Remembering Bubbles the chimp and Michael Jackson's other exotic pets | L.A. Unleashed | Los Angeles Times
Bubbles was, of course, part of Jackson's entourage -- and of his mystique -- in the 1980s. He accompanied Jackson to events and in the studio during the recording of his "Bad" album. When Jackson toured Japan, Bubbles was there. He even learned how to Moonwalk (sort of).
Of course, as with many elements of Jackson's life, it's hard to separate fact from fiction. The star reportedly rescued a young Bubbles from a cancer research center in Texas in 1985. The chimp eventually faded from public view, with few references made to him until Jackson's famous television interview with British journalist Martin Bashir, "Living with Michael Jackson," which aired in early 2003. In the interview, Jackson told Bashir that Bubbles had become aggressive as he aged, and had been sent away over fears that he would harm Jackson's youngest child, Prince Michael II.
Bubbles had apparently been living with his longtime trainer, Bob Dunn, since at least as early as 2002, when Dunn spoke with People Magazine. "Bubbles is an adult chimp and a wild animal," Dunn told the magazine. "We don't let him out to play."
The trainer did say, however, that Jackson and his children had been to his Sylmar ranch to visit the chimp. "The last time Michael visited, Bubbles definitely recognized and remembered him," he told the Telegraph.
In late 2003, a report surfaced that Bubbles had attempted suicide but "was rushed to the hospital in time." (No further details, or even confirmation that the attempt happened at all, were forthcoming.) And then, once again, the chimp returned to a life of relative obscurity.
In 2005, Dunn stopped working with great apes and sent the ones still living on his ranch, including Bubbles, to a the Center for Great Apes, a nonprofit sanctuary in southern-central Florida. The sanctuary's website describes the chimp, now 26, as charismatic and "able to throw sand with amazing accuracy." It sums up his character in three words: smart, distinctive and tender.
A representative for Jackson contacted the sanctuary after Bubbles arrived, suggesting that the star would like to visit his former pet. (The sanctuary is closed to the public, so special arrangements would have to be made for such a visit.) But, sanctuary director Patti Ragan told People in a recent interview, Jackson never made it to Florida. Bubbles doesn't seem to mind, though -- after all, chimps are ill-suited to life with humans, and his new home affords him the opportunity to interact with other chimps, notably his best friend, Sam.
Sanctuary staff haven't attempted to tell Bubbles about his former owner's death. "We haven't said anything to him yet," Ragan told People.
As for Jackson's other animals -- he kept tigers, giraffes, reptiles, birds and other exotics at his Neverland Ranch -- they seem to have been scattered to the four winds. The AFP reports:
While Bubbles remains high-profile, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it was hard to track down most of Jackson's former pets.
Lisa Wathne, PETA's specialist in captive exotic animals, voiced particular concern about two of Jackson's orangutans sent to a private owner in Connecticut and reptiles at a roadside zoo in Oklahoma.
She said Jackson's case showed why wild animals should not be kept as pets.
"All too often even people who start with good intentions, as Michael Jackson certainly did, don't have the ability to properly care for these animals," she said.
"And unfortunately in Michael Jackson's case he did apparently run into financial problems that ultimately led to his animals being disbursed to places all over the world. We don't know, frankly, where most of them ended up."
Two tigers, Thriller and Sabu, now reside at Tippi Hedren's Shambala sanctuary in Acton, north of L.A. Thirteen Chilean flamingos ended up at the Cape May County Zoo in New Jersey. Giraffes went to a sanctuary in Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border, but faced eviction earlier this year.
As recently as a few months ago, Jackson's fascination with exotic animals was still causing controversy and making headlines. When reports suggested that the star's planned London concert series would include animals like elephants and panthers, PETA complained, telling music magazine NME that "exotic animals belong in Africa, not the O2 Arena among screaming fans, bright lights and stage explosions." The animal rights group later backed down when it said it had been told no animals would be used in the O2 concerts.
