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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Conrad Murray Found Guilty

Aired December 27, 2011 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, this is it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury in the above-entitled action, find the defendant, Conrad Robert Murray, guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Jackson`s doctor, cuffed and taken into police custody, where he will remain, quite possibly for up to four years.

Outside court, the crowd erupted with cheers and tears and prayers, and one woman even fainted, along with a few boos, as word spread like wildfire, that Dr. Conrad Murray had been found guilty. We`re going to tell you all about the Jacksons` reaction. And we are taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury in the above-entitled action, find the defendant, Conrad Robert Murray, guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael can really rest in peace now. We love him so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Individual and personal verdict, juror one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror three?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror four?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror five?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror six?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror seven?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror eight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror nine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror ten?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror number 11.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juror 12.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m so happy. I just thank -- I just thank God that we have justice today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are so happy that Murray finally got handcuffs on him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just got cuffed. Thank you. Justice has been served. I don`t even know what to say. I`m just so thankful, and it`s just such a release of emotions. The man needed to go to jail, and he`s on his way. Yes! Yes! Yes!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Moments after the jury announced their verdict, Dr. Murray was handcuffed and hauled off to jail, where he will stay until sentencing day, which is November 29. Jackson family members and fans praised the prosecution for putting on a stellar case, and this was their star witness, Dr. Steinberg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALON STEINBERG, CARDIOLOGIST: When you monitor a patient, you never leave their side. Especially after giving Propofol. It`s like leaving a baby that`s sleeping on your kitchen countertop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joining me now in an ISSUES exclusive is that star witness for the prosecution, cardiologist Dr. Alon Steinberg.

Dr. Steinberg, this is the first time you are talking about this case, about this extraordinary trial, about your testimony that most people conclude is what put Dr. Murray away. Because you took extremely complicated medical testimony, and you boiled it down to people terms that the jury and, by extension, those watching at home could understand. Your reaction, first of all, to this verdict?

STEINBERG: Well, I think the jury decided the right thing and the proper thing. So I`m happy that my testimony helped out in convicting Dr. Murray.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think this says to the Dr. Feelgoods of the world? The ones who are doing medicine as a money-making enterprise as opposed to a calling?

STEINBERG: I think most doctors are doing it for a calling. I think that`s a rare -- rare doctors, what Conrad Murray does. I review a lot of cases for the Board of California, and I`ve never seen such an extreme deviation from the standard of care.

But I think it`s actually a win for patient safety, but also a win for doctors. It just takes us -- puts us on notice that we need to practice within the right boundaries of medicine. And it`s already helped me in practice. Sometimes, just as you said, patients get medications from ultimate doctors. I`m a cardiologist, but sometimes patients say, "Hey, you know, I ran out of my Ambien. I don`t have a follow up with my primary for a while." Or "My back hurts. I need some Percocet." And this gives me some ammunition, "You know, you really need to seek a specialist in that -- in that part of your medical care."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael`s dermatologist, Dr. Arnie Klein, believes that Michael Jackson was totally addicted to Propofol. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ARNIE KLEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON`S DERMATOLOGIST: He had problems with Propofol many times. I intervened, and I told him it was terribly dangerous. And he just had this problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If anyone at home wants to see more of Dr. Klein`s exclusive interview -- and I`m not choked up over his interview, believe you me -- but you can go to HLNTV.com.

Dr. Arnie Klein said that he thought Michael Jackson was totally addicted to Propofol, that he had tried to do three interventions. Dr. Steinberg, that means that other doctors out there were giving Michael Jackson Propofol, that Dr. Conrad Murray wasn`t the only one. Does that horrify you?

STEINBERG: It`s really scary. And part of that probably set up why Dr. Murray used it, because Michael Jackson knew so much about it. He said, "Oh, all these other doctors gave it. It`s not a big deal." And it probably helped convince Dr. Murray to do it also.

In fact, in his testimony, there was another doctor that basically showed and taught Conrad Murray about how the to give it overnight and used his office initially. And then Conrad Murray more or less learned how to do it and continued to do it, thinking it`s not a big deal, because all these other doctors are doing it. But as my mother said, just because everyone`s jumping of a bridge, you should...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But does it scare you? I`m kind of scared that there are doctors out there, not just one, but more of them, administering Propofol.

