Michael Jackson’s former publicist Michael Levine says is unsurprised by the pop star’s death, adding the celebrity had been on an ‘impossibly difficult and often self-destructive journey for years’.
The Los Angeles County Coroner confirmed the death of the 50-year-old “King of Pop” here after he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest.
“I must confess I am not surprised by today’s tragic news,” Levine said.
“Michael has been on an impossibly difficult and often self-destructive journey for years. His talent was unquestionable but so too was his discomfort with the norms of the world.
“A human simply can not withstand this level of prolonged stress.”
Doctors sought to revive Jackson for an hour: Brother
Emergency hospital workers tried for over an hour to resuscitate Michael Jackson after he collapsed at home from an apparent heart attack, brother and official family spokesman Jermaine Jackson said.
The “King of Pop” is believed to have suffered “cardiac arrest” but the formal cause of death will not be known until his autopsy, Jackson said at a emotional news conference hours after his brother was confirmed dead.
“His personal physician who was with him at the time attempted to resuscitate my brother. As did the paramedics who transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA medical center,” Jackson read from a prepared statement.
“Upon arriving at the hospital, at approximately 1:14 pm (2014 GMT), a team of doctors including emergency physicians and cardiologists attempted to resuscitate him. For periods of more than one hour. They were unsuccessful,” he said.
“Our family requests that the media please respect our privacy during this tough time,” he said. “May Allah be with you, Michael, always.” Jermaine Jackson is a Muslim.
Jackson ‘on medication before death’
Michael Jackson was taking prescription drugs as he battled to get into shape for his gruelling concert comeback due to get underway in London next month, a lawyer for the family said.
Attorney and spokesman Brian Oxman said Jackson fought long-running battles with prescription medication throughout his career and was taking the drugs after suffering injuries during training for his comeback.
Oxman told CNN that he had harbored concerns about Jackson’s use of drugs, saying members of the star’s entourage were “enablers” and comparing his case to the drug overdose death of Playboy centerfold Anna-Nicole Smith.
“This is not something that has been unexpected… because of the medications which Michael was under,” Oxman said from the hospital where Jackson’s family members had gathered.
“The people who have surrounded him have been enabling him… if you think that the case of Anna-Nicole Smith was an abuse, it was nothing to what we have seen in Michael Jackson’s life.
“I do not know the extent of the medications that he was taking but the reports we had been receiving in the family is that they were extensive,” Oxman added.
Michael Jackson ‘two different people’
Australian pop guru Molly Meldrum says Michael Jackson was a different person when he was not performing. “He was two different people, I think,” Meldrum said.
“He would whisper, if you were interviewing him. “But then, the moment he hit the stage, he was something else then. It was just extraordinary really”.
“The first time I interviewed Michael Jackson was when he was still with The Jackson Five,” Meldrum told Fairfax Radio Network.
“Then he was just obviously a kid but … by the time he was nine years old he was like a superstar in the world and basically was flown into that arena and, in my mind, never came out of that arena.”
Meldrum recalled an interview he did with Jackson at Studio 54 in New York when he was about to launch as a solo artist.
The record company representative at the time said not to worry too much about it. “(He) more or less said to me, well don’t worry about that because we don’t really think it’s going to work.”
But they did manage to do the interview.
“We were running late and I said don’t worry, he won’t be there. We pulled up and there huddled in a corner was Michael Jackson waiting for us. No bouncers, no nothing and he actually came into the studio and helped us set up the lighting and he was just so captivated by the camera the cameraman had.
And he just giggled his way right through the interview.”
But Jackson was quite a different person when he was performing, Meldrum said. “He was just a craftsman and such an amazing performer on stage,” he said.
“The moonwalk was something else .. the thing is that he’d studied so hard as a dancer and he wanted to be the Fred Astaire of the modern day.”