Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror
Aired July 5, 2009 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(MUSIC PLAYING, "I'LL BE THERE")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I first saw him I was amazed at his talent that just continued on. It was just incredible.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From child prodigy to cultural icon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man was the greatest recording artist of our time. This man through his music actually like made a change in the world.
LEMON: The king of pop.
USHER, SINGER: Michael had an unseen magic to influence people, the music and the culture. Music would not be what it is without Michael Jackson.
LEMON: The soundtrack of a generation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jackson doesn't just come along once in a century or a lifetime. He only comes along once.
LEMON: All silent at age 50.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother, the legendary king of pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 2:26 p.m.
LEMON: As his life was controversial --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He raised the bar for image makeovers to a point where no one else wants to even come close to it.
LEMON: -- so is his death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something which I feared, and it is something which I warned about. Where there is smoke, there is fire. This is a case of abuse of medications.
LEMON: Millions in mourning.
They are mourning in Gary, Indiana, too, Michael's hometown. He was the seventh of nine children. Flags at half staff, a memorial at his childhood home. His steelworker father, Joe, turned five of his boys into a band with five-year-old Michael out front. One of the first venues, the auditorium of Roosevelt High. Here the Jackson 5 won the talent contest and wowed the crowd.
JOANN SAMS, SECRETARY, ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL: Oh, it was just unbelievable, because they were so young, but yet they were so talented. They performed as if they had been performing for years. And we were so excited.
LEMON: From the high school auditorium to the big-time. Media mogul Suzanne de Passe was there at the beginning.
DE PASSE: I was asked to come to see this group.
LEMON: De Passe was just starting out at Motown, working with founder Berry Gordy.
DE PASSE: I saw these kids, and they were unbelievable. And I called Mr. Gordy and I said, I've just seen the most fantastic act.
GORDY: When she told me about another kids' group I said, wait a minute, I got all these other stars.
DE PASSE: I went back one more time, mustered up all my courage. And I said, Mr. Gordy, you just have to see these kids.
GORDY: Suzanne de Passe insisted I meet with these kids and audition them.
LEMON: An audition seen in this video from a documentary produced by Michael Jackson.
GORDY: They were sensations. They were tremendous. And the lead singer, Michael, was just so incredible. And immediately I was up all night trying to think of the type of songs that would create excitement among people.
LEMON: Motown gave the group a record deal. And the Jacksons began their rocket rise to stardom.
J. RANDY TARABORELLI, BIOGRAPHER: From the time that most kids were building tree houses, Michael Jackson was building an image. At the age of 10 he was told to say that he was eight. And Michael was happy to play along with that, because he understood at a very early age that image-making and public relations was very important.
LEMON: It worked. The Jackson 5 exploded on the charts. Their first three single "I want you back," "ABC," and "The love you save" all hit number one.
TOURE, FORMER CNN POP CULTURE ANALYST: The sound was incredible. The weight, the gravity, the way he would sing. And then he would dance, you know. And his brothers were on stage with him. I mean, you couldn't stop them. LEMON: But behind the image of a happy family and their rags to riches story, there was something else -- incredibly hard work, and a father who pushed his children.
In 1993, Jackson spoke about both in this interview with Oprah Winfrey.
MICHAEL JACKSON: I would do my schooling for three hours with the tutor, and right after that I'd go to the recording studio and record. And I would record for hours and hours until it was time to go to sleep. So it'd be nighttime.
And I remember going to the recording studio, and there was park across the street. And I'd see all the children playing, and they'd be rooting and making noise, and I would cry. It would make me sad that I would have to go and work instead.
Oh, there's a lot of is sadness about my past life and, you know, adolescence, and my father, and all of those things. It just made me very, very, very sad.
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: So he would tease you, make fun of you?
WINFREY: Would he -- did he ever beat you?
WINFREY: He did?
WINFREY: And that was difficult to take, getting beaten and going on stage and performing?
