having back spasm.
DEPOSITION ENDED, KEVIN BOYLE HAS SUBMITTED INTO EVIDENCE INCLUDING EXHIBITS.
THE DANGEROUS TOUR ENDS
As regards the journal “stolen in Istambul” I need to make a couple of notes. Firstly, Istambul was on September 22nd and if the thief was sent from MJ’s part to “cover up the traces” they would have stolen the records after the tour and not in the middle of it. So it must have been the usual theft – for money, for example.
And second, there were several more cities after Istambul so Dr. Finkelstein should have had at least the second half of the records, unless they also got filed and were destroyed.
The MJJ Timeline will tell the rest of the story for 1993. When you look at all of it you begin to understand why Michael could not stay alone during that tour and needed the support of his friends Frank and Eddie Cascios:
September 22: Michael arrives in Istanbul (Turkey) with Frank & Eddie. They go to the cinema to watch Jurassik Park. Jeanne White, Ryan White’s mother, tells the press that she met Jordy at Neverland in July and doesn’t believe he was molested by Michael.
September 23: Michael performs in concert in Istanbul.
September 24: Michael arrives in Tenerife with the Cascios.
September 26: Michael performs in concert in Tenerife .
September 27-October 6: Following the cancellation of the South African concerts due to continued violence there, Michael takes a break and goes to Switzeland with Frank & Eddie. They stay at Elizabeth Taylor’s chalet in Gstaad for several days and then visit Geneva.
October 7: Michel arrives in Buenos Aires with Frank & Eddie.
October 8/10/12: Concerts in Buenos Aires .
October 13: Michael arrives in Sao Paulo ( Brasil ) with Frank & Eddie.
October 15/17: Concerts in Sao Paulo .
October 18: Michael arrives in Santiago ( Chile ) with Frank & Eddie. Dr Arnold Klein & Debbie Rowe visit Michael.
October 21: Michael’s first concert in Santiago is cancelled due to a back injury.
October 23: Michael performs in Santiago .
October 24: Michael arrives in Mexico with Frank & Eddie.
October 27: Michael meets the President of Mexico.
October 29: Michael performs before 100 000 people in Mexico.
October 31: Second concert before 100 000 people in Mexico. Michael’s grandfather, Samuel Jackson dies at the age of 90.
November 2: Michael cancels his third Mexican concert due to a severe toothache.
November 4: Michael receives oral surgery to have an abscessed molar extracted and stays in hospital overnight.
November 5: Michael attends a party for children at the Hard Rock Café.
November 7: Third concert in Mexico
November 8: While the Jackson family is in Phoenix for Samuel Jackson’s funeral, the police search Hayvenhurst… Michael’s attorney Howard Manning flies to Mexico City to take a deposition from Michael for a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by three songwriters claiming Thriller, The Girl Is Mine & We Are The World were stolen from them…
November 9: Elizabeth Taylor & Larry Fortensky fly to to join Michael. Fourth concert in Mexico.
November 11: Michael performs the 69th and last concert of the Dangerous World Tour in Mexico.
November 12: Michael leaves with Liz & Larry, stopping off in Canada and Iceland and finally lands at Luton airport in England. Liz & Larry fly on to Gstaad while Michael secretly goes to London . Frank & Eddie fly back to NYC.
November 12: He announces in an audio-taped message that he is cancelling the rest of the tour in order to seek treatment for an addiction to painkillers.
November 14: A spokesman for Pepsico announces their relationship with Michael Jackson is over. Following Elton John’s advice, Michael checks in a private detox clinic in London.
November 16: Police obtain a strip search warrant for Michael Jackson in order to verify a description of his genitals given by Jordy Chandler.
November 23: Dangerous: The Short Films is released on VHS
November 24: The administration of Michael’s music catalogue ATV moves from MCA Music to EMI Music Publishing. Los Angeles Superior Court judge, David Rothman sets March 21, 1994, as the date for the civil suit against Michael to begin, denying a request from Michael’s attorneys to delay the proceedings until the criminal investigation is completed.
December 02 : Katherine and Jermaine appear on CNN’s Showbiz Today and Hard Copy to defend Michael and refute remarks made by five former security guards.
December 08: LaToya shocks the world by holding a midnight press conference in Tel Aviv, Istrael where she says that she “can no longer be a silent collaborator” to Michael’s ‘crimes against young innocent victims”. Her husband and manager Jack Gordon is by her side. The Jackson family reacts immediately and holds a press conference at Hayvenhurst to refute LaToya’s claims. Katherine, Joe, Jermaine, Jackie, Tito & Randy tell CNN that LaToya has been brainwashed by her “money hungry” husband Jack Gordon.December 08: Frank & Eddie visit Michael at his rehab center in London.
December 10 :Michael leaves London and returns home to Neverland with Frank & Eddie.
December 22: Live from Neverland and around the world, Michael makes a 4 minutes statement where he claims his innocence and reveals that earlier this week he was forced bt the LAPD and SBPD to submit to a photo session of his body and genitals.