STEINBERG: I don`t think so. I think this was a very, very unique situation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, no, no. Hold on. If somebody is doing three interventions on Propofol, OK, that means that doctors, more than one doctor, is giving Michael Jackson Propofol for the wrong reasons, as a sleep aid. And he`s getting this at different times. So it`s different doctors.

STEINBERG: You can pay a lot of money...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It scares me. Does it scare you?

STEINBERG: You know what? I`m out there. I see physicians in my community. I review cases for the board. I`ve never heard of a case like this. This was really egregious. I want to assure you that, you know, most doctors, all doctors, almost are moral and have a high standard of ethical care. This was just an extremely unusual case. So I want to reassure you that I don`t think that will happen.

But, you know, in any profession, there`s some outliers and money and fame and -- can sometimes buy anybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was your most nerve-wracking moment on the stand?

STEINBERG: I didn`t have a -- too much of a nerve-wracking -- I was - - I prepared for -- for the direct examination with David Walgren, and I prepared for the cross. And there wasn`t a question that came at me that I didn`t know what was going to come at me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you weren`t nervous?

STEINBERG: I was very nervous before I came in, but I just thought of myself on a beach and laying around, and I walked in. And I knew most of the questions that were going to come at me, at least initially. So once I got a few questions out, I was very relaxed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, let`s listen to what defense attorney Ed Chernoff said during closing arguments about some of the things that you said, Dr. Steinberg. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED CHERNOFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CONRAD MURRAY: It was the most insulting possible thing you could say about Michael Jackson. As if this fully-formed 50-year-old man was just a baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How much time? All right. You heard Ed Chernoff there.

STEINBERG: Yes, he took it out of context. What I was trying to show is that he was almost like a baby, like he was under complete, utter no control. You know, because he was under the influence of Propofol. So it was like leaving a baby on a table. I didn`t mean to call him, like he was, you know, not an adult.

I just meant that under Dr. Murray`s care, it`s like a parent to a small child. And leaving him on the table is like leaving a guy on Propofol and going to the bathroom for a few minutes. It`s just like the chance that you`re going to leave your baby there, and they`re going to be sleeping, and they may fall off.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were you were shocked when you heard what Dr. Conrad Murray had done, by his own admission?

STEINBERG: It was amazing. When initially I got the case, I got a lot of information. I got the phone calls and ambulance report and the doctor`s report and the interviews.

But the only thing I did on my report was actually look at the interview that he did with the detectives a couple days afterwards. And when I read that, I said, all the information is right there in his own words. And all I did in my report is just on that testimony or investigation, and that was enough.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were you shocked?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PARIS JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S DAUGHTER: I just want to say...

JANET JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S SISTER: Sweetheart, speak up.

P. JACKSON: Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You OK?

P. JACKSON: And I just want to say I love him so much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: The legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anybody witness what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, just the doctor, sir.

DORIAN HOLLEY, JACKSON`S VOCAL COACH: Michael was doing three or four times the worth as any of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he`s not breathing, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not conscious, either, he`s not breathing...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he`s not conscious, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Conrad Murray, on June 25, 2009, killed Michael Jackson.

HOLLEY: He looked up to me and he looked in my eye and said, "You don`t need to be worried."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no way that Dr. Murray would pump Michael Jackson full of a bolus of Propofol sufficient for major surgery and walk out that room.

HOLLEY: If it`s up to me, Conrad Murray is going to jail for a long time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would like to welcome someone who was with Michael Jackson on a daily basis. I`m with Dorian Holley, vocal director for the "This Is It" tour. He has been a vocal coach on "American Idol." He`s one Hollywood`s most sought-after musical directors.

Dorian, thank you so much for being with us in this ISSUES exclusive.

Dorian was with Michael the day before he died. He was there during all of Michael Jackson`s final rehearsals.

Was he scared? Was he afraid? He had a lot to prove. He was acquitted of child molestation charges, but there were a lot of people who said he was still toxic and that nobody was going to buy his music. What did he have very to prove?

