Jackson had pulse when found, says lawyer

Michael Jackson still had a faint pulse and his body was warm when his doctor found him in bed and not breathing, a lawyer for the doctor told The Associated Press.

Edward Chernoff also said Dr. Conrad Murray never prescribed or gave Jackson the drugs Demerol or OxyContin. He denied reports suggesting Murray gave Jackson drugs that contributed to his death.

Chernoff told the AP that Murray was at the pop icon's rented mansion on Thursday afternoon when he discovered Jackson in bed and not breathing. The doctor immediately began administering CPR, Chernoff said.

"He just happened to find him in his bed, and he wasn't breathing," the lawyer said. "Mr. Jackson was still warm and had a pulse."

Jackson's family requested a private autopsy in part because of questions about Murray, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday. Murray also told the family an autopsy should be performed, Chernoff said.

Three days after the death of the King of Pop, celebrities descended on Los Angeles for a spectacular celebration of Jackson's life at the annual BET awards show.

Joe Jackson, Michael's father, walked on the red carpet wearing a black hat, sunglasses and a dark suit. He did not appear on stage during the show.

"I just wish he could be here to celebrate himself," he said. "Sadly, he's not here, so I'm here to celebrate for him."

In a statement read at the show, Jackson's parents said they solely had the personal and legal "authority for our son and his children." It was their strongest declaration yet about their son's affairs.

A tearful Janet Jackson appeared on stage in a white dress at the end of the BET awards. After a long pause to gather herself, she spoke haltingly but deliberately to the audience.

"I'd just like to say that to you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family. And he will forever live in all of our hearts," she said.

People close to Michael Jackson have said since his death that they were concerned about his use of painkillers. Los Angeles County medical examiners completed their autopsy Friday and said Jackson had taken unspecified prescription medication.

Chernoff said any drugs the doctor gave Jackson were prescribed in response to a specific complaint from the entertainer.

"Dr. Murray has never prescribed nor administered Demerol to Michael Jackson," Chernoff said. "Not ever. Not that day. ... Not Oxycontin (either) for that matter."

Paramedics were called to the mansion while the doctor was performing CPR, according to a recording of the emergency call.

Because Jackson was so frail, Murray "administered with his hand behind his back to provide the necessary support," Chernoff said. Some have speculated the doctor botched the CPR.

"He's a trained doctor," Chernoff said. "He knows how to administer CPR."

Medics spent three-quarters of an hour trying to revive Jackson. He was pronounced dead later at UCLA Medical Center.

Murray was interviewed by investigators for three hours Saturday. His spokeswoman called Murray "a witness to this tragedy," not a suspect in the death, and police described the doctor as cooperative.

The attorney said Murray will wait to speak publicly until after the police and forensics investigation is complete.

"One of his best friends just died, essentially in his arms — yeah he's looking forward to telling his story," Chernoff said.

Chernoff also said the promoter of Jackson's 50-show London concerts, AEG Live, owes the cardiologist $300,000.

"His contract with the promoters states he would receive an amount of money each month to be his (Jackson's) personal physician and they have failed to honor that contract," Chernoff said. "They are two months behind."

Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live, acknowledged the contract called for Murray to be paid $150,000 a month, but said the contract required Jackson's signature.

"Michael never signed the contract," Phillips said.

He also said the doctor's claim for payment may be against Jackson's estate, not AEG which was merely advancing the money to Jackson.

A private pathologist hired by the Jackson family completed a second, private autopsy Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the case.

A second autopsy can allow the family to get some information about a death almost immediately, including signs of heart, brain or lung disease or fresh needle punctures, said Dr. Michael Baden, a medical examiner not involved in the Jackson case.

"Usually if it looks normal with the naked eye, it looks normal under the microscope," said Baden, who recently performed a second autopsy on actor David Carradine.

Los Angeles County coroner's officials said their autopsy found no indication of trauma or foul play. But because of additional tests, an official cause of death could take weeks to determine.

There was no word from the Jackson family on funeral plans. Many of Jackson's relatives have gathered at the family's Encino compound, caring there for Jackson's three children.

Al Sharpton, who arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, said he was heading to the Jackson compound and would talk with the family about how to memorialize the late pop star. Sharpton said they want to hold memorials in key cities around the globe and also planned a memorial service Tuesday at the Apollo Theater in New York.

It also wasn't clear what would become of Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Investor Thomas Barrack previously set up the joint venture with Michael Jackson after the singer nearly lost the ranch to foreclosure.

Barrack feels close to family members and wants to hear their thoughts on how best to honor Jackson's memory, said Owen Blicksilver, a spokesman for Colony Capital LLC, the Los Angeles-based firm where Barrack is chairman and CEO. The investor joined Jackson's brother Jackie, Jermaine and Tito for lunch Saturday at the sprawling Santa Barbara County property.

A White House adviser said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that President Barack Obama had written to the Jackson family to express his condolences.

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Assessor

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Sustainability Assessor...

Year 5 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Cover Supervisor for School in Bradford

£50 - £70 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: School Cla...

Supply Teacher - Chelmsford

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We urgently require Primar...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?