WHEN WAS THE SCALP SURGERY?
All this talk about opiates and scalp surgery made me look up the schedule of the Dangerous tour and attempt to guess when those terrible procedures could take place:
- The first leg began on June 27, 1992 in Munich, Germany and ended on October 1, 1992 in Bucharest, Romania.
- The second leg began on December 12, 1992 and ended on December 31, 1992 in Tokyo, Japan.
- The third leg of the tour began on August 24, 1993 in Bangkok, Thailand and ended on November 11, 1993 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Stretching the skin takes time, and the biggest break Michael had for this procedure was between January – August 1993. So the balloon was most probably put under Michael’s scalp at the beginning of 1993, when the second leg of the Dangerous tour was over and the third was planned only half a year later.
And this means that the first half of 1993 Michael was in very much pain as stretching the scalp is no easy matter – Michael said to his friend David Nordahl that it was giving him excruciating pain and much suffering.
We knew of it before but did not know when, and now that we do it turns out that it was exactly the period when Michael was friends with the Chandlers and the time about which Evan and Jordan Chandler would later make their allegations.
We’ve seen a picture of Michael sitting in the house of June Chandler in some casual clothes and a hat. The reason why he was wearing his hat everywhere he went was because he was having his scalp stretched.
And this is also why he was suffering from a terrible migraine when he was in Evan Chandler’s house on the last days of May, 1993. As you remember Evan gave him a shot of a painkiller Toradol in his “gluteus” (the buttocks) and by the way did not notice any scarring there as no mention of it was made in Ray Chandler’s book.
So whatever appeared on Michael’s buttocks it must have happened much later, when the pain from the balloon (or the allegations) must have become totally unbearable.
Michael’s detractors jump at every opportunity to throw extra dirt at him, and I am afraid they will not lose the chance of saying that Michael was in so terrible a condition that under the effect of those painkillers he would “molest” Jordan Chandler, probably even not realizing it (in his sleep, unconsciously, etc).
Without waiting for them to say that let me state the following.
A WORD FOR MICHAEL’S DETRACTORS
I’ve looked up the effect of opioids on people and found that firstly, people under opioids stay very clear in their head and can function even better than without them as it dulls their pain. One of the most famous world surgeons was dependent on opiates and performed brilliant operations after taking his medication. Another possible effect of opiates is that a person will become drowsy and nod, even when standing or in the middle of the conversation. In these cases people complain of extreme fatigue which as doctors say is quite real.
As regards of the possibility of “molestation” activities I’ve also found that opiods have a unique and a very detrimental side-effect on both men and women. This effect is a substantial loss of libido or sex drive as opiates are suppressing the hormones responsible for it. These people simply don’t want it.
All people dependent on opioids note the effect and it is only recently that doctors began to recognize how universal it is. Some opiate dependent patients say sex is the last thing they are thinking of, some say that once a month for them is really too much, and all males say that it is not only because of their inability to perform but due to the total lack of desire.
And this is what’s crucial for our case – total lack of sexual desire.
So without making any differentiation for who it might concern the opiate patches given to Michael in the first half of 1993 would make his libido significantly diminish or even completely die out.
And from this point of view I have to agree with those who thought of him as “asexual” at some moments in time – the science indeed says that while he was given opioids sex was the last thing he was thinking of.
There is no need to be hysterical over it – it is a scientific fact, and since opiates are raised now anyway I see no reason why I cannot speak of their after-effects too.
You will say that this is a very strange and funny way to prove that there could be no “molestation” in 1993 even in principle and I will agree that it is indeed funny and strange, but I am not inventing anything and have to state the asexual effect of opioids just for the sake of the truth.
All males who are taking or given opiates go through this process as their hormone system is affected in the same way. Once the opiates are gone the sex drive returns and even at an enhanced level as if to compensate for the time lost, but during the time of taking the drug and sometime after that the libido is low, and this means that at that time Michael was unlikely to display any sexual interest in anyone at all.
You will say that we needn’t strip Michael of his sex drive in order to prove his innocence as we know it anyway, and I will perfectly agree, but I cannot close my eyes on this scientific fact either. No, it doesn’t mean impotency or anything of the kind – all it means is that he didn’t think of this side of life then and channelled all his energy into his work.
And I am absolutely not kidding.
I’ve been to their forums and this is what they say:
- Just wondering if even a small amount of opiates would kill your sex drive. My husband has been taking smallish amounts for 2 weeks now for back pain and his sex drive is completely gone as is his desire for affection.
- Yes any opiate will kill the libido.. some faster than others.
- Absolutely. yes, yes and yes.
- This is a common side effect from long term opiate use. Opiates can lower men’s testosterone levels leaving them with little or no libido. Have you ever heard of a horny heroin addict, no, me either lol.
- It’s common for any type of opiate to cause this. The effect seems to continue to compound. So even if you stop using it for a while, your libido may come back, but maybe not as strong, and will disappear faster once you use it again.
