Interviewer 1: More than two years after Michael Jackson’s death and after a 23 day trial, a Los Angeles jury convicted Dr. Conrad Murray of Involuntary Manslaughter last night. It took the jury of 7 men and 5 women, nine hours to reach the verdict and with us this morning to discuss the result of Michael Jackson’s trial is close friend of the singer and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Patrick Treacy.
Interviewer 2: And on the line from London is showbiz reporter Paul Martin (Irish Daily Mirror) but before we discuss the verdict in detail let’s take a look at the moment when the jury announced their verdict.
(Video of court reading the guilty verdict to Conrad Murray)
Int. 2: Paul Martin, we are joined on the line by him now, Paul we heard the shriek of joy there from LaToya and we saw the fans outside with their reaction. They feel that somehow justice has been found for Michael and he has been vindicated somehow.
Paul Martin: I think yeah, you’ve hit the nail on the head there. The fans feel a big sense of justice from this, of course nothing will ever bring Michael Jackson back to them or his family, but certainly I think the feeling has been since the day Michael Jackson died, only a week before his big comeback 50 concerts in London, I think the feeling has been that somebody had to pay the price for essentially a healthy 50 year old man meeting a very untimely and unseemly end. I think for the fans there is an element of closure here, although in my mind there is still a number of people who should be brought to justice over this but of course, it will never happen.
Int 2: So Paul, do you think that Murray was a bit of a scapegoat?
PM: I don’t think he was a scapegoat. I watched every night of this trial not just viewing it as a Michael Jackson fan but from a whole show business spectacle but I have to say in all the nights that I watched it I didn’t see one day, even one hour, that really went in Conrad Murray’s favor. He was acting completely outside the boundaries of the medical profession and he broke so many rules on so many levels and I think the thing that really bothered me and so many of the Michael Jackson fans was when Michael Jackson needed him most which was actually in cardiac arrest to not ring 911 for over half an hour is absolutely abhorrent and unreal and I think for that and that alone he deserves the sentence he has received and I think he needs to pay the price. I do think we need to be realistic about this and see the whole picture. There were pushing Michael Jackson very very hard at the time. There were people happily paying and hiring Conrad Murray for Michael Jackson for their own selfish interest i.e. to get him through these concerts in London and I think those people have a lot to answer for but they won’t answer for these actions in the courtroom like Conrad Murray did.
Int 2: What does this mean Paul for his legacy and his family, what happens now?
PM: I think for his legacy … look there’s another Michael Jackson album out in another couple of weeks. There are a lot of people making money out of Michael Jackson’s death. I think his legacy is the greatest entertainer of all time and has been really since the day he died. I think Michael Jackson has had a massive career peak in death. What I do think is that it shows that Michael Jackson was excited about the comeback, he did feel he could go through with the tour, he did want to make the comeback it wasn’t motivated by financial problems so I think it showed that fans and people that may have been a bit skeptical about Michael that actually, he was mentally in a reasonably good place coming up to the performances before he died.
Int 2: Paul thank you for joining us on the show this morning.
Int 1: We are also joined by Dr. Patrick Treacy. Patrick I just want to establish your credentials in regards to this because we know you were a friend of his as well but you were also his physician in Ireland?
Paul Treacy: That’s right.
Int 1: And you were on the list of witnesses…. a supplementary list of witnesses to be called for this trial although that didn’t happen. When you were first approached to be his physician, I’m assuming you would have looked at a medical file, or you would have given him a check up to see what state he was in so how was he physically as far as you were concerned as his doctor?
PT: That’s a very interesting question because I suppose there is a fine line where you can cross into what you are treating your patient for and certainly in terms of confidentiality I have always stood by this but it is out there that Michael had Vitiligo and it is out there he had scarring on his head, it’s out there that he had lupus so I wouldn’t want to break any confidentiality regarding this or the treatment but this is actually in the public domain that’s in the public interest….
Int 1: These were actually cosmetic things in one sense Patrick.
PT: Sure but I see this from both a dermatology point of view and rebuilding his face the same as Arnold Klein was and myself and Arnold communicated with each other to see what was best for him but even in terms when I met Michael first. Michael was quite shy and in fact would be back in the surgery reading through books and I remember one time him opening up one of the dermatology texts I have which is about 300 – 400 pages long and he came along a picture of a black african child with vitiligo and he turned around and said to me “nobody can understand the pain and the mental anguish that child is going through” and thats before he even showed me himself. His body was both black and white you know and even though his face was white was a consequence of some sort of depigmentation creams but I would have known long before a lot of people that he suffered from this condition and it was horrendous to think that people in the media particularly, were making it seem like he wanted to change his race or color.
Int 1: What are the issues with the … one of the things that has gone through the court case was that he suffered from very severe insomnia, now were you aware of that when you were taking care of him?
PT: I was never aware of that and I certainly would have known Michael here for seven months before he went back to the United States and I never wrote him a script for a sleeping tablet in my life.
