Entertainment

Michael Jackson's former security chief describes medical emergency

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Jurors heard from Michael Jackson's former security chief during the Jackson family's wrongful death trial on Thursday. They learned about a medical emergency involving the pop star that few people had known about.

About six years before Jackson stopped breathing in his Holmby Hills home, he fell unconscious at an Orlando hotel, according to his security director, Michael La Perruque.

La Perruque, a former Los Angeles sheriff's deputy, testified about an incident he says he has never disclosed publicly until now. He says hotel security alerted him that Jackson's children had called paramedics.

La Perruque said, "I found the two children crying. Prince and Paris, they were crying. They were saying they couldn't wake up daddy."

He told the jury that Jackson had collapsed on the floor but was still breathing. La Perruque said he helped Jackson get to bed, where he came to. AEG defense attorney Marvin Putnam asked if he later discussed the incident with Jackson.

La Perruque said no and that he didn't think it was his place to discuss it.

La Perruque worked for Jackson between 2001 and 2004, a time in which Jackson sought help from Dr. Alimorad Farshchian for addiction to Demerol and received an implant to inhibit the drug's effects.

La Perruque testified that he had concerns that Jackson may overdose and that 10 to 15 times he had observed Jackson slurring his speech, mumbling and nodding off in meetings.

Despite the episodes, La Perruque says he never saw meds in Jackson's hotel room or saw him take medications.

La Perruque described a failed intervention at Neverland Ranch in 2001. He said Jackson's brother Randy hired a helicopter to breach the perimeter and land on the grounds. He said that Jackson asked to have Randy sent away. La Perruque said he complied.

The AEG defense contends that the company should not be held liable for Jackson's death because AEG didn't know about medical conditions that Jackson kept secret and that Jackson insulated himself, even from his family.

The plaintiffs elicited testimony that the times Jackson was slurring his speech could have been from a sleeping pill because the star struggled with insomnia. La Perruque stated that there was no indication that the singer was taking any drugs in front of his children and that if he thought the children were endangered, he would have called authorities.

La Perruque will continue his testimony on Monday when the trial resumes.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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legal, celebrity, court case, entertainment, miriam hernandez
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