WINFREY: And why would he beat you?
JACKSON: Because he -- he saw me -- he wanted me to -- I guess, maybe, I don't know if I was his golden child or whatever it was.
LEMON: In a BBC interview, Joe Jackson admitted whipping Michael with a switch or a belt, but denied ever beating him. Beating, Joe maintained, is something you do with a stick.
Success at such a cost left Jackson with conflicted feelings for his father.
RABBI SCHMULEY BOTEACH: On the one hand, he would always complain. My father didn't love me enough. My father made me into a performance machine. My father was too strict, he was too much of a disciplinarian. He made me rehearse too much. I would see kids on the monkey bars and I would cry because I couldn't have a childhood. LEMON: Rabbi Schmuley Boteach was a friend and spiritual visor to Michael Jackson.
BOTEACH: I said, look on the flip side of that. Because of that you became a great performer, and maybe even because you were not given enough love as a child, you wanted the world's love.
So you worked really hard perfecting your dance moves, and you became a big superstar. Would you trade it in for a normal childhood with the celebrity? And interestingly, he'd say to me every time, no, I wouldn't do that.
LEMON: Jackson and his brothers would become preteen idols, appearing in commercials and on magazine covers. However, Jackson's teenage years were awkward. He suffered from bad acne and was self- conscious of his appearance.
BOTEACH: He did say to me that he was once on an airplane, and his father said to him, you know, your nose isn't nice, or something like that. And, generally, he expressed to me that he was made to feel that he was ugly, that he was not pretty. And sadly, he really internalized that message.
LEMON: By 1975, the Jackson 5 had made a highly publicized split from Motown. And Michael Jackson was ready to spread his wings. Jackson would turn to Quincy Jones, then musical director for "The Wiz," now a multi Grammy winning producer, arranger, and composer.
QUINCY JONES, MUSIC PRODUCER: I said, you know what? I'd like to take a shot at producing your record. And we started going, we started to get going. And the record company said, no, Quincy's too jazzy. He's not the person to do this. And so Michael and his managers fought them and said Quincy's doing the record.
LEMON: Legendary music producer Quincy Jones would produce Jackson's first adult solo album. 1979, "Off the Wall."
The album was a smash with songs like "Don't Stop till You Get Enough" and "Rock with You," reaching number one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the greatest moment that disco has in its entire history.
JOHN NORRIS, FORMER CORRESPONDENT, MTV NEWS: They are songs that still hold up today. They don't sound dated. I guess what none of us could have anticipated was the album they would then produce after "Off the Wall."
LEMON: That album was 1982's "Thriller." And it would catch fire when Jackson unveiled an out of this world dance move on a television special for Motown's 25th anniversary.
NORRIS: What a moment that was in pop culture history when he moon-walked across the stage there.
TOURE: So he's doing the moonwalk. Which when he first did it nationally, it was like, wait, is gravity being, like, messed with here? Special effects? Like what are we doing? I mean, within six months, every 10-year-old in Dallas could do it.
LEMON: The transformation was complete. Michael Jackson was about to go from child pop star to the biggest star on the planet.
When we continue, chimps, oxygen chambers, the elephant man's bones -- Michael Jackson's bizarre behavior.
LEMON: In November 1982, 24-year-old Michael Jackson released "Thriller." And with that historic piece of vinyl, a phenomenon was born.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The record flew out of stores. It could not be stopped.
NORRIS: From the iconic look to the moonwalk to the glove, the red jacket and the zippers and glasses and the white socks.
LEMON: R&B superstar Usher.
USHER: If it wasn't music, it was obviously dance that influenced us.
LEMON: Saying "Beat It" to the competition, for 37 weeks the album sat at number one and is, to this day, the top-selling album in the world. "Thriller" broke records, with seven top ten singles. And it also broke barriers.
USHER: Being the first black artist to ever have a video played on MTV was pivotal for all of us. There would be no other form, honestly. There wouldn't be BET. There wouldn't even be the MTV that is now without Michael Jackson's influence.