For a look backward at Jackson's exotic-pet history, check out Discovery's Born Animal blog.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Artist Jeff Koons' statue "Michael Jackson and Bubbles," which sold for $5.6 million at auction in 2001. Credit: Sotheby's
June 30, 2009
Remembering Bubbles the chimp and Michael Jackson's other exotic pets | L.A. Unleashed | Los Angeles Times
Birth Sep. 11, 1914
Death Jan. 18, 1997
He was the longtime guard at the gates of Graceland and fans would stop by and ask him questions about Elvis.
"Uncle Vester" Presley 84 year-old uncle of Elvis, worked at Graceland, but adamantly refutes that he had a sister called Dixie Greenwood who claims was his grandmother. According to Greenwood, Dixie was Vester and Vernon's (Elvis' father) sister, who contacted syphilis and died in a mental hospital, never to be spoken of again.
"This Greenwood is in no way related to me or Elvis... She ain't got no Presley blood in her, that's for sure," says Vest.
Elvis's uncle Vester Presley, was a teenager before he owned his first pair of shoes.
Vester Presley came every Monday night to the Coliseum for a long time and he used to bring Lisa Marie to the wrestling matches when she was four or five years old.
"Dr. Nichopoulos would give Elvis this stuff, or he'd say, 'I'll buy a drugstore.'"
In September 1974, Elvis bought his Uncle Vester a gold Coupe de Ville with a black top: VIN 6D47S5Q101075. He also gave an affidavit stating that the dent on the left front fender was from where Vester shot off his gun while staying at Graceland.
A Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham was a gift to the infamous Dr Nick in Sweden in 1989.
Elvis: Dr. George 'Nick' Nichopoulos 'NOT GUILTY!' Auction
New Article Sources News - For sale: a doctor’s memories of Marilyn and Elvis
For sale: a doctor’s memories of Marilyn and ElvisPosted by admin in Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Author: By Guy Adams in Los Angeles
The grisly selection of memorabilia and medical paraphernalia includes personal effects that belonged to Presley’s physician, George “Dr Nick” Nichopoulos, such as a “nasal douche” which the so-called King of Rock ’n' Roll used to treat his sinuses and irrigate his throat before each concert.
The two-day sale in June includes a number of items from a separate collection of Monroe’s property, including two bricks from her house, signed exchequers, alcohol receipts, an umbrella and a dressing gown purported to be the last garment she wore before she died from a drug overdose, which is expected to fetch $6,000 (£3,745).
It also contains guns, jewelery and four bottles of medication Dr Nichopoulos issued on 15 August 1977, the day before “The King” died on the toilet from a prescription drug overdose.
Those products were at the center of an investigation that saw Dr Nick charged and acquitted of over-prescribing controlled substances to the singer in the months before his death.
They formed part of a traveling collection at local casinos but Dr Nichopoulos, 81, is no longer able to continue touring, so is selling 45 of the items through the California memorabilia company Julien’s Auctions. The collection is expected to sell for between $200,000 and $400,000.
“Elvis was a very big giver, and he gave a lot of things away,” Dr Nichopoulos told Bloomingdale yesterday. “[The collection] kind of describes Elvis in a way: some of his interests, like he loved guns and sheriffs’ badges and books and religious things and jewelery. It gives you an idea of some of the things he was interested in.”
Though Las Vegas and restraint are not often associated, the sale has been criticized in some quarters for overstepping the boundaries of taste.
Priscilla Presley, Elvis’s wife from 1967 to 1973, said she was “very disappointed” in Dr Nick’s decision to sell the items: “That a doctor could betray a patient who trusted his professional advice, trusted his integrity, trusted his right to privacy, but mostly his loyalty, is beyond my comprehension.”
All shook up: Elvis’s pills
Twenty-four hours before his death Elvis was prescribed a pack of 50mg Beneficiary tablets, one of the oldest anti-histamines taken for allergies such as hay fever. Did Elvis suffer from allergies? Or did he just enjoy the woozy feeling induced by the powerful sedative effect common to all first generation anti-histamines?
