Published July 12, 2013
Michael Jackson’s drug problem dated back to the early '90s, testified Dr. Stuart Finkelstein, who treated the King of Pop in 1993.
In a taped deposition that was played for the court this week, Finkelstein stated that he thinks Jackson was addicted to prescription medications.
“I would have thought he had an opiate problem,” the doctor said.
Finkelstein explained he came to that conclusion after he attempted to administer a shot to Jackson on his backside.
“I attempted to give him a shot of Demerol, but his buttocks was so scarred up and abscessed that the needle almost bent,” Finkelstein said in the video.
He said the scarring he saw on Jackson’s buttocks from previous injections was “significant” and “extensive.”
The singer also had a high tolerance for morphine, the doctor implied. Finkelstein said he had to repeatedly administer 10 milligram doses of the drug to Jackson, though the normal dosage is about two to four milligrams.
Finkelstein said he gave Jackson one other painkiller treatment before the 1993 "Dangerous" tour was halted after what he described as an intervention by Elizabeth Taylor and others in Mexico City.
Finkelstein said he and AEG executive Paul Gongaware had five to 10 conversations in 2009 about working on Jackson's "This Is It" shows. Finkelstein said he wanted $40,000 a month and was not hired.
Jackson died after Dr. Conrad Murray administered an overdose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. Murray, who agreed to work on the "This Is It" shows for $150,000 a month, provided Jackson with propofol as a sleep aid.
AEG Live denies it hired Murray and says it bears no responsibility for Jackson's death.
Finkelstein is the first medical professional who treated Jackson to testify in the case, now in its 11th week.
Last week, jurors heard from addiction medicine specialist Dr. Sidney Schnoll, a paid expert witness who said he did not see anything in Jackson's medical history that indicated the singer was addicted to any medications. His analysis was based on medical records that dated back to the late 1990s, after the "Dangerous" tour.
Finkelstein said many of his records involving his "Dangerous" tour treatment of Jackson had been stolen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.