- When I’ve had morphine, sex has been the farthest thing from my mind
- I promise you it all comes back. I had thought I might be washed up there for a while but PRAISE THE LORD it didn’t happen.
- Just give it a little time and you will return to your old self. At least that is the way it worked for me. And that is how it works for most of us guys. Stupid opiates have to be the worst thing in the world for enhancing sexual performance. All they do is get us totally blitzed.
- Welcome to the wonderful world of pain pills. This is one of the most common side effects of several medications including RX pain meds. There is one way that will fix this problem for sure. Stop taking RX drugs. That is undoubtedly not what you want to hear. But ALL of us that abused RX pain meds went through the same thing. And when we get clean guess what happens? It’s back to the days of old. At least that was what happened to me. Will look for your reply. God bless.
- LOL,I have to agree with Robert, Thats the only way your going to get your sex drive back. been there…
- My question is, how long after discontinuing opiate use can he hope to feel a return of his sex drive? He has noticed that it is drastically diminished from what it was a few years ago. He feels like he could have naked women walking right in front of him and has had a couple bad experiences with them in the same bed with him. He simply doesn’t feel any drive for sex. He doesn’t know why in terms of neuroscience that this happens but read that it may be a result of dopamine receptors being filled with opiate transmitters resulting in a feeling of being totally satisfied w/o sex. Any thoughts or feedback would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
- I been very stressed and was just kind of floating around here and found this thread… I am totally in hysteria right now.. I needed the good laughs.. I am by no means degrating this problem and I am surprised I have never seen this topic brought up here before… But some of the posts here are making me laugh so hard for some reason… Maybe because its just the fact I have been there and can look back and see myself in the same situations and its so true..
I’ve been to their sites and this is what they say:
- Many men are amazed to discover the facts on drugs and sex. The long term effects of medication and recreational drugs on the male sex drive can be extremely dampening, causing the hormonal balance of the body to become disrupted.
- Opiates have a long history as drugs which dull the sexual urge. In the past 20 years the effect of opiates have been studied extensively in laboratory and farm animals. There have been few studies in humans, mostly those involving patients receiving oral or spinal pain therapy, with little in the way of systematic controlled experiments.
- Opiates interfere with sex hormone levels which can cause lack of libido.
- In male rats, morphine significantly reduces testosterone secretion.
- In human subjects opiate therapy or abuse is widely associated with loss of libido (sex drive).
- In studies of pain-management patients receiving opioid analgesic therapy, Abs et al reported: “Decreased libido was present in 23 of 24 men…, and in 22 of 32 women receiving opioids.“
- A single injection of morphine to fight persistent pain in male rats is able to strongly reduce the hormone testosterone in the brain and plasma, according to a new paper published in the journal Molecular Pain. It has been known that patients treated with opioids for short or long periods show low levels of gonadal hormones.
- “The use of opioids puts a ‘physiological’ block on the reproductive system and can induce a long lasting absence of these essential hormones from the blood and the brain,” says Dr. Aloisi. “Until a few years ago this condition was completely unrecognized by physicians although some reports clearly showed it in many kinds of patients,” notes Dr. Aloisi.
- We’ve often discussed the various negative side effects of opiate use and dependency; however one that is rarely discussed is loss of libido. Many patients who are dependent on opiates and prescription painkillers, including those with chronic pain can experience a lack of sexual drive as well as sexual dysfunction.
- According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, impaired sexual performance and diminished libido in opiate users can be caused by an interference of the drugs with sex hormone secretion. In the study, once opiate use was discontinued researchers found that sexual drive returned to normal levels. http://www.opiates.com/newsletters/link-between-opiate-dependency-libido.html
I don’t know about you but it definitely clarified my understanding of some ‘gaps’ in Michael’s private life despite all his powerful sexuality. He surely made up for them when the opiates were over and his suppressed sexuality had a rebound effect as with all others, but I am still worrying about how many times doctors gave him continuous Demerol in 1984 -1993 and the possible effect it could have on him. Not only did it make him dependent but it also made him asexual?
And could this forced asexuality be the reason why Michael was putting all his energy into his work brushing his private life aside?
If you disagree to apply these scientific findings to MJ let us consider the above just a piece of important anti-drug information for everyone to know. But frankly I don’t see how Michael could manage to avoid things that happen to all those who are given these terrible opiate painkillers.
Let me also note that according to Gongaware Michael was absolutely clean of any drugs during the next History tour. And according to Dr. Schnoll who reviewed all available medical records Michael was clean of any drugs for 13,5 years out of the 16 years reviewed.
* * *
UPDATE July 16, 2013:
I’m beginning to doubt August 23, 1993 as the date of the scalp surgery given to us by Mr. Putnam. Michael arrived in Bangkok on August 21, 1993 and is seen in the photos already without a hat, so most probably the surgery was several days earlier than that. Evidently Putnam’s research is not as good as Karen Faye thought it to be.