In the 1970s, anti-histamines were used, and abused, as sleeping pills and as part of a cocktail with alcohol and other recreational drugs. Elvis also used a nasal douche to irrigate his sinuses and treat his throat. In heavy overdose Benadryl can cause a heart attack.
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Presley's drug bottle snapped upPresley's drug bottle snapped up
A prescription drug bottle belonging to Elvis Presley was just one of the unusual lots sold at a US auction.
The bottle had contained antihistamine medication
A gold-plated gun which was owned by Presley sold for $28,800, (£14,571) at the auction held by Julien's.
An umbrella used as a prop by Marilyn Monroe in a 1949 photo fetched $42,000 (£21,249), while Alfred Hitchcock's passport sold for $19,200 (£9,714)
Presley's pill bottle, which had to be sold empty to comply with the law, went for $2,640 (£1,335).
The bottle had contained antihistamine drug Naldecon, which was prescribed by George Nichopoulos, Presley's personal doctor during the 1970s.
"We'd planned to sell the bottle with the pills, but the Los Angeles Police Department told us it would be a federal crime to do it, so sad to say we had to remove the pills," said the auction house's chief executive, Darren Julien.Monroe's polka dot umbrella is now set to go on display at the Museum of Style Icons in County Kildare, Ireland, says its new owner William Doyle.
Elvis Presley's Pill Bottle Sells for $2,640 at Celeb Auction - FOXNews.com - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment
Elvis Presley's Pill Bottle Sells for $2,640 at Celeb Auction
BEVERLY HILLS — A gold-plated gun and a pill bottle owned by Elvis Presley, an umbrella twirled by Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Hitchcock's passport were among items that attracted bidders at an auction Saturday.
The umbrella used by Monroe in a famous 1949 seaside photo shoot by Andre de Dienes sold for $42,000 at the annual Julien's Summer Auction,
CEO Darren Julien said in a statement. The buyer, William Doyle, said
he planned to display the umbrella at the Museum of Style Icons in
County Kildare, Ireland.
Hitchcock's passport sold for $19,200 during the eight-hour auction at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
gun commanded $28,800, while a microphone used by the rock icon on the
Louisiana Hayride in the 1950s sold for $15,000.
A prescription pill bottle belonging to Presley sold for $2,640.
planned to sell the bottle with the pills, but the Los Angeles Police
Department told us it would be a federal crime to do it, so sad to say
we had to remove the pills," Julien said before the auction.
undated bottle was for the antihistamine and decongestant drug
Naldecon, prescribed by George Nichopoulos, who was Presley's personal
physician from 1970 until his death.
DR. 'NICK' NICHOPOULOS: ELVIS DOUCHE + BAG FETCH $18,176.00 + MICHAEL JACKSON MEMORABILIA ON FIRE! (video 2:20)
DON'T MISS THIS ONE OF A KIND AUCTION JUNE 26TH AND JUNE 27TH AT PLANET HOLLYWOOD RESORT AND CASINO, LAS VEGAS THIS THE PREMIERE CELEBRITY MEMORABILIA EVENT. HITTING THE AUCTION BLOCK... ITEMS FROM MARILYN MONROE, ELVIS PRESLEY-- THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL, FRANK SINATRA, ANN MILLER, OZZY OSBOURNE, CHER, KATHARINE HEPBURN, STAR TREK, BRUCE WILLIS, LIBERACE, BARBARA STREISAND, WALT DISNEY, MICHAEL JACKSON, KISS, ANDY WARHOL, THE JACKSON FIVE AND MORE. DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO OWN A PIECE OF HOLLYWOOD HISTORY. FREE EXHIBITION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ON THE MEZZANINE LEVEL OF PLANET HOLLYWOOD IN LAS VEGAS FROM BEGINNING JUNE 13TH AND THRU THE AUCTION ON JUNE 27TH.
