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Donda West's plastic surgeon walks off 'Larry King Live'

  • Story Highlights
  • Dr. Jan Adams says family of Kanye West's mother "asked me not to go on"
  • Adams says he does not want to speak, removes his earpiece and leaves the set
  • Donda West died November 10, a day after cosmetic surgery
  • Preliminary reports: West may have died from complications from the surgery
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The plastic surgeon who operated on hip-hop star Kanye West's mother the day before she died abruptly walked off the set of CNN's "Larry King Live" Tuesday, saying he was honoring a request from her family.

"I think I'm taking up your air time," Dr. Jan Adams tells CNN's Larry King before walking off.

"I want to thank you for this opportunity," Dr. Jan Adams told King. "Basically, I had come here to talk about things in the press that aren't accurate about me.

"But I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for the West family. They asked me not to go on. And I've said from the very beginning, I don't have a side in this," Adams said.

"They are my side, and I'm going to respect their wishes. I'm going to apologize to you because I think I'm taking up your air time, but I will not be on the show and I'm not going to discuss any of that. I'm going to honor their wishes."

When King asked Adams if he would ever answer questions regarding the West case, he said, "I will talk with them," meaning her family.

"When they are comfortable, then I will be comfortable. If they are never comfortable, then I will never be comfortable. They are what's important to me," Adams said.

Asked whether he wanted to speak out, Adams said he did not, removed his earpiece and left the set. Video Watch Adams walk off »

Earlier, as the show began, King said Adams had received a letter from West's family, saying that if Adams discussed West's case on the show, the family would ask the Medical Board of California to decertify him.

Adams' brief appearance and walkout followed discussions with his attorney and "Larry King Live" producers.

"To the extent there are issues about even why he's here, why this is in the media, it relates to the relationship he had with his patient," Alan Tenenbaum, one of West's attorneys, told King. Video Watch CNN's Lola Ogunnaike describe the backstage drama »

"So until he gets clearance from the family, I don't think it would be fair or right for him to talk about these things."

The letter from West family attorneys asking Adams not to go on the show was faxed to one of Adams' attorneys in California, Tenenbaum said. Video Watch Larry King discuss the strange scene »

West, 58, died November 10 after she was found unresponsive and in respiratory distress at her home, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said. Her funeral was held Tuesday in Spencer, Oklahoma.

An autopsy was inconclusive pending the results of toxicology tests, coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said last week. But preliminary reports indicate West may have died from complications of cosmetic surgery, which was performed by Adams the day before, he said.

Adams told that he performed a tummy tuck and breast reduction on West and that her death was unforeseen.

But another Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon said he had recently refused to perform a procedure on West until she had medical clearance for a condition he feared could lead to a heart attack.

"The preliminary information we had indicated that she had several minor medical issues, but I can't comment on those," Winter said. West was taking some medications, Winter added, but could not say which ones and in what dosages pending the toxicology reports.

West was in good condition before the surgery, Winter said. Investigators are talking with Adams about the surgery.

Adams told that West's death could have been caused by a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or massive vomiting. He said he consulted with her for months and she changed her mind several times about going forward with the surgery, said., like CNN, is owned by Time Warner.

Legal documents filed in California show that Adams faces disciplinary action from the state Medical Board for multiple DUI convictions and that he has paid nearly $500,000 in at least two malpractice lawsuits.

Last week, Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon Andre Aboolian said through his publicist that Donda West consulted him in June about a procedure. Publicist Jo-Ann Geffen said West contacted Aboolian again two weeks ago to say she was ready to go forward, but Aboolian said he needed a medical clearance before he would perform the surgery.

"I always insist on a medical clearance for women over 40, and in this instance it was particularly important because of a condition she had that I felt could have led to a heart attack," Aboolian said, according to Geffen's statement.


West was scheduled to see an internist for the appropriate tests, but did not keep the appointment, Geffen said.

Donda West was a major influence on her son's life, as the music producer-singer-songwriter has often said -- including in lyrics to some of his songs. She regularly attended her son's concerts and was at his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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