Michael Jackson's legacy survives odd trial revelations

Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:25am EDT
 
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In the final weeks of his life, Michael Jackson slept with a toy doll on his bed, was so heavily drugged that he sometimes slurred his speech and his big comeback tour was plagued with problems.

That was the picture that has emerged of the King of Pop's private life during the first two weeks of the manslaughter trial of Jackson's in-house physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.

As bizarre as some of the revelations might be, they may add to Jackson's legacy as a genius whose stature has risen since his death in June 2009 at age 50, pop culture experts said.

Jackson's odd, sometimes pathetic demeanor -- largely forgotten in the worldwide grief over his death but on display again during Murray's televised trial -- may make him even more beloved by his fans.

"Lets face it, we're interested in this case because it is about Michael Jackson," said Bob Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University.

"But the fact that he is gone also considerably changes how people perceive and emotionally engage in this kind of thing. The dead are the ultimate underdogs," Thompson said.

The most dramatic development in the trial so far has been a recording played for jurors in which Jackson speaks almost incoherently and slurs his words.

Prosecutors say Murray made the recording after giving Jackson a drug treatment as a sleep aid. Medical examiners found the singer's death resulted from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol combined with sedatives.   Continued...