Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Jury hears tape of slurring Jackson

Michael Jackson's doctor has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter

Six weeks before Michael Jackson died, his doctor recorded the semi-comatose superstar mumbling what might have been his farewell address to the world.

In a slow, slurred voice, clearly under the influence of sedatives, Jackson spoke about leaving a performance legacy bigger than Elvis or The Beatles, and building a fabulous hospital for children with proceeds from his highly anticipated This Is It comeback concerts.

"Elvis didn't do it. Beatles didn't do it. We have to be phenomenal," Jackson is heard saying on the tape.

Jackson, known for donating huge amounts to children's charities, said his vision was driven by his love of children. In his ramblings, he envisioned the hospital would be big enough to house a million children, with a film theatre and games room.

"That will be remembered more than my performances," he says. "My performance 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 feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it."

The full tape of the May 10, 2009 ramblings by Jackson was played for the first time during the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr Conrad Murray. A portion of the recording was played last week during the prosecution's opening statement.

The more than four-minute audio recording was found on Murray's mobile phone by forensic digital expert Stephen Marx. There was no indication why Murray made the recording.

With Murray murmuring agreement, Jackson referred to the children of the world as "angels" and said: "God wants me to do it. I'm gonna do it, Conrad."

Murray replied: "I know you would."

And, as he had done long ago with his Neverland ranch, he spoke of a place to raise children's spirits. "They're sick because they're depressed," he said.

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