NORRIS: And of course, it paid off for all of us, because, I mean, the idea of MTV without Michael Jackson's videos from "Thriller" is almost inconceivable.
LEMON: Fan clubs, trading cards, Michael Jackson dolls. The craze reached a fever pitch in 1984 when a Pepsi commercial gone awry sparked even more frenzy.
PETER CASTRO, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: He's on the set, and he's descending a staircase. There's a flash behind him, and his hair catches on fire.
The most incredible part of that whole thing was that on his being wheeled to the hospital, you know, he's waving to his fans with the glittered glove, you know, to the end a showman.
LEMON: One month later, Jackson took home eight Grammys. He also raised eyebrows with his red carpet companions Brooke Shields and Emmanuel Lewis. TOURE: I don't think anybody, even like the Iowa housewives, were saying, you know they're not sleeping together. And Emmanuel Lewis was right there, underlying, like this is not sexual at all.
LEMON: In July, 1984, the Jackson 5 reunited in a flurry of publicity. But their victory tour reviews were mixed.
Months later, Jackson partnered with Lionel Richie on an effort that was more warmly received. Concerned about hunger in Africa, Richie and Jackson wrote the song "We are the World" and assembled a super group of 200 artists to perform it.
LIONEL RICHIE, MUSICIAN: Now, one great thing that happened that we both had to realize, I can't read or write music, and Michael cannot read or write music.
So, how do you write a song called "We are the World"? So we started listening to tracks, like De, de, de, de, de, de. And we started -- this is where we started.
LEMON: It was a triumph for Jackson as a musician and as a humanitarian.
Despite the success of "We are the World" in the mid '80s, seemingly soft-spoken Michael was retreating into a world all his own.
NORRIS: Michael had begun to exhibit a certain, I think aloofness, and a tendency to kind of withdraw from the world.
CRAIG MARKS, FORMER EDITOR, "BLENDER" MAGAZINE: Hysterical adulation does play tricks with your mind. So Jackson was almost doomed to implode somewhat anyway.
LEMON: By 1985, the pop star began looking different. People were talking about his plastic surgery.
TOURE: Every few months you would see him, and you'd go, whoa, you're looking weird, dude. But I think it was about '85, '86, and I was like, wow. He's not going to be able to get any weirder than this. Then two years later, I was like, I was wrong.
LEMON: Family members came to Jackson's defense.
JERMAINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S BROTHER: You know, you have to say to yourself, who hasn't?
KING: Yes, but --
JERMAINE JACKSON: His whole thing is, if there's something that you feel that you want to change, and then you do that. There are many people in the past who have done many things to themselves and they're not talked about like my brother is.
LEMON: In 1986, a photograph of Michael asleep in an anti-aging chamber rocked the tabloids. In 1987, his interest in the elephant man's bones, Bubbles the chimp, Liz Taylor, and an array of strange disguises set tongues wagging.
BOTEACH: He puts on that black thing, that mask. And is aid to him, take that stupid thing off! You look like a monkey. You look like you're insane. And he said -- and even then he said to me, well, it was more like he says a razzle-dazzle kind of thing. It's mysterious.
CASTRO: He just wanted to give the world the impression he was like this mysterious, kind of enigmatic figure. His mistake is that he took it way too far, so that he stopped being a curiosity, and he started being a freak.
LEMON: Jackson's follow-up to "Thriller" hit stores in 1987.
Simply titled "Bad." The pop star's eccentric behavior hardly deterred the album's record-breaking five number ones. Spawning iconic music videos and a sold-out world tour, "Bad" went on to sell 8 million copies, and Jackson went on to change his image once again.
Taking a cue from "Bad's" title, he became a crotch-grabbing tough guy, a far cry from his gentle, offstage personae.