Julien's Summer SaleAUCTION RESULTSFriday June 26 and Saturday, June 27, 2009 Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas LOT # LOT HEADING FINAL
274 ELVIS PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE $6,400.00 275 ELVIS - LARYNGEAL SCOPE $1,792.00 276 ELVIS - NASAL DOUCHE $2,176.00 277 ELVIS - DR. GEORGE NICHOPOULOS DOCTOR BAG $16,000.00
334 MICHAEL JACKSON ORIGINAL DRAWING $20,480.00 335 MICHAEL JACKSON ORIGINAL PAINTING $25,000.00
Photo courtesy of Julien's Auctions
Just this past weekend a couple of old, dare I say vintage, consumer electronics items went on the auction block in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The two items were a small black and white television and a clock radio.
The small Sony TV measured 10 by 8 by 8 3/4 inches. It’s a black and white picture, missing some knobs and it isn’t even clear if it still works (you’d need a converter box now too because this is most definitely an analog set). The description wasn’t clear about what the screen size was or what year it was manufactured. This TV sold at auction for $1,024.00 (including a buyer’s premium of 20 to 28%). TVs of this vintage commonly sell for less than $100 to collectors from sources such as eBay. How could this television sell for so much money? It belonged to Elvis. Apparently, this was one of Elvis’s favorite gadgets. It is reported that Elvis watched this TV constantly. Although it isn’t widely known, Elvis was a huge gadget lover and was constantly buying and using gadgets of all kinds in his spare time. Elvis gave this TV to his personal physician Dr. George Nichopoulos (otherwise known as “Dr. Nick”) when he realized that Dr. Nick needed a portable set to watch football games.
Photo courtesy of Julien's Auctions
How can a clearly obsolete television fetch over a thousand dollars at auction like this one did? When you consider that $1,000 today buys you a 46” flat screen Sony TV it is even more amazing. The answer is provenance. The fact that Elvis owned and used this TV (this has been documented as being true) before giving it to his friend Dr. Nick gives it value that far exceeds what an ordinary example of this model would fetch.
The second item that was sold at auction was a Panasonic Touch & Call clock radio. This radio had a very unique feature for its time, it could speak the time when tapped. Reportedly, this is exactly the type of gadget Elvis went crazy for. Elvis used this clock radio on his bedside for a while before he gave it as a gift to Dr. Nick. It sold at the auction for $1,000 including the 20 to 28% buyer’s premium. That’s a lot of money for an analog clock! Again, it’s all about the provenance. The fact that Elvis owned and used this clock radio makes all the difference.
So there you have it, two items that sold for many times their material due to their famous previous owner. Would you have spent that much money on a consumer electronics relic of the past or would you go for the LCD flat screen TV?
The King of Pop meets Elvis in heaven
Remember that bad storm that plowed through here on Friday afternoon? Skip Waters and all of the other local forecasters who haven't been fired because they make too much money said it was caused by a cold front, but I ain't buying it.
I think the atmospheric disturbance was caused by the heavenly meeting of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.
On paper, it would seem both of these men have a lot in common. Elvis was a worldwide superstar, had a daughter named Lisa Marie Presley and died young due to complications brought on by a drug probelm.
Michael Jackson was a worldwide superstar, was once married to Lisa Marie Presley and died young (allegedly) due to complications brought on by a drug problem.
They also both left this world as pasty white men.
When Michael passed through the pearly gates Thursday, Elvis had his driver pick Michael up in a Cadillac. When the car reached the Graceland North section of heaven, Michael got out of the car and knocked on the door. Elvis opened the door and invited him in.
"So, you're the King of Pop, huh?" Elvis inquired.
"That's right, coo pooh!" Jackson squealed in his characteristic style while gripping himself in an area I'm not allowed to mention in this family publication.
"What's with the one glove?" Elvis asked. "Fingerprints can still be lifted from the other hand."
Hearing that comment, Michael kicked Elvis in his formidable stomach and moonlighted up the side of his head. Elvis countered with a hip swivel and a karate chop that saw Jackson's nose fly right off his head.