HOLLEY: I think that he had a lot to prove to himself. In the beginning they announced a couple shows, and then those shows quickly ballooned to 20, to 25, to 50 shows. He told me that we could tour for five years if we wanted to and if he felt like it. He was bragging about all the places where we`d go.

He thought of a way -- he didn`t like touring and a lot of people don`t, but he found way to tour that -- that was more to his liking. In other words, he would go to a place and park and let everybody come to him so that we weren`t going, you know, to a different place every other day or every week.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s interesting, because a lot of people think that, wow, when they expanded it from just a few shows to 50 shows, that`s when he became panicked and wondered whether or not he`d be able to do 50 shows. But you`re quite the quite the opposite. You`re saying that he was happy that it was 50 shows.

HOLLEY: You know, there are a lot of people are trading on their supposed relationship with Michael Jackson. I don`t know about all of the people that have or don`t have relationship with him. I know what he told me. And I said, how long are we going to do this tour? He said we could do it for a couple of years; we could do it for five years. And I mean, think of all the places where...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He was looking forward to doing this tour? He wasn`t fear-based? He wasn`t panicked?

HOLLEY: He was looking forward to it. He was happy about it; he was excited about the show. As you see, from viewing "This Is It," what exists of the show, it was an amazing show, and every time they expanded the number, the show sold out.

You know, he felt good about that. I think that was a great shot in the arm for him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s take a look at the "This Is It" final rehearsals from AEG, and then we`re going to analyze them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s dancing with a bunch of 20-year-olds. He`s a 50-year-old man. Now, if you believe the defense, he`s frail; he`s a desperate drug addict. Who was the person you saw? Who was the Michael Jackson you saw?

HOLLEY: Well, first of all, I`m not the guy to help the defense, because I think that, with Conrad Murray being a doctor, that it should have been his business when something went wrong. I think part of the reason that Michael had him there, whether it was legal or not, whether it was right or not, he was there. He should have been the guy that stepped in and helped Michael when something went wrong.

I don`t -- I don`t believe Michael was administering the drug himself. What would he need the doctor there for if he was doing that? But that`s the story in talking. So, if it`s up to me, Conrad Murray is going to jail for a long time. Let me just put that on the floor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You saw him there?

HOLLEY: I saw him at rehearsals a couple of times. I didn`t know who he was at the time. You know, I didn`t know until after.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tell us about that. What was he doing at the rehearsals?

HOLLEY: He was there, like the last week of rehearsal. He came, I believe -- I remember him coming two times. They had a little spot off from the stage in the center. They had a few chairs together like pews stuck together, where -- where he would sit or stand and watch the show. And he had an air about him that I just didn`t like.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Murray?

HOLLEY: Dr. Murray did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was that air?

HOLLEY: I couldn`t tell what it was and I didn`t -- you know, everybody there, I knew who was there. You know, you knew the wardrobe people. You knew the cast, the dancers, whoever. And when somebody was there that you didn`t know, they kind of stood out. And you know, I just remember going in my mind -- I didn`t ask anybody. I didn`t say anything, just, you know, just a vibe that I -- it was just an air about him that I didn`t like.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Arrogant?

HOLLEY: You know, I say sleazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sleazy?

HOLLEY: But, I know now -- I mean, I don`t think that I thought that at the time, because I didn`t know what it was. It was just something like, "Who is this?" You know what I mean?

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Conrad Murray was sitting there and you`re not -- you`re not grooving on him.

HOLLEY: I wasn`t feeling it, I wasn`t feeling it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense will almost certainly claim that Jackson was an addict. And here`s the fact. Michael Jackson admitted he was an addict back in 1993.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL JACKSON, ENTERTAINER: As you may already know after my tour ended, I remained out of the country undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. This medication was initially prescribed to soothe the excruciating pain that I was suffering after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right that was -- that was during a tour in 1993, and then he went to rehab for drug addiction. Now, you`ve worked with him for a long time. Once an addict, always an addict. I`m a recovering alcoholic. I`m always an alcoholic. I`m just in recovery.