And yet the money kept rolling in. In March, 1988, Jackson finalized the purchase of a 2,600 acre ranch. The cost -- $19 million. He filled the property with an amusement park, a private zoo, and dubbed the oasis Neverland.
NORRIS: There's a reason it's called "Neverland Valley." You know? His next saying on the I won't grow up, I'm a lost boy, I'm Peter Pan.
LEMON: And with Neverland came the children.
TARABORELLI: Michael began to sort of surround himself with young boys, and much to, I remember, the chagrin of people who were working for him.
LEMON: Three years later, in the fall of 1991, "Dangerous" was released. Long-awaited, the buzz was big. As a result, its lead single "Black or White" shot to number one.
Coincidentally, fans were wondering about Michael's much lighter skin tone, from black to white. Why? Jackson told Oprah he suffered from a rare skin disease.
CASTRO: If you believe the fact that he, you know -- that he has this congenital skin condition, that's why he's so white, then fine. But a lot of people think that he has bleached his skin.
With Michael Jackson, you never know what the truth is.
LEMON: Coming up, scandal rocks the gates of Neverland.
LEMON: By the early 1990s, Michael Jackson's new music, even fresh R&B hits like "Remember the Time," couldn't come close to the phenomenon he had created with "Thriller."
TARABORELLI: Nothing was the same after "Thriller." It was his greatest blessing, but, I think, also his biggest curse.
LEMON: Even though Jackson couldn't replace his earlier success, he never stops innovating. Record producer Ronnie Jerkins worked with Jackson.
RODNEY JERKINS, MUSIC PRODUCER: Michael called me, and he says, "Why can't we create new sounds?" I was like, "What do you mean?" He was like, "Someone created the drum, right? Someone created a piano. Why can't we create the next instrument?"
This is a guy 40 years old who has literally done everything that you can think of, but still hungry enough to say, I want to create an instrument.
LEMON: Despite his creativity, record sales dwindled as Jackson's appearance grew stranger with whiter skin and a severely altered nose and chin.
DR. HAROLD, BURSZTAJN, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: The fact that he has spent as much time as he has changing his face, changing his appearance, it's reminiscent of patients who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, which is the condition where when a patient looks at themselves in the mirror, they just hate what they see.
LEMON: Jackson would become more reclusive, retreating into his Neverland Ranch. There he continued to surround himself with children in a make-believe paradise where he could relive his childhood.
BOTEACH: He repudiated the adult world. For him it was a world of betrayal.
LEMON: But in 1993, disturbing allegations surfaced concerning Jackson's association with children. A 13-year-old boy filed a lawsuit accusing the singer of sexually molesting him.
Jackson vehemently denied the accusation on national TV.
JACKSON: I ask all of you to wait and hear the truth before you label or condemn me. Don't treat me like a criminal, because I am innocent.
LEMON: The case was eventually settled for nearly $20 million, and the suit was dropped in 1994. But Jackson's reputation was seriously damaged.
Less than a year later, Jackson made headlines again when he married Lisa Marie Presley, the 26-year-old daughter of Elvis.
TOURE: It was quite obvious to all of us from the beginning that it was a sham, that it was a publicity stunt. And it was just kind of disgusting and silly.
Even from the beginning, when they're nervously holding hands at MTV and he says, "Nobody thought this would last," and then he goes to kiss her. But she's clearly like, whoa, what are you doing?
LEMON: The marriage collapsed less than two years after the wedding. Presley filed for divorce in 1996.
On the day after his death, Presley wrote on her blog that Jackson always thought he'd die early like her father.
As Jackson's marriage began to crumble, so did his career. Filled mostly with past hits and some new angry songs like "Scream," 1995's "History: Past, Present, and Future" could not revive Jackson's success in the studio.
Then in 1996, Jackson sent shock waves around the world when it was announced he had married Debbie Rowe, his dermatologist nurse.
TARABORELLI: The thing about Michael is that he does want what he wants, and he will find a way to get it. She offered to have a child for him. And, as unconventional as it is, if you really look at it, it's sort of surrogate motherhood.
