Michael Jackson's doctor, who refused to testify at his trial, said in an interview broadcast yesterday that the singer lied to him about his medical history and never revealed that he had an addiction problem.
"I would hate to put blame on Michael as an individual," Dr Conrad Murray told the Today show in the interview recorded days before the doctor's conviction.
"I only wish maybe in our dealings with each other he would have been more forthcoming and honest to tell me these things about himself," he said.
The interviewer, Savannah Guthrie, asked: "Do you think he lied to you?"
"Definitely," Murray said.
"About what?" she asked.
"Certainly he was deceptive by not showing me his whole medical history, doctors he was seeing, treatments that he might have been receiving." Murray answered.
"Did you really not know he had an addiction problem?" Guthrie asked.
"Absolutely not," said Murray. "Did not have a clue."
On Monday, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for supplying the singer, who was plagued by insomnia, with a powerful anesthetic, propofol, to help him sleep as he rehearsed for his big comeback. At one point in the interview, Murray, 58, suggested that if he had known Jackson had a problem with drug addiction he might have acted differently. Experts, however, testified that Murray should have researched Jackson's medical history before treating him for insomnia.
On the day Jackson died – 25 June, 2009 – Murray said he believed he had weaned the 50-year-old singer off propofol, the drug Jackson called his "milk". But when Jackson could not sleep, Murray told Today, he gave the entertainer a very small dose of propofol. In retrospect, he said, he probably should have walked away when Jackson asked for propofol. But he said he would have been abandoning a friend.
Meanwhile, news that the US TV channel MSNBC will air a documentary about Murray has outraged the executors of Jackson's estate, who claimed Murray was getting a prime-time platform to smear the singer's reputation without fear of cross-examination.
Murray, who is on remand awaiting sentencing on 29 November, could face up to four years in prison and the loss of his doctor's licence.