A number of anonymous and secondhand insiders have come forward since [artist id=”1102″]Michael Jackson’s[/artist] death to discuss the pop star’s alleged use, and possible abuse, of prescription medicines. And on Wednesday, one of the people who had direct knowledge of Jackson’s medical history, longtime dermatologist Arnold Klein, told CNN’s Larry King that he occasionally gave Jackson the powerful painkiller Demerol after surgical procedures, but that he had warned his patient about using the powerful anesthetic Diprivan, which Jackson is alleged to have used to combat chronic insomnia.
Klein said he was not surprised to learn that investigators found a number of prescription drugs in the singer’s rented Beverly Hills-area home at the time of his death.
“I’m very shocked by it, but I have to tell you it’s not something that would be unheard of,” Klein told King. “I knew at one point that he was using Diprivan when he was on tour in Germany,” he added, not specifying the date of the alleged use. “He was using it to go to sleep at night. I told him he was absolutely insane. I said, ’You have to quit it. This drug, you can’t repeatedly take.’ ”
Citing an anonymous source, CNN reported on Wednesday that the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office had put together a list of Jackson’s doctors whom they are planning to talk to about what drugs they may have prescribed to the singer over the years. Klein was reportedly on that list. According to two other anonymous sources close to the Jackson family, Janet Jackson was so concerned after visiting the emaciated singer in 2007 that she attempted to stage an intervention with assistance from some of her siblings, CNN said.
Faced with the potential confrontation, Jackson reportedly ordered his security detail to deny family members entrance to his house, refusing to take calls from his mother, Katherine, as well. “If you tried to deal with him, he would shut you out,” one unnamed source told CNN. “You just wouldn’t hear from him for long periods.” Shortly following the alleged attempt at an intervention, the family released a statement denying it, though Janet was not among the names on the release.
“Michael, at one time, had an addiction. He went to England and withdrew that addiction, where he went off drugs altogether,” Klein said, referring to Jackson’s 1993 stint in rehab. Klein also denied ever giving Jackson any drugs beyond those needed for surgery. “If you took all the pills I gave him in the last year at once, it wouldn’t do anything to you,” he said.
Investigators have not yet determined what caused Jackson’s death at the age of 50 on June 25, and final results from toxicology tests are expected in several weeks. Reports have claimed that police said numerous prescription drugs, including Diprivan, were found at the home. Last week, anonymous sources claimed to CNN that Jackson traveled with an anesthesiologist on his mid-1990s HIStory world tour to help him cope with chronic insomnia by helping to “take him down” at night and “bring him back up” in the morning.
Klein, who could not be reached for comment at press time and who has also denied reports that he is the biological father of Jackson’s two oldest children, told CNN that he did not see Diprivan (Propofol) or IV poles in the singer’s home.
Again citing an unnamed source reportedly involved with the investigation into Jackson’s death, CNN reported on Wednesday that when the singer collapsed in his home shortly before suffering cardiac arrest, his arms were riddled with “numerous track marks” that “could certainly be consistent with the regular IV use of a drug, like Diprivan.” Dr. Klein, however, who claims to have examined Jackson as recently as the Monday before his death, said he never saw track marks on the singer’s arms, but that he didn’t always examine his entire body.
The source said it was too soon to say whether an IV drip of Diprivan caused the track marks, some of which appeared fresh. The newer ones could have been made by IVs that paramedics used when they tried to revive Jackson. Last week, nutritionist Cherilyn Lee said that Jackson had pleaded with her to supply him with Diprivan because he was suffering from chronic insomnia, but that she refused.
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