LEMON: Rowe gave birth to their son, Prince Michael Jackson, in 1997. A year later, the couple had a baby daughter, Paris Michael Katherine.
And in 1999, they divorced. Jackson was granted full custody of the children.
In 2002, he incited world-wide outrage when he dangled his newborn son, Prince Michael II, from the balcony of a Berlin hotel.
TOURE: When he dangled the baby, it's just here's Michael again being the class clown who doesn't even realize that he's the class clown. And he thinks he's being loving. It's sort of like the anti- King Midas, like everything he wants to do just gets screwed up.
LEMON: Just a year later, Jackson was catapulted back into the limelight when he was featured in the Martin Bashir documentary "Living with Michael Jackson." In the show, 44-year-old Jackson admitted to letting children sleep with him in his bed at Neverland.
JACKSON: It's not sexual. We're going to sleep. I tuck them in. I put little like music on into a little story time, I read a book.
LEMON: Author and self-proclaimed psychic Uri Geller was a friend of Jackson's. He said he urged the singer to keep children out of his bedroom.
URI GELLER, AUTHOR: I was the only person who had the chutzpah to scream at him and tell him that this business of inviting children to his bedroom is wrong. And Michael just stared at me.
CASTRO: It showed him to be quite abnormal.
JACKSON: This one, this one --
CASTRO: Almost pathological in his spending ways. And, worst of all, a potentially terrible father.
LEMON: That documentary triggered bombshell news that thrust the fated pop star back into the spotlight. Just nine months after the show aired, the 13-year-old cancer patient featured in the documentary accused Jackson of sexual abuse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will be charges filed against Mr. Jackson, multiple counts.
BOTEACH: The fact that he could even find himself in the situation after the '93 allegation shows he didn't take that sufficiently to heart, because if he did, he never would have been along with the child.
LEMON: Although Jackson denied the abuse allegations, he was arrested and charged with seven counts of child molestation. In 2005, Michael Jackson would go to trial and face perhaps the toughest six months of his life.
LEMON: Hello, I'm Don Lemon, live from Los Angeles. More "CNN Presents: The Man in The Mirror" in just a moment.
But first an update on the Michael Jackson death investigation. Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, who's believed to have been with the singer when he died, has hired an attorney. And they were expected to meet with L.A. police today.
In an exclusive interview, Murray's attorney tells CNN his client is upset over Jackson's death and that he plans to cooperate fully.
Meantime, the Reverend Jesse Jackson tells CNN the Jackson family wants answers. They think Dr. Murray can answer lingering questions about Michael Jackson's death.
Also, two moving vans showed up today at the rented L.A. home where Jackson apparently collapsed. Several items were taken away. No word on where they were taken.
Of course, we're following developments out of Iran tonight. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran's response to U.S. criticism of its presidential election will be crushing and remorseful. Yesterday, President Barack Obama called the recent violence in Iran outrageous.
Meantime, members of Iran's government-linked militia are reportedly raiding homes and beating suspected protesters, who are believed to be taking part in nightly anti-government chants from Tehran roofs.
Tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, we'll talk to a member of Amnesty International about what is going on in Iran and how bad it has gotten. Plus, more developments in the Michael Jackson death investigation. We're finally hearing from the Jackson family. That's all tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN, live from Los Angeles. I'm Don Lemon. My "CNN Presents: Man in The Mirror" continues.
LEMON (voice-over): January 16, 2004; it seemed like another classic Michael Jackson performance, surrounded by screaming fans. But this time, Jackson's stage was the roof of an SUV, outside the Santa Barbara County courthouse.
After nearly a decade of being suspected of child molestation, the King of Pop was about to face the music.
BEN BROCKMAN, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL JACKSON: I was trying my best to get him down. I knew it wouldn't look right. I knew it wasn't appropriate.
LEMON: Ben Brockman was one of Jackson's attorneys.