Elvis then looked on in horror as Jackson pulled another nose out of his pocket, attached it to his face and - in the great French tradition - smacked his opponent in the face with his 5-pound sequined glove.
Just at that moment, Ray Charles busted though the door and grabbed them both by the ear.
"You two should be ashamed of yourselves," Ray said. "You're both great artists, so why must you fight?"
MJ and Elvis both knew Ray was right. They shook hands and called a truce.
"Besides, neither one of you would have a career without me," Ray said. "I think I'm going to crash here for a while."
After relaxing on one of Elvis' couches, Ray said, "Michael, since you're the King of Pop, go get me a Diet Pepsi. And here's your ear back."
"How about a Diet Coke?" Jackson asked.
"Whatsit I say?" Ray said.
Ray then turned his attention to Elvis.
"Elvis, go make me one of those peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches you're always talking about," he said.
The three music legends then spent the rest of the day dining on manner pastiches and Diet Pepsi, which made quite a mess. As Elvis and Michael started to clean up the mess, Ray told them to sit down.
"Don't worry about the mess," Ray said. "Billy Mays will be here in a few minutes."
Jon Dawson can be reached at (252) 559-1083 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOP 5 "DR. CONOPOULOS COINCIDENCES"!
WHAT ARE THE ODs?
*Presley was born in Jackson, TN.
Jackson was born in Presley, IN.
* * * * * * *
[NO! TRICK! GOOD JOB!]
A.) *Elvis Presley was honored by the Jaycees as one of the 'Ten Most Outstanding Men in America.'
B.) *Jackson fondled a boy named CJ whom he paid $20 million dollars to NOT 'Stand Outside' Neverland with a sign.
A.) *Presley named his private jet, "Lisa Marie," after his only daughter.
B.) *Jackson named Lisa Marie beneficiary of his private 'Jet Magazine' collection in his will.
A.) *Although acquitted of murder, 'Dr Nick'-- George Constantine Nichopoulos was stripped of his license, even working as a FedEx Company Doctor for a time.
B.) *'Dr. Con' Conrad Murray, while not under indictment at the date of this writing, will most likely be stripped of his license and work as an Ex-Fed after serving time in prison.
A.) *Presley sang the song "In the Ghetto," which became a hit.
B.) * Jackson was hit by his ghetto father, Joe, and married Elvis's only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
A.) * Presley had a monkey named 'Scatter Jackson' he scolded for masturbating in front of his visiting Graceland fans.
B.) *Jackson had a monkey named 'Lisa the Ape' who masturbated his fans.
* Both Nichopoulos and Murray were smug before and after their patients' ODs. * Presley and Jackson have all the letters in their names. * Presley and Jackson both have five syllables in their names and/or initials. *Michael Jackson, Dr. Conrad Murray and Dr. George Nichopoulos each received letters from the DEA. *Murray gave Jackson shots in the bathroom and Jackson OD'd in the bedroom. -Nichopoulos gave Presley shots in the bedroom and Presley ODs in the bathroom. *Jackson liked to eat Demerol Gingerbread Cake sometimes. *Presley's girlfriend, Ginger Alden was called Gingerbread by Elvis. *Jackson and Presley's names each contain seven letters. *Both liked prescription drugs, doctors, and had their children at home when they OD'd in a white house.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THE COINCIDENCES:
-Michael Jackson from the list above seems incredibly coincidental, and it has been widely and continuously reprinted and distributed. In spite of the appearance of the surface of seemingly impressive number of these entries, there are either misleading or inaccurate facts therein, and the rest are only superficial coincidences that fail to touch the important differences that underlie.
The unknown seems to integrate the American press following the Jackson OD.
Nichopoulooza debunked a large part of his book: 'The Magic Numbers of Dr Nichopoulooza'.
We are supposed to be surprised by such minor happenstance that two men have the same number of letters in their names, but we're supposed to think nothing of the many coincidences.
