herald

Monday 23 October 2017

'I feared Jackson would overdose'

A former security worker for Michael Jackson 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 yesterday 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 firm negligently hired the doctor convicted of giving her son a fatal overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

AEG denies it is responsible for the singer's death.

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