BROCKMAN: I recognized that, you know, this is Michael Jackson. He's a 12-year-old superstar with thousands of people shrieking and screaming. He's trying to not affect the legal proceedings in any way. I think he was responding to his fans by, at least showing them his face.
LEMON: CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was in the courtroom.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was certainly the most bizarre criminal trial I ever saw. Every day, Michael Jackson showed up in one of his Captain Crunch outfits. And he just didn't look like anyone else you'd ever met.
LEMON: Michael Jackson was officially charged with seven counts of child molestation and several other felonies. He pleaded not guilty.
TOOBIN: The criminal charges were not a total surprise, because several years earlier, Jackson had settled a civil claim against him by a boy under very similar circumstances.
LEMON: But Brockman says the superstar was terrified.
BROCKMAN: We were alone in a room. This is the first time I really had an opportunity to be completely alone with him. Of course, in all other meetings there were a whole entourage present. There were dozens of lawyers and bodyguards and assistants. Without warning, he just broke down and began to sob.
And we were sitting very close and he actually collapsed on my shoulder. He was sobbing.
LEMON: It would take a year before a jury was seated and the trial began. The circus surrounding the trial seemed more than Jackson could bear. The superstar seemed to be fading in front of the world's eyes. TOOBIN: He was emaciated. He didn't exchange words with his lawyers very often. As the trial progressed, he got weaker and weaker, including that one bizarre day when he called in sick and the judge said, come in anyway. And Jackson showed up in court in his pajamas.
LEMON: It was March 10, 2005, the second day of testimony by Jackson's teenaged accuser.
BROCKMAN: I feared for Michael Jackson. Not that the trial was going to end badly, but that something would happen to Michael. When I saw that spectacle, I realized that my concerns about his frailty, about his physical issues, and emotional instability, were even more well-founded.
THOMAS MESEREAU, LAWYER FOR MICHAEL JACKSON: It took a terrible toll.
LEMON: Thomas Mesereau was Jackson's lead defense attorney, walking Jackson into the courtroom nearly every day.
MESEREAU: I think this trial and this entire case took a terrible toll on him emotionally and physically.
LEMON (on camera): Were you worried that he might not make it?
MESEREAU: I was on occasion. Sometimes he would call me at 3:00 in the morning crying, terrified about what would happen to his children. On verdict day, he looked like death warmed over. It was just sad. His cheeks were sunken in. He could hardly smile. He looked horrible.
LEMON (voice-over): It was June 13, 2005. After more than two months of testimony, 135 witnesses, and seven days of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict.
Followed by news helicopters and a convoy of cars, Jackson rushed from Neverland Ranch to the courthouse. He was greeted by a crush of reporters and fans. It was the kind of attention and screams he was accustomed to. But his face was expressionless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people of the state of California, plaintiff versus Michael Joe Jackson, defendant, not guilty of a lewd act upon a minor child.
LEMON: With each not guilty verdict, the crowd outside cheered.
MESEREAU: I just looked at him and hugged him and he just said, thank you, thank you. He was very placid. He was very, very controlled.
He sat there on a daily basis, watching accusations hurled at him, suggesting that he was an insensitive monster. And I know that it tore him to pieces. He survived it with 14 acquittals. But was damage done to his soul, to his spirit, to his gentle, kind way of looking at the world? I suspect so. (END VIDEOTAPE)
LEMON: Coming up, Michael Jackson, from riches to rags.
LEMON: The very public trials of Michael Jackson eventually took their toll.
BRIAN MONROE, "EBONY MAGAZINE": I was really struck by the razor stubble, all along his face. He hadn't shaved that morning.
LEMON: Brian Monroe sat down with Michael Jackson in September 2007 for "Ebony Magazine." The interview would be Jackson's last.
MONROE: The trial hurt him to the core. He felt betrayed. He felt almost abandoned, even though he was acquitted of the charges. A lot of people sort of paint him with that brush, but realize he was found not guilty.
