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'I didn't have a childhood,' said drugged Jackson

06 october 2011, 16:43
A heavily-slurring Michael Jackson said he loved children and felt their pain because "I didn't have a childhood," adding "I hurt," in a harrowing recording played in court Wednesday, AFP reports.

In a phone call weeks before his death in 2009, the apparently drugged singer -- whose career was torpedoed by child molestation charges in 2003 -- said that planned comeback shows should be better than the Beatles or Elvis.

In the semi-incoherent exchange with his doctor Conrad Murray, who is on trial for Jackson's manslaughter, the star talked about establishing a Michael Jackson Children's Hospital with money from the comeback shows.

"Elvis didn't do it. Beatles didn't do it. We have to be phenomenal," he said, adding that fans should leave his shows saying: "I've never seen nothing like this in my life.... He's the greatest entertainer in the world."

Referring apparently to money made from those shows, he continued: "I'm taking that money, a million children, children's hospital, the biggest in the world. Michael Jackson's Children's Hospital.

"Gonna have a movie theater, game room. Children are depressed. The -- in those hospitals, no game room, no movie theater. They're sick because they're depressed.

After Murray replied, "I know you would," Jackson continued: "I want to do that for them. That will be remembered more than my performances. My performances will be up there helping my children and always be my dream.

"I love them. I love them because I didn't have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it."

Referring to his own songs "Heal the world," "We are the World," "Will you be There," and "The Lost Children," he added: "These are the songs I've written because I hurt, you know, I hurt."

In a poignant end to the conversation, there is then a 13-second silence, after which Murray asks: "You okay?" Following another eight seconds of silence, Jackson replies: "I am asleep," and the call ends.

Murray is accused of involuntary manslaughter by giving Jackson an overdose of the powerful sedative propofol while trying to help him to sleep at his mansion in LA, where the star was rehearsing for the London comeback shows.

The "This Is It" concerts at the British capital's O2 Arena were designed to resurrect his fortunes -- both image-wise and financially -- four years after his acquittal on child molestation charges which torpedoed his career

The defendant's lawyers claim the singer administered a fatal extra dose while the doctor was out of the room, and have tried to portray Jackson as heavily drug dependent well before Murray became his personal physician.

Part of the eerie audio recording was played on the opening day of the five-week trial last week at LA's Superior Court.

Wednesday's seventh day of testimony came after a pharmacist told the trial Tuesday that Murray had ordered over 250 vials of propofol, as well as large quantities of other drugs, in the two months before the star's death.

Also on Tuesday a cocktail waitress and friend of Murray recounted how she heard mumbling and coughing while on the phone to him at around the time the singer was dying.

Sade Anding said she was on the phone with Murray when she realized the doctor was not listening.

"I said 'Hello, Hello,' and I didn't hear anything... I pressed the phone to my ear," she told the court. "I heard mumbling of voices... and I heard coughing," she said.

The time was about noon on June 25, 2009. The trial has heard that the 911 call summoning medics was made at 12:20 pm. Jackson was declared dead at 2:26 pm after being rushed to the UCLA Medical Center.

By Michael Thurston

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