Hearing sheds light on Michael Jackson private life

Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:04am EST
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson may have called the anesthetic propofol his "milk," but rather than give him strength, it left him in such a vulnerable state that his urine was collected through a device for incontinent patients.

That was one view of Jackson's final days and the extreme measures he took in life to maintain his public image as a beautiful superstar, which were revealed in a six day hearing into his death that ended earlier this week.

Other details were his wearing of a surgical cap while he slept to cover his balding scalp, and the numerous tubes of skin bleach cream he used to hide the disorder vitiligo, which causes a discoloration of the skin, from which he suffered.

But for the man once dubbed Wacko Jacko in the media, there was a softer side revealed, too. He was depicted as a father who cared deeply for his three children, and even as he was hounded by paparazzi, he tried to give them a normal life.

On Tuesday this week, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ordered Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the "Thriller" singer's 2009 death due to an overdose mainly of propofol.

The anesthetic is used in hospitals to sedate patients, but Jackson's doctor has admitted to giving it to him at home as a sleep aid. One prosecution witness testified to some evidence Jackson might have drank it he would a glass of milk.

At one point, Judge Pastor seemed puzzled over why Murray would make the unorthodox decision to administer -- at Jackson's request -- propofol for sleeplessness, since the drug's effects last only minutes.

"Isn't the person still sleep deprived?" Pastor asked Murray's defense attorneys. "What purpose does it do to administer a dose that's only going to keep the person asleep for five minutes?"   Continued...