Security man had Jackson drug fears
A former security worker for Michael Jackson has told a jury that he was concerned the singer would overdose on prescription drugs in the early 2000s but did not see signs of impairment in later years.
Michael La Perruque said he occasionally went into the singer's hotel room to make sure he was breathing and would often find doctors to treat the pop superstar when he travelled.
Mr La Perruque retired from his job as a sheriff's deputy in 2001 to work as the head of Jackson's security detail and frequently travelled with him until 2004.
He said the singer's children called emergency services during a trip to Florida in 2001 or 2002 after their father collapsed in a hallway in a hotel suite at Walt Disney World. He found Jackson unconscious, revived him before paramedics arrived and never saw any signs of drugs or alcohol that the singer may have taken.
Paramedics checked Jackson and determined he did not need further medical attention, Mr La Perruque told the Los Angeles hearing.
He told jurors that his evidence at the hearing was only the second time he had told the story. The first came in a deposition with lawyers for AEG Live, which is being sued by Jackson's mother Katherine, claiming the company negligently hired the doctor convicted of giving her 50-year-old son a fatal overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.
AEG denies it is responsible for the singer's death in June 2009.
Mr La Perruque stopped working for Jackson in 2004, but returned to oversee his security in late 2007. He said he did not see any signs that Jackson was impaired during the few months he worked for him again.
He said he last saw Jackson two weeks before his death and he looked fine, but he noticed that his former boss was skinnier than usual.
Mr La Perruque said he spoke to two of Jackson's doctors about his concerns about the singer's prescription drug use, but that he never spoke directly about it to Jackson because he did not want him to become defensive. He said he knew Jackson had severe back pain and difficulty sleeping. Despite seeing the entertainer impaired, Mr La Perruque said he never saw Jackson take any drugs or saw any signs of medication lying around.