Jackson's Body Released; Chopra Speaks of Drug Use
With Michael Jackson's autopsy complete but a cause of death deferred pending further testing, the pop icon's body has been released to a mortuary.
The body was moved to an undisclosed location around 9:30 pm/PT Friday, Ed Winter, assistant chief coroner of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told CNN. Jackson's family have gathered, but no funeral arrangements have been made public.
See our full coverage of Michael Jackson's death
The coroner's office revealed Friday that it could take up to six weeks for toxicology tests to provide a clear cause of death, but the autopsy showed "no indication of any external trauma or any foul play." Meanwhile, there have been anecdotal reports of Jackson's prescription drug use, including a firsthand account from Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Chopra, who said he knew Jackson for more than two decades, told CNN that Jackson asked him for narcotics during a weeklong stay at Chopra's facility after Jackson was acquitted in his 2005 child-molestation trial. "I said, 'What the heck do you want a narcotic prescription for?' And it suddenly dawned on me that he was probably taking these and that he had probably a number of doctors who were giving him these prescriptions, so I confronted him with that," Chopra said. "At first, he denied it. Then, he said he was in a lot of pain."
See the list of planned TV tributes to Jackson
Chopra said when he tried unsuccessfully to persuade Jackson to handle his pain in other ways, he lost contact with the singer. Chopra described Jackson as an addict and suggested he received narcotics such as OxyContin and Demerol from doctors Chopra called "drug peddlers." Chopra also said he believes drugs are to blame for Jackson's death.
"When you have enough drugs in your system, your heart goes into an arrhythmia and your respiration stops," he said. "I think the drugs killed him."
Check out other things you might not have known about Jackson
Other updates and tidbits:
• Jackson's ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, posted a lengthy blog on her MySpace page, recalling a conversation with Jackson, in which he predicted that he would die young like Presley's father, rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley. In the post, titled "He Knew," Presley wrote: "He stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did. I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that." Read the full posting here.
Check out other musicians who died before their time
• Despite reports that Jackson was too unhealthy to perform, Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the Grammy Awards, told the Associated Press that he watched Jackson's rehearsals Wednesday and was impressed. "There was this one moment, he was moving across the stage and he was doing these trademark Michael moves, and I know I got this big grin on my face, and I started thinking to myself, 'You know, it's been years since I've seen that,'" Ehrlich said. "There was that Michael that was just like no one else and no one else could touch. The shame is that new generation won't see that — but we all came close to being able to see it again."
• Hip-hop and R&B artists including The Game, Diddy, Chris Brown, Usher, Boyz II Men and Mario Winans joined forces to record a MJ tribute track. The song, titled "Better on the Other Side," debuted on L.A. radio station Power 106 Friday. Listen to the song here.