An addict is never supposed to use any mood-altering medications. Yet they found a slew of drugs in his system. They found a slew of drugs in his house. We have numerous people talking about how he was begging them for drugs and that they had to turn him down. How do you reconcile that with the person that you`re describing who seems so well-balanced, so healthy, so vibrant, so energetic, so together?

HOLLEY: Well, you can`t, and you know, as you know, there`s nobody in your house making sure you don`t drink.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true.

HOLLEY: You know what I mean? So -- and if Michael and I are sitting there talking about some vocal stuff, he has some instructions for me, or he wants me to audition some people or he`s asking me about feedback from somebody I auditioned, I`m not going to go, "Hey Michael, back in 1993, you confessed to being addicted to drugs. Are you still using drugs?"

I mean, I had a problem, there was something that I thought, actually, that the team thought Michael should have done. And they -- they made me go in and tell him, and I was just naive enough to go in...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What?

HOLLEY: Just, you know, just some work that we need to do that was we were falling behind on. And he and I had a conversation. And I tried to put it as delicately as I could. I said, "Michael, we`re running out of time. I`m a little bit worried."

And whatever he was doing, he looked up at me and he looked me in the eye and he said, "You don`t need to be worried." Which said, "Mind your own business."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. JACKSON: This will be my final show performances in London. This will be it. This is it. When I say "This is It," it`s going to be this is it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell me when you got the phone call that something was wrong.

HOLLEY: I didn`t believe it. I`m like, it`s not -- I just saw Michael. There`s nothing wrong with Michael. I called Kenny Ortega, and he said come on into rehearsal and you know, and nothing is wrong. I don`t remember exactly what he said.

When I walked in the door of the Staple Center, I knew, then. Some of the set was taken down. It was dark in there. Some of the crew guys were around, you know, I mean, just crying, and you could just feel a blanket of doom in the place. It was just -- it was -- I`m like he`s gone. He`s gone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It must have been so tough for you.

HOLLEY: It was -- you know, I mean, most of the rooms, the offices, the dressing rooms were empty. It was, you know, you could hear your footsteps walking down the hall. It was bad. It was really bad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Paris and Prince are on the witness list. Do you think they should testify? They were there that day.

HOLLEY: Well, should they? I`m afraid that they`re going to have to. I understand that Conrad Murray, instead of calling emergency services, went to the kids to help, you know. I mean, you know, I mean how sad is that? How sad is that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the fact that he didn`t have the proper resuscitation equipment there?

HOLLEY: Well, that`s another thing to check off. That`s the -- you know, that`s another reason why he is in big, big trouble. And I`ll be the first one to say that Michael should not have been doing that, you know. I blame Michael for what happened, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How so?

HOLLEY: Well, you mean, you know, you`re not supposed to have a drug like that in your house and taking it. You know, he knew that, but and on the other side of it, he was desperate to sleep. And when you can`t sleep you just go nuts when you can`t sleep. I mean, there`s a reason why we need sleep every day to revitalize...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you can`t perform physically. I used to be a runner. There`s no way if you don`t sleep that you can perform physically.

HOLLEY: I don`t sleep well. I don`t want to go to work the next day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. So, does that go the defense point that maybe he was desperate, desperate enough to take some more?

HOLLEY: Well, I don`t know if it goes the defense point. It goes to the idea that he was desperate. He was certainly desperate or he would not have been doing that. I understand that. Yes, he was desperate. And he was doing what he think he need to do to rest. Even still, the doctor is the one that he was charging with his care. So, it looks to me like the doctor is responsible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the doctor claims that AEG was supposed to provide all this resuscitation equipment, all the proper medical equipment and that they failed to do so. They say, of course, the contract was never even signed.

HOLLEY: And they don`t -- and I`m sure they didn`t even know what was going on in that house. I mean, and I`m not trying to protect AEG, but they wouldn`t -- I mean, they`re going to make themselves liable for something like that? Oh, yes, let`s sign off on some drugs for Michael that could kill him?

I mean, if -- AEG is a company that is a giant multimillion-dollar corporation and most people look at them as evil just because they are, they fall in that category. So if their bottom line is money, how much sense does it make for them to sign off on emergency equipment and drugs that could kill their investment? I mean, that doesn`t make any sense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you make a fantastic point. I want to thank you so much, Dorian.