I read about the Lincoln and Kennedy assassination and They do seem to have a mystery like they were both shot in the head and in the 60's--thewarriortoo
many too many 'coincidence' to be just random, these all happened cus they were planned. Basically some people behind the scenes planned this, and had to just put the pieces together to make it a reality.--paplaya I'm really glad to hear that smooth I've done is being used for education purpose. hope you guys enjoyed it here. say thanks to your teacher--tamdyrsomsa my history teacher showed us this yesterday.--osscountry if you noticed both vice president had similar features like their hair..--browngirllin
MICHAEL JACKSON ELVIS Abraham Lincoln JFK DR CONOPOULOS COINCIDENCE OD odds nichopoulooza URBAN LEGEND American Folklore Lisa Marie elvis presley Jet Magazine dr. nichopoulos george nichopoulos nichopoulos conrad murray jacko jackson wacko john f. kennedy John Wilkes Booth Lee Harvey Oswald civil rights White House Fords theater theatre Jacko Sleepover overdose Lawyer overprescribe Magic Numbers
The Michael Jackson/Elvis Presley parallels are instantly noticeable...Unexplained bruises on Jackson's lap in the shape of the "HOME ALONE FACE" of Macauley Culkin were found (Culkin is being sought for questioning).
Both shins were cut back like a fighting dog, indicating a recent decline or dogfight. Jackson's beautiful network of scars, which he named 'FACE,' and the bridge of his Nephritic hole were missing, as were his Demerol cigarettes...
STORY IN PROGRESS:
Michael Jackson can be proud that Murray was interviewed this weekend by police detectives, contrary to media reports, because apparently all the Demerol that Dr. Con administered over the past year was not Demerol, according to Dr. Con's lawyer.
Dr CON and Dr Nick:
Dr. Con and Dr Nick [hurray lawyers!] did not know what caused their patients Chernobyl-OD Cocktail. Dr. Con also said that he was not certain that the medicines that killed the singer were Demerol.
TRINIDAD TOBACCO Primary School yesterday issued an open invitation to its most famous student of the past few days, Dr 'Con' Conrad Murray, the personal physician of the late singing sensation Michael Jackson, to speak at their 50th Anniversary Faculty Club.
The years before their two deaths inspired a circus, Dr Con and Dr Nick, in an attempt to contextualize their clients' OD concocted stories:
Elvis and Michael Jackson served as markers for the life of childhood memories covering adolescence and adulthood.--Mumbai Times
*It is unlikely that artists today have similar impact on the life of my nephew..and he loves music like I do.--FAN COMMENT
Who consumed Elvis and Michael Jackson?
If you have not slow danced with someone special on DEMEROL, prescribed by Dr. Con and Dr Nick at the height of their writing-arm's glory, you have not danced. Dr Con and Dr Nick and Jacko' s falsetto cries of 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough!' No Demerol cigarettes of VHF retrospective programs of these memories are ever enough justice for Michael Jackson--sorry for you, my friend.--nichopoulooza
Michael Jackson Horrible singer at the time of his Death:
He was a skeleton, barely eating drugs orally. There was OxyContin in his stomach. He was bald and also brokenhearted with ribs and injuries. His needle-legs, hips and shoulders had been riddled with injurious marks believed to be the result of narcotic analgesic injections, given twenty times a day for years. Multiple surgical scars, the legacy of cosmetic experts, were the disturbing evidence of Jackson's physical decline
While double-autopsies [McDonald's] showed the Jackson once famous for athletics in stadiums plunged down to "severely emaciated Lbs," it is understood as anorexic pharmacological malnutrition.
Pathologists found his empty stomach partially outside of a pill.
Like Elvis he needed to take a pill before an injection to calm his nerves. His stopped-heart samples were sent for toxicology tests and remixing.
Having lost almost all his hair to Pepsi, the legend was wearing a wig, labeled POPKING: DO NOT REMOVE WHILE SLEEPING! when he died. Pathologists said little about this, except:
"There was orange and peachy fuzz covering his scalp which looked like ham-gravy. If you remember David Ferrie, who was one of the Kennedy Assassins...that's what he looked like...except better."
