Michael Jackson: What Happened? Mystery Surrounds His Death
Los Angeles police have interviewed the private doctor who was with Michael Jackson when he apparently suffered cardiac arrest — and impounded the doctor's car because it may contain "medications or other evidence," police told TVGuide.com.
The news came as a coroner's investigator announced Friday that the cause of Jackson's death could not be determined without further testing, including toxicology results expected to take four to six weeks. Craig Harvey, chief investigator for the L.A. County Coroner's Office, said there was "no indication of any external trauma or any foul play."
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The doctor's car, left at Jackson's home, was impounded because anything inside it "could be helpful to the coroner in determining the cause of death," Los Angeles Police Department officer Karen Rayner said. Detectives planned to talk again with the doctor, who was cooperative and is not under criminal investigation, she said.
"We spoke to the doctor briefly," on Thursday, Rayner said Friday. "We said that we need to conduct further follow-ups with that doctor to get a more in-depth interview and it's not like he's on the lam or we've got an APB out for him. It's just that we had not, as of this morning, had a chance to interview him at length."
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The doctor, whose name has not been released, was present with Jackson when emergency workers were called to the singer's home Thursday. Jackson's brother, Jermaine Jackson, said the doctor was the first to try to resuscitate Jackson, followed by paramedics and doctors at the hospital where he was taken.
Jermaine Jackson said cardiac arrest was the likely cause of death, but that it wouldn't be certain until the coroner's examination was complete.
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An attorney for Debbie Rowe, the mother of Jackson's children Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11, told People that Rowe is their legal parent and can gain custody of them if she wants. Iris Finsilver said she spoke with Rowe on Thursday but could not say what she would do. "She was inconsolable," Finsilver said.
Finsilver did not return a call for comment from TVGuide.com on Friday.
Jackson manager, Frank DiLeo, told the magazine the children and Jackson's third child, 7-year-old Prince Michael II, have been with Jackson's mother, Katherine, since Jackson died.
Though questions about the death focused immediately on a possible drug overdose, Jackson had battled health problems for years — and even canceled the first in a series of planned comeback concerts because he was feeling ill, according to longtime friend Smokey Robinson.
"I was in London, and the promoter who was promoting those concerts, I was talking with him," Robinson told CNN's Larry King. "And he said, 'Well, we have to cancel the first five concerts because Michael isn't feeling well.' So I said, 'OK, fine, everybody is entitled not to feel well.'"
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Jackson, who was scheduled to perform 50 shows at London's O2 arena, rehearsed the night before he died, according to a report citing longtime manager Frank DiLeo. The concerts could have helped Jackson pay off his massive debts and remind fans of the talents that once made him the most beloved entertainer in the world.
Fueling the drug questions was a former attorney of Jackson's who admitted he had no knowledge of the singer's recent life. Brian Oxman, who parted ways with Jackson's legal team while the singer faced child molestation charges, told several media outlets he had warned relatives for years about Jackson's abuse of prescription drugs.
Jackson was repeatedly rushed to the hospital during his 2005 molestation trial, for problems ranging from a bad back to what were described as "viral symptoms." At the time of his November 2003 arrest on child molestation charges, the six-foot singer weighed 120 pounds. By the time he was acquitted, in June 2005, his weight had dropped precipitously.
Jackson never bounced back from the trial. Though prosecutors failed to win their case, they did succeed, intentionally or not, in humiliating the biggest pop star in history. Witnesses testified that he drank wine from soda cans and called it Jesus juice. Prosecutors displayed pornographic magazines seized from his home on an overhead projector, for jurors, his parents, and worldwide media to view.
At one point a prosecutor querying potential jurors asked if any of them could name one of Jackson's songs from the last decade. None could.
Despite the singer's woes, fans were starved for comeback, Robinson noted.
"The proof of him being Michael Jackson, who he will always be, is the fact that he was going to do 50 concerts," said Robinson, Jackson's former Motown Records labelmate. "And the place he was playing is a big arena-type place over in London. OK? Ten minutes or so after the tickets went on sale, they were all sold out."