LEMON: Jackson needed to put distance between him and the taint of Neverland. So off he went to the island nation of Bahrain.
BRIAN HIATT, "ROLLING STONE": Michael Jackson all but disappeared. There's a lot of mysterious phases of Michael Jackson's career, but the last three are particularly mysterious. He moved to Bahrain with his kids. Then moved back.
LEMON: Bahrain and back again. The King of Pop was now a king in debt; a lavish lifestyle, and legal woes led him into near financial ruin.
ETHAN SMITH, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": After the trial, he had spent a lot of money on lawyers, and had very little coming in. He wasn't touring. He wasn't making new records. And he had this towering 270 million dollar debt.
LEMON: And his beloved Neverland was toxic asset number one.
SMITH: Neverland, which cost him around 19 million dollars in 1987, had a staff of about 150 at its peak, and all these carnival rides, exotic animals which required full-time veterinary care. It cost him around 10 million dollars to keep that up at its peak.
LEMON: Ten million dollars a year he could no longer afford. So an auction of his most personal items seemed like the answer. From his sequin glove, to a life-size replica of Darth Vader made of Legos; things ultimately Michael would not give up.
SMITH: He backed out of the auction. So when you're selling your furniture to make money, it's like -- yes, it's not exactly a yard sale, but he definitely felt a dire need for cash. LEMON: Michael had another money-making trick up his sleeve.
HIATT: I was looking in an old "Rolling Stone" article from a few years ago and someone said, you'll really know that Michael Jackson is broke when he announces a big European tour. And that's what happened.
JACKSON: I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear.
HIATT: At the same time he was announcing these shows, he also made sure to say these are the final shows.
JACKSON: This is it. This is really it. This is the final curtain call.
HIATT: That's not really a comeback when it's your farewell. That was a very odd appearance, that he felt it necessary to say, this is good-bye.
LEMON: Fans wanted their last good-bye. Tickets sold out within hours. But some wondered whether he could pull off a strenuous 50- concert tour.
RODNEY JENKINS, MUSIC PRODUCER: Wow, 50 dates; 50 dates at 50 years old? That's a lot of dates. And I was -- and I kept saying, I just hope he gets a physical trainer, someone to really work him out, to make sure he's healthy and prepared.
HIATT: It's hard looking at the guy being pushed around in a wheelchair, looking so thin and fragile. It was just very difficult to imagine this is a guy who's ready to come back and do an amazing series of 50 concerts, and then more across the world, which was the plan. It just didn't seem possible.
LEMON: But Jackson was born to perform, and the show must go on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he spent a lot of internal time reflecting on who he was, where he'd been. At the end, he talked about his mortality. He said, no one wants to be mortal; we all want to be immortal. The only way you become immortal is that your work lives on.
LEMON: Jackson, in his last interview with "Ebony."
JACKSON: Let's face it. Who wants mortality? I mean, everybody wants immortality. You want what you create to live, be it a sculpture, a painting, music, a composition, like Michelangelo. I know the creator will go, but his work survives. That is why to escape death, I attempt to bind my soul to my work.
LEMON: When we return, Michael on-stage the night before he died.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need an ambulance as soon as possible.
LEMON: Michael Jackson had probably drawn his last breath by the time this 911 phone call was made from a rented home in the Los Angeles hills.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a gentleman here that needs help. And he's not breathing. He's not breathing and we need -- we're trying to pump him but he's not --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, OK. How old is he?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's 50 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty, OK. He's unconscious? He's not breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he's not breathing, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, and he's not conscious either --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he's not conscious, sir.
LEMON: Michael Jackson, dead at the age of 50.
BRAFMAN: He always appeared to either be in pain or walking with pain. And part of my concern about Michael was the fact that he always seemed to be suffering from some form of ailment or infirmity.
LEMON: Pain that dated back at least a quarter of a century.
