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 Jermaine's New Book - Excerpt.

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TracyK
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PostSubject: Jermaine's New Book - Excerpt.   Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:12 am

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/d3h5iu

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In this exclusive book extract, Jermaine Jackson pieces together the last days and tragic death of his brother Michael:


I saw the performer’s glint return to Michael’s eyes around the autumn of 2008 — the period when his life was back on track, his health was nearing peak fitness and he was physically preparing for the greatest comeback ever seen. He was, for the first time in a long while, just happy.

The guesswork about his health, especially after his death, warped the true picture. People point to a particular photograph, taken in July 2008, of my brother being pushed in a wheelchair, with captions like “too weak to stand, looking frail and in no condition to perform . . .” That was exactly what Michael wanted the media to write. He was aware that everyone doubted he still had “it”. So imagine if he bounced back, going from that state to this. Michael was doing a Willy Wonka, walking out of the chocolate factory to greet the crowds with a crippling limp as everyone gasps with shock — and then he stumbles ... tosses away the cane, does a somersault and everyone cheers. Gotcha. Because no comeback is truly a comeback until the odds seem impossible.

Michael’s life had long been defined by indelible images that captured a myth: from oxygen chambers to surgical masks, from hotel balconies to “whiter” skin. This was him having the last laugh.

Michael was a master manipulator of image, knowing the paparazzi would like to think they’d “caught” him off guard. He wanted the ultimate vindication. The King of Pop turned Comeback King. And here’s a fact to place alongside that wheelchair image: about two months later, he was engaged in brutal choreography training for a comeback tour that had not yet been revealed.

He started requesting CDs, just like old times. He was so obsessed about staying up-to-date that every week he was sent the Top Ten from the Billboard Hot 100 burnt on to one disc. His outlook was positive. His body was back in shape. His focus was the future.

After his This Is It concerts were done, he had two more tours up his sleeve: “back by popular demand” dates that no one knew about. I know what Michael said in March 2009: “When I say this is it, it really means ‘this is it’ ... this is the final curtain-call.” That was his great tease: he was a master salesman, too, and if the world thought that London would be their last opportunity to see him perform, then they would rush to buy tickets.

I was out near Pasadena, the city at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains, when a good friend — CNN host Larry King — called my wife’s mobile phone to ask if we knew anything “about a TMZ report saying Michael has been being rushed to UCLA hospital”. I wasn’t immediately alarmed because it was hardly the first time the media had got excited about my brother being “rushed” to hospital. But then I called Mother and caught her hurrying out of the door at Hayvenhurst [the Jackson family home]. As soon as I heard her voice, I knew something was very wrong: she sounded fraught with anxiety. “Jermaine! I’m rushing down now. I’ll call you when I get there! Leave now,” she said.

At the hospital, a window looked into a room within a room. La Toya was already there, standing alone, leaning down towards Michael’s face. He was lying on a trolley in a hospital gown.

I steadied myself, took a breath, and entered the side door to the right. I went over to the other side of Michael, reaching down to take his hand, rubbing his still-soft skin. I couldn’t believe how skeletal he was. He seemed half the size he had been a month earlier. If a stranger had walked into the room, they would have assumed he had been ravaged by cancer or anorexia.

What’s happened to you? I knew no amount of rigorous dancing could have left him in this state. I leant down and kissed him on the forehead, telling him I loved him. I found I couldn’t pull away. I lifted one of his eyelids because I wanted to look into his eyes, “see” him one last time.

Look at me, Michael. Look at me.

I rested my forehead against his and wept.

The autopsy report ruled that Michael had had a healthy heart and had died from “acute propofol intoxication”. The media would go on to portray him falsely as a “junkie”, trying to make the link with prescription-drug usage, but that wasn’t the reason why his heart stopped: it was clear that the anaesthetic propofol was everywhere in his system.

Propofol is not a recreational drug and it was not prescription medicine. It is what people are given intravenously as an anaesthetic before major surgery, or doctors use it for sedation. This, I would find out, is what Michael relied on to be “knocked out” when he was desperate for sleep. According to the instructions it should be given only by a trained anaesthetist, and the patient’s intake must be carefully monitored with the appropriate medical equipment in place.

Michael was usually beset by sleeping problems only on tour, so it was, to the best of my knowledge, a departure for him to be using this kind of sleep-inducer during rehearsals. It didn’t surprise me that his insomnia was returning in the run-up to his London dates because of the unimaginable pressure to which he was subjected, most of it self-imposed. He was his own biggest rival in the relentless drive to be perfect in the great comeback he’d envisaged.

Pressure. It would become a theme in everything I went on to discover about the final days of his life.
By the start of June 2009, rehearsals were taking place at the Forum in Inglewood, California, and Michael was apparently still focused and businesslike. Everything was going wonderfully well.

But by mid-June Michael’s health inexplicably started to deteriorate. It all seems to have begun when Michael missed rehearsals on June 13, 14 and 15. Even on the days when he did show up, there were occasions when he’d turn up at 8pm for a 2pm start, as if just getting out of the house was a struggle.

During the week that followed, further worrying signs stacked up. In the routine for Thriller, he turned left when he knew he had to turn right. That was odd in itself, but then he did it a second time. He also started repeating himself — a sentence or a phrase — like someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He struggled to finish one song and he sometimes needed a teleprompter for lyrics. Plus, he had to be helped up and down ramps and flights of stairs.