The skin over his left ear was completely bald, apparently the result of a Pepsi accident .
Jackson suffered several broken ribs as frantic rescue workers pumped his chest. Four injection sites were found at or near the heart crackerjack box as a result from all attempts to pump adrenaline into the body. Three injections had penetrated the heart wall causing damage; the fourth was believed to be Demerol to kill the pain.
Crack Cocaine, heroin, and Demerol cigarettes were found outside the LA Coroner's office.
michael jackson Jacko wacko waco demerol mepergan demerol cigarettes conrad murray dr. conrad murray dr. george nichopoulos KING OF POP VS. KING OF ROCK DR. CON NICK Parallels NICHOPOULOS NICHOPOULOOZA elvis
By GILLIAN FLACCUS – 2 days ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elvis had one. So did Anna Nicole Smith and Marilyn Monroe. They are the doctors who cater to celebrities, dispensing powerful painkillers and sedatives to some of Hollywood's best-known entertainers.
Now, as police investigate Michael Jackson's sudden death, questions are swirling around the King of Pop's personal cardiologist — and any other doctors who may have cared for the superstar in his final days.
Dr. Conrad Murray had apparently been living with Jackson for about two weeks and was with him when he stopped breathing Thursday. The doctor reportedly performed CPR until paramedics arrived. An ambulance crew worked on Jackson at his home for 42 minutes before rushing him to UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The cardiologist has hired a Houston-based law firm, and on Saturday, an attorney there said he was cooperating.
"Dr. Murray has never left L.A. since Mr. Jackson's death, and he remains there. Investigators have indicated Dr. Murray is considered a witness and is not in any way a target of any kind," William M. Stradley told The Associated Press. He said his colleague was meeting with investigators on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said the singer's family wants a private autopsy because of unanswered questions about how he died and about Murray.
And Jackson's longtime friend Deepak Chopra said he's been concerned since 2005 that physicians were overmedicating the singer.
The suspicions of Jackson's friends and family fit into a long-standing pattern of celebrity doctors becoming entangled in death investigations involving prescription drugs.
Doctors can become enchanted by the glamour of the celebrity lifestyle and may find it hard to refuse potent painkillers for their clients because of their wealth and power.
"It's a big issue with people who are used to getting what they want. And if someone says no, they can pay someone else to get what they want," said Karen Sternheimer, a sociologist at the University of Southern California who is writing a book on social problems and celebrity culture.
"The physician is not immune to that heady feeling of being in a celebrity's inner circle."
In other instances, the doctors themselves may have questionable pasts or significant debts, and caring for a celebrity allows them to make large amounts of money, said Julie Albright, a sociologist at the University of Southern California.
"Some of these people might not be the most successful doctors, so the money will also buy their complicity in fueling a drug habit," said Albright, who was speaking generally and not specifically about Murray.
Records reveal years of financial troubles for Murray, a 1989 graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville who practices medicine in California, Nevada and Texas.
Over the last 18 months, Murray's Nevada medical practice, Global Cardiovascular Associates, has been slapped with more than $400,000 in court judgments: $228,000 to Citicorp Vendor Finance Inc., $71,000 to an education loan company and $135,000 to a leasing company. He faces at least two other pending cases.
Court records show Murray was hit last December with a nearly $3,700 judgment for failure to pay child support in San Diego, and had his wages garnished the same month for almost $1,500 by a credit card company. Another credit card claim for more than $1,100 filed in April remains open.
He also owes $940 in fines and penalties for driving with an expired license plate and for not having proof of insurance in 2000.
Best-selling author Deepak Chopra, a longtime friend of Michael Jackson and a licensed medical doctor, said he first became concerned about the pop star's prescription drug use in 2005, when Jackson visited him shortly after his trial on sex abuse allegations.
Chopra said Jackson asked him to prescribe painkillers and already had a bottle of OxyContin.
