(Reuters) - The doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson’s death insists he was not the cause of the singer’s death and denied that he was aware Jackson had an addiction problem when he began treating him.
In an interview with the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie aired on Thursday but taped during the waning days of his trial, Dr. Conrad Murray characterized Jackson in his final hours as “a desperate man.”
Asked whether he wished he had never met Jackson, Murray said he wished he had been more forthcoming about his medical history, instead of being deceptive.
“I love Michael too,” Murray said. “Certainly he was deceptive by not sharing with me his whole medical history.”
Murray denied having any knowledge or awareness that Jackson, who was seeing several doctors and on a variety of medications, might have had an addiction problem.
“Absolutely not, I did not have a clue,” he said.
Murray said Jackson was already taking propofol, which Jackson was using to sleep and which led to his death, when he began treating him.
“This was not something I introduced to Michael,” he said.
Murray contended he was actually trying to get Jackson off the drug, and “should have walked away,” but added “if I walked away, I would have abandoned a friend.”
When he was asked if he was the cause of Jackson’s death he said, “No, I’m not.”
More excerpts from the interview will be aired on “Today” on Friday.
Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Patricia Reaney