Int 1: Because one of the things…. if you’ve seen TII, he’s painfully thin in this but he certainly didn’t seem to be suffering from any deficiency in energy and if you were going through that kind of rigorous rehearsal schedule, you would want your wits and your fitness and your stamina about you so the idea that he would be not getting proper sleep, not getting proper rest and still being able to do that doesn’t kind of gel.
PT: It doesn’t really and I think something happened between the time he left Ireland and the time he went under the care of Conrad Murray because certainly during the period that Michael was in Ireland, I had never seen him with any drugs, I never wrote any prescriptions for any drugs for him.
Int 1: When you saw those photographs of the list, the array of drugs that were in his house, I mean were you personally and professionally horrified by that?
PT: Absolutely. I was in Michael’s house and at no time did I ever see any drugs anywhere and the way he interacted with his children and everything you would know there was no dependency problem at least at that stage anyway. I mean I’m not naive to think, and I’ve given an interview in New York some time ago, before the trial, that something else may have happened to him or someone could have taken over his care and given him certain things, but certainly during the period of time …..
Int 2: Did he ever mention Propofol when he was under your care?
PT: I suppose I’m on record for saying this, on at least two occasions during procedures we also gave him Propofol but only with the presence of an Anesthetist there and he absolutely always demanded that.
Int 2: He specifically requested the Propofol?
PT: No, no, but he did recognize it. It’s a very common sedative during procedures .
Int 1: But administered in a hospital theatre situation.
PT: Absolutely. With an Anesthetist, someone who is able to reverse apnea if it occurs, but I have seen on one occasion before he was meeting the Queen in Casino Royale and he was very uptight about meeting the Queen and this was bothering him quite a lot and during the same time as the World Music Awards in November 14, 15th 2006 and before that period he was very uptight and he wanted a certain procedure done that I was willing to do but I couldn’t get an Anesthetist at that time to do it. I myself could have given him Medazolam (inaudible) and it was a procedure that we had done many time but he wouldn’t even do that without an Anesthetist being present and a as a consequence of the procedure I must say it did hurt him and he was willing to take the pain rather than do it in the absence of an Anesthetist so to go from that situation to see someone who was using gallons of propofol just to get to sleep, to me it was bazaar. I must say I was shocked.
Int 1: A complete abdication of Conrad Murray’s professional responsibilities.
PT: Absolutely. I think really reckless behavior from the point of view of using a drug like Propofol/Diprivan outside a hospital, to not monitor the patient, to even have a little pulse oximeter, which I believe was in another room, with no IV apparatus set up and no control of the drug and EVEN it was appalling to see the IV bag cut open and a hole in the Propofol bottle and it just stuck into a drip. I mean the sterility factor alone is horrendous
Int 2: So what is your take on Conrad Murray, was he just a cowboy to make as much money out of Michael as he could or was he someone that just got lost in the whole hoopla of a star demanding what he needed to make him sleep?
PT: I think it is probably a mixture of both you know and I don’t mind going on the record for that. I would think that certainly as DA Walgren said he became an employee rather than a doctor and somewhere along the way he did lose his professional integrity and probably possibly even done what Michael Jackson requested of him to do. Now there is a sub plot running through all this that verges on the one side of a conspiracy theory and obviously on the other side a lot of people would benefit from the fact that Michael Jackson would have died, we are well aware of that. There is also a lot of people that would benefit from the fact that if Conrad Murray was not found guilty, there is a lot of insurance payouts by Sony/AEG and we’re not naive for a moment to believe that if Michael Jackson was seen to be compliant in his own death or if he commits suicide then certain insurance payouts would be a different way. I would be party to a little bit of knowledge regarding that so I don’t want to say anything at this point in time…
Int 1: You don’t think for one second that Michael Jackson was suicidal?
PT: Not at all, not for one second, not at all. I mean he loved his kids and he would have no reason but who pays who would certainly be totally different if it was assumed he had committed suicide.
Int 2: So you don’t believe for one minute that he administered that Propofol himself?
PT: No. I was on a program in New York on the Discovery Channel where I proved he couldn’t do it but the Judge had banned the jurors from seeing that. The way the Propofol works is very interesting, Propofol has no antidote, where as something like Medazolam or Lorazepam do have an antidote so why is it popular? If I was to lay ten patients wall to wall and given them a shot of Propofol and walk down the ward, by the time I reached the bottom, the first ones would be waking up, it only lasts about four minutes and thats why Anesthetists all over the world totally like it. Now the thing is if you want to have someone put to sleep on it you have to run an induction maintenance dose.
Int 2: I have to be rude and cut you off, but finally you knew him and you cared for him, he was a friend of yours so this is ultimately a tragedy at the end of the day?
PT: Absolutely a tragedy and I think the guilty verdict was the right one in this instance and as I’ve seen some of the fans last night with signs “Guilty as Undercharged” and probably that’s the way we should leave it.
Int 1: Thank you very much.