"I was kind of a bit alarmed. I said, 'Why are you taking that. You don't need that,' and then I started to probe a little further, and after I grilled him a little bit, he admitted he was getting them from a bunch of doctors," Chopra said.
Chopra said he refused to prescribe the medicine, but over the next four years the nanny of Jackson's children would periodically call to say that a parade of doctors was coming to his homes in Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City.
She told Chopra she felt they were overmedicating him, and one time she even tried to stage an intervention with Chopra's help, he said.
Each time, Jackson would discover the nanny's calls and then shut himself off from Chopra to avoid discussing the issue, he said.
Chopra, a spiritual adviser, said he last talked to Jackson directly about his drug use about six months ago and spoke with him on the phone about two weeks before his death.
But they did not discuss drug use on that call, and Chopra said in his final months, Jackson seemed much healthier and excited about his upcoming concerts in London.
"This is a strange addiction. You cannot get these pills or injections unless a physician prescribes them, and he had this bunch of enabling doctors who were in a sense criminals. And they get away with it half the time — and I hope they don't this time," he said.
"It's become a culture with celebrity doctors who in one sense get a sense of importance by hanging around with celebrities."
Marilyn Monroe died at 36 from an overdose of sleeping pills in August 1962. She had been under a doctor's care at the time.
Elvis Presley, who died in 1977 at 42, was known to travel with George Nichopoulos, a former physician who overprescribed drugs to clients. Nichopoulos lost his medical license but was acquitted of criminal charges related to Elvis' death.
More recently, Los Angeles County prosecutors charged a psychiatrist and a doctor with conspiring to provide Anna Nicole Smith with thousands of prescription pills.
Smith died Feb. 8, 2007, in Florida after collapsing at a hotel; medical authorities later ruled her death an overdose.
Megastars may be given more leeway than ordinary patients because of their wealth — and because of expectations that the famous often have eccentric habits, said Albright, the sociologist.
"It's almost expected in some ways if it's a rock star or a big actor. You almost expect them to have a larger-than-life lifestyle," she said. "People are drawn to celebrity like a moth to a flame, including these doctors who want to be around that lightness and brightness."
Associated Press writers Sophia Tareen in Chicago, Juan A. Lozano in Houston, and Beth Harris and Michael Blood in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
June 29, 2009
Imagen de Morgan Freeman como Nelson Mandela en 'Invictus' lo próximo de Clint Eastwood : NeoCineTv
Acaba de aparecer la primera imagen de Morgan Freeman caracterizado como Nelson Mandela en la cinta Invictus, que dirige el incansable Clint Eastwood. Y la verdad es que el parecido con el primer presidente de Sudáfrica en ser elegido por medios democráticos es bastante buena.
Además también vemos la imagen del otro actor protagonista Matt Damon, que da vida al capitán de rugby sudafricano en este film que un principio llevaba por título The human factor y que ha sido cambiado hace poco por el ya citado título de Invictus. Éste viene de un poema de William Earnest Henley y que amenudo es recitado por Mandela.
La película se centra en la caída del apartheid, cuando en Sudáfrica se celebró la Copa del Mundo de Rugby en 1995 para contarnos como Mandela utilizó este evento para dar a conocer a su población de color, que sintiera suya esta selección de hombres blancos y así evitar una guerra civil. Le ayudó el capitán de la selección Francois Pienaar.
La película está basada en el libro de John Carlin The human factor: Nelson Mandela and thegame that changed the World (El factor humano: Nelson Mandela y el partido que cambió el Mundo).
First Look: The Human Factor - TheBadandUgly.com
Clint Eastwood is directing Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman in The Human Factor, a film about the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Damon plays rugby star and South African team captain Francois Pienaar, who along with former South African president Nelson Mandela (Freeman) created an event that gave the country’s whites and blacks a common cause to rally around as the country healed from years of apartheid.
The film is based on the book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Changed the World, and has many social, apartheid-rooted issues that I’m sure will be mentioned in trailers and subsequent promotional material.
What you should know now is that the crew is on location in South Africa, and I has the pics!
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