BRAFMAN: He went through a horrible accident filming a video. He was horribly burned.
LEMON: It was 1984 when Jackson was making this Pepsi commercial and his hair caught fire. That was the start of the plastic surgery, and probably the pain killers. A decade later, Jackson was so dependent on prescription drugs that he had to interrupt a world tour to go into a drug treatment program.
JACKSON: My friends and doctors advise me to seek professional guidance in order to eliminate what has become an addiction.
LEMON: The shadow of drug abuse would follow him even into death. Attorney Brian Oxman.
BRIAN OXMAN, ATTORNEY: I've talked to this family about it. I warned them. I said that Michael is over-medicating and that I did not want to see this kind of a case develop. And in particular, in the Anna Nicole case, I said, if that's what's going to happen to Michael, it's all going to break our hearts.
And my worst fears are here.
CRAIG HARVEY, CORONER'S SPOKESMAN: We know he was taking some prescription medications. LEMON: The Los Angeles Coroner's Office said they would need toxicology tests before determining the cause of death.
HARVEY: Those tests we anticipate will take approximately four to six additional weeks.
LEMON: Physician Deepak Chopra, a personal friend, said he knew Jackson was taking narcotic painkillers. Jackson, he said, once asked him for a prescription.
DEEPAK CHOPRA, SPIRITUAL ADVISER: I said, Michael, you don't need these drugs for that.
LEMON: It is Chopra's belief that prescription drug abuse was Jackson's downfall.
CHOPRA: It was the thing that caused his cardiac arrest.
LEMON: On the last night of his life, Michael Jackson was rehearsing for his London show, due to open in just three weeks.
KENNY ORTEGA, CHOREOGRAPHER: He was so excited about this project, and so invested. And no one wanted it more than Michael. And all you had to do was to look in his eyes and to know that was the truth.
LEMON: His long-time choreographer, Kenny Ortega, was at that last rehearsal, as he had been each night for three months.
ORTEGA: It was awesome to watch him. It was not like watching a 50-year-old man returning to the stage. In fact, you know, there were nights where you looked up there and it was like he was timeless, ageless.
LEMON: On the very next morning, Jackson was found unresponsive in his own bed. Again, the 911 tape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While we're on our way, did anybody see him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have a personal doctor here with him, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a doctor there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but he's not responding to anything. To no -- he's not responding to CPR or anything.
LEMON: A life and legend cut short.
BERRY GORDY, FOUNDER OF MOTOWN: He was exceptional, artistic, and original. He gave the world his heart and soul through his music.
LIONEL RICHIE, MUSICIAN: That soul was huge. And for us to all pay attention to this one being on this planet as much as we did, the light was truly shining bright. SUZANNE DE PASSE, CEO, DE PASSE ENTERTAINMENT: He had the charisma, the talent, the voice, the -- everything it takes. You think about what the it factor is, that's what he had.
RODNEY JENKINS, MUSIC PRODUCER: He created things that we've never seen before, visually, in music. You heard things from him that you've never heard before.
QUINCY JONES, MUSIC PRODUCER: Michael had it all. He had the discipline at such a young age, originality, willing to try everything, a work ethic, all of it.
LEMON: For pop music superstar Usher, it's the loss of a pioneer.
USHER: He is everything to music. This man was a universal pop icon. No barrier stood before this man that he didn't challenge, that he didn't break down, that he didn't tear down. That right there, that will never be replaced. I'm going to miss him. I'm going to miss him so much.
LEMON: From his fans, an outpouring of love, grief, and fond remembrance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody like it anywhere in the world. A lot of people from the Mideast love Michael Jackson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love you, Mike!
LEMON (on camera): If someone asked you to sing a tribute to Michael Jackson at a service or whatever, what do you think he'd sing?
SMOKEY ROBINSON, SINGER: Oh, in tribute to him -- how I feel about him, I would probably sing "Never Can Say Good-Bye."
LEMON: Can you sing it a bit please?