Michael Jackson cancelled a portion of his "Dangerous" tour in 1993 to undergo treatment for prescription drug addiction. Dr. Stuart Finkelstein, whose deposition was played in court Monday during the 43rd day of Jackson's wrongful death trial, treated the pop star during that time and said that AEG Live executives were aware that the Jackson had drug problems when they contracted with him for the 50-show "This Is It" tour in 2009.
Finkelstein's testimony was recorded in February. The doctor said that when AEG promoters asked him to be Jackson's physician on the 2009 tour, he told them that the singer would have to be "clean" for Finkelstein to work with him.
AEG likely sought Finkelstein for the tour because he had already built a rapport with Jackson. The doctor said that he gave Jackson a shot of Demerol during the 1993 tour, "but his buttocks were so scarred up and abscessed that the needle almost bent. ... He obviously had had multiple injections in his buttocks prior to arriving in Bangkok."
Finkelstein also said that he spent 24 hours with Jackson after the Demerol incident and, during that time, he gave the singer morphine until he was able to go on stage. The doctor said that he noticed Jackson had a higher-than-normal tolerance for morphine and also had on a patch that administered another drug at the same time. "We were watching the Three Stooges and having squirt gun fights," Finkelstein said.
The Jackson family is suing AEG Live, the entertainment company behind the ill-fated "This Is It" tour, alleging that the company negligently hired Dr. Conrad Murray, who was hired to be Jackson's doctor instead of Finkelstein. The family believes that the company members hired Murray because they knew that they could control him with money.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Jackson. He was sentenced to four years in prison for the crime.
The tour that Finkelstein worked with Jackson on was cancelled after its Mexico City stop when Jackson's good friend Elizabeth Taylor did an intervention and flew the pop singer to a hospital in England for prescription drug abuse treatment. Finkelstein said that he told the "This Is It" concert promoters about Jackson's drug problem and they chose to ignore his warnings.