Michael Jackson's former anesthetist opens up about star's drug use
An anesthetist who sedated or monitored Michael Jackson before surgical procedures 35 times between 1993 and 2003 has testified he refused to put the King of Pop to sleep on one occasion because he was acting inappropriately.
David Fournier took the witness stand on Thursday (25Jul13) in the ongoing Jackson wrongful death trial in Los Angeles - a day after a Miami, Florida-based doctor told the court he treated the tragic pop superstar for an addiction to painkiller Demerol a decade ago.
The certified nurse anesthetist revealed the singer was scheduled to receive some "facial work" in 2003, but Fournier cancelled the procedure after becoming concerned about Jackson's behaviour, explaining the singer was acting "a little goofy, a little slow to respond".
Fournier testified that Jackson assured him he had not taken any recreational drugs or medication, but he didn't believe him, and refused to proceed.
It was the last time he worked with the Thriller star.
The anesthetist also told the court that Jackson stopped breathing during one dermatological procedure, and he recalled having to control the singer's ventilation and "assist" it.
Fournier, who was called to the stand as a defence witness in the wrongful death suit Jackson's mother and three children filed against executives at AEG Live - the company behind the singer's ill-fated This Is It tour - also recalled administering the anaesthetic propofol, which claimed Jackson's life in June, 2009, 14 times between 2000 and 2003.
He told the court that the singer often referred to the drug as "the milk", referencing its street name milk of amnesia.
Fournier said he administered anesthesia to Jackson for procedures including scalp work, dental treatment, cosmetic fillers, Botox and collagen injections, as well as "extensive tattooing" on the singer's lips and eyes, adding, "He often needed to be sedated".
Lawyers representing AEG Live insist Fournier's testimony further indicates that Jackson was regularly using propofol seven years before their clients partnered with the pop star for the This Is It shows.
The King of Pop's mother and children maintain AEG executives are liable because they failed to supervise her son's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who is serving time behind bars for administering the fatal dose of the anaesthetic that claimed Jackson's life.
The case continues.
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