Debbie Rowe says doctors "took advantage of him."
Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson's ex-wife and mother of his two oldest children, delivered a tearful testimony yesterday (Aug. 14) in the trial for the wrongful death civil suit brought by Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, against This Is It concert promoter AEG Live. Rowe said that the mega pop star had trouble sleeping and a low tolerance for pain; and that doctors were more concerned with competing with each other to deliver him treatment than actually caring for him.
"I'm probably one of the only people who said 'no' to him," Rowe said.
Describing a time in Jackson's career when he was receiving treatment from his longtime dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein and plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Hoefflin, Rowe said that the the doctors "were going back and forth the whole time [about which of their recommendations were better], not caring about him."
She said she told another one of his doctors, Allan Metzger, that she was worried that Klein and Hoefflin were giving MJ too many medications.
Jackson instructed the two doctors to give him propofol during his HIStory tour. They warned him about the dangers of the drug, she said, but "He was just more worried about not sleeping."
Jackson died in June 2009 from a propofol overdose. Conrad Murray was his physician at the time.
"The only physician who ever did anything, the only physician who cared for Michael was Allan Metzger," Rowe said.
Rowe was married to MJ from 1996 to 1999 and used to work with Metzger. At one point, prior to their marriage, but after he was a patient of Metzger's, Rowe said she lived with MJ for three weeks to help care for him in an attempt to help wean him off of his drug treatments. She said he was on medication to help soothe the pain from a scalp injury he suffered when his hair caught on fire on the set of a Pepsi commercial. The plan failed, she told jurors, when yet another tour doctor reinstated the drug treatment. He trusted doctors, she said, because he knew they went to school and took the Hippocratic Oath.
Katherine Jackson is suing AEG Live on behalf of MJ's three children, insisting that the company hired, but failed to properly vet Conrad Murray. AEG denies any responsibility in MJ's death.
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(Photos: Aaron Lambert-Pool/Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)