No one was giving Michael the kid-glove treatment. Instead, I know that he felt belittled on several occasions and he was also yelled at, as witnessed by people who were there. On one occasion, he deliberately spoke into his mike as he walked offstage: “I just want someone to be nice to me today . . .” A voice from the floor yelled back: “If we could just have a coherent person here today!” “They wouldn’t speak to me like that if Joseph [his father] was here,” Michael muttered, off mike.
The thinner Michael became, the colder he got. He began shivering on stage; he was given a thick coat to wear.

Someone, without any authorisation from the promoter, AEG, placed a discreet call to a doctor whom Michael had consulted in the past. After the symptoms had been explained to him, the doctor said it sounded as if Michael was suffering from “toxic poisoning of the brain” and should get to a hospital. For reasons that remain maddening to me, he didn’t go.

I have lain awake at night wondering what was making him so ill. Was his doctor giving him so much anaesthetic that it was slowly poisoning his system? Could my brother have known how much propofol was being injected into him?

The more I hear about those final rehearsals, the clearer it seems that there was a focus on getting to London and hitting that target of 50 concert dates. Somewhere in the pressure that everyone felt, AEG viewed the King of Pop as a performing robot and lost sight of the human being.

AEG delegations were sent to Michael’s home on June 18 and 20 to discuss his no-shows for rehearsals. He was left in no doubt that if he didn’t step up and start delivering, they would not only pull the plug but he was in danger of “losing everything”.

His contract with AEG stated that if he failed to perform he would be liable for all production costs and lost revenue, meaning that his assets, including his prized music catalogue, were collateral up for the taking.

On Saturday, June 20, the director Kenny Ortega visited Michael at home and one hour after he left, choreographer Travis Payne received a phone call from Kenny telling him to get to the house urgently. That same afternoon the musical director, Michael Bearden, made a bizarre announcement to dancers and crew on stage, telling them: “Everyone needs to pray for Michael and send him good wishes.”

This was four days before Michael died. Why would he say such a thing? And why — if we’re at the point of prayers — would the tour continue? Yet the show apparently had to go on.

Bizarrely, everything changed on the final two days of rehearsals, the 23rd and 24th. Michael suddenly showed up looking upbeat, sharp and reinvigorated. It was this version of my brother that the world saw during the This Is It movie; the temporary two-day truth for the box office, not the horrible truth of the preceding weeks.

That last night of his life, rehearsals ran late. There was a full dress rehearsal, which he carried out without a hitch, it seems, before he left at just after midnight on June 25.

When Michael got home he struggled to sleep, with his personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray (hired by AEG for the tour, at Michael’s request) at his side. Within the next 12 hours, he would be dead. He was found on the left side of the bed, where Dr Murray says he tried to carry out CPR. On the floor there was a tube of toothpaste and a string of wooden beads. His laptop and a pair of glasses were on the bedside table. There was also a urine sample in the room. Next to the bed, a tan sofa was, apparently, Dr Murray’s seat.

One fact that has been established from preliminary hearings is that Dr Murray used his iPhone a lot through the early hours of that fateful day. One call was to a woman he’d recently met, logged at 11.51am, some 15 minutes before my brother apparently stopped breathing.

She said she was talking to him when she realised that he wasn’t listening any more but the line was still open and she heard “a commotion — I heard coughing and mumbling”. She tried calling and texting him back, but received no reply.

We’re finding it impossible to accept Michael’s inexplicable decline and that one company didn’t spot that something was seriously wrong.

As a family, we would like to know who else — if anyone — entered and left the house on the night of Michael’s death, but although the LAPD are treating his death as homicide, its investigators decided to retain only the four minutes of CCTV footage showing Dr Murray’s expected arrival. Unless the authorities surprise us, it seems that all other footage has been erased.

It is hard for us to understand why such crucial footage could be wiped like that. It makes us wonder if every stone has been turned in the LAPD’s investigation: it has so far concentrated on one doctor, and one night.

I guess time will tell, but our only hope is that, ultimately, justice doesn’t fail Michael, like everyone else seems to have done.

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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's New Book - Excerpt.   Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:23 pm

Well thats riveting but Jermaine wasnt at the rehearsals and Michael Bearden vehemently denies ever saying lets pray for Michael. As a matter of fact he said he's getting a lawyer. And I just have hard time believing that this sick, toxic, poisoned person, all of a sudden springs to life for 2 days and does these great rehearsals. Even if he was weaning off of drugs he wouldnt be toxic one day and what we all saw in the movie the next day. It would be more gradual. I dont know what to believe about this. Jermaines recollection of the hospital is sad and feels very real. Its the only thing that seems real to me but only out of context. All together its all so very unreal. I dont know, it just makes my feeling even stronger that if he died it was murder. People can think its strange or silly, Dr Drew, but I believe it.

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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's New Book - Excerpt.   Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:45 pm

LMFAO @ Well thats riveting


If he's gone I agree it's murder!

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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's New Book - Excerpt.   Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:13 am

Well, I FINALLY finished this book. Not sure why it took so long to read because it's a fast moving book. Maybe because my damn neighbors are at my house 3 and 4 times a day (seriously) plus, a year after moving, I got my cable hooked back up. Now I have TV to watch late at night instead of read. I think I almost wish I'd never gotten the cable back.

Anyway, there's not many surprises in the book. But, there are some interesting things about his life and death. While I was reading, I highlighted a lot of things so it's going to take me a while to put them up here. I'm going to try to get it all up for you sometime in the next week or so, holidays permitting.

Now I've started Aphrodite Jones book, Conspiracy. Anyone read that yet? I also just ordered Frank Cascios' book. I'm interested to see what he says since it's from a different perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's New Book - Excerpt.   Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:15 am

Oh...I forgot. I do agree with you, girls. It was murder. And I don't think Dr. Murray did it. He's just the fall guy.
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