HOLLEY: Thank you, sweetie.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so great meeting you.

HOLLEY: OK, it`s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re aware he had an episode last night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as the statements of his health published by the press, let me say they`re all malicious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you need to get a blood test on him. We`ve got to see what he`s doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there some regulation that said you could only ship medication to a hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no regulation that I know of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Dr. Murray ever mention to you having administered Propofol to Michael Jackson?

No, he did not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another explosive day in court. While everyone`s still reeling from the audio of Michael Jackson speaking; very drugged, slurring his words, just a few days before his death. In the audio, Michael mourns his lost childhood.

And with me, here today, someone who knew Michael as a child -- that`s right -- hung out with Michael Jackson. They were both child stars. Rick Segall grew up in front of the cameras as well, most famously for his role as adorable little Ricky on "The Partridge Family". Now, there they are together, ok. Michael Jackson and Ricky, Rick Segall, who`s now all grown up.

Check this out. Here is Rick is on the show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CASSIDY, SINGER: Hi, Ricky.

RICK SEGALL, FORMER CHILD ACTOR: Hi.

CASSIDY: Would you like to sing a song for us.

SEGALL: Yes.

CASSIDY: You do. Are you nervous?

SEGALL: Yes.

CASSIDY: Are you sure you still want to sing?

SEGALL: Yes.

CASSIDY: What would you like to sing?

SEGALL: How about the song we rehearsed this morning?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rick, you were one adorable little boy. Look at that. You were very handsome. And you still are very handsome.

SEGALL: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank you for being here. But first I want to play a little snippet of that very disturbing audio that was played in court yesterday. Listen, and we warn you, it is disturbing, to Michael Jackson in his own words.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: I love them because I didn`t have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rick, your thoughts?

SEGALL: Well, that`s not a new message. It`s just never been heard like that. He consistently talked about his childhood and how he didn`t -- for somebody who was so joy-filled he still felt that was completely lost. And it was, to a lot of extent, because he grew up in the industry and wanted so much to have a childhood. That`s why he was attracted to children; that`s why I know that we connected early on, because there was that connectivity of wanting to recapture something of his childhood.

And that`s one of the reasons, I think, he loved children so much, because he wanted to make sure that children, especially abused children or children who came from really depraved backgrounds could be made well, so that they could have a childhood he didn`t get to have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think the people who are not in showbiz, and who are not in showbiz as children, have no idea of what it was like. I went to professional children`s school, I did go out on auditions, I just wasn`t successful at it. My feet fell out and my mom wasn`t a stage mother. She didn`t drive me hard enough. She would let me go celebrate whether I got an audition or didn`t.

SEGALL: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there is something very painful for child actors. Tell us about your experiences when you can`t be a kid because you`re working from the age of a toddler.

SEGALL: Yes. It`s definitely that way regardless of the child actor, but to equate any child actor to the stature that Michael was as a child, and then where he went afterwards, there hasn`t been anybody.

And that`s one of the things that I think was painful for Michael was that he had no empathy from anyone, because there was no one who had reached that level of success as a child and then reached that as an adult. So there is a definite isolation that takes place.

And if you do have stage parents -- which I didn`t, thank God -- there can come this total isolation. Even at the -- like where I was, I was nationally known, but it was for a short period of time. And for the rest of my childhood, though I stayed in the industry, I didn`t have international prominence. And there`s something about that international prominence and the need to be in the spotlight all of the time, that adds a level to this that I don`t think anybody could even begin to comprehend that Michael had.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, when you`re talking about this, I remember somebody that I knew that I worked with, and we did some TV together, we shared vegetarian lifestyle. And he never shared with me that he was a child actor. He hid that from me. And, ultimately, he was also very, very depressed and came to a sad end. How did you escape the depression?

SEGALL: There but for the grace of God, go I. I believe that completely and providential oversight, as well as a mom and dad, who even though they divorced continued to love me and continued to consistently tell me throughout my acting, if you want to stop, stop. There wasn`t this -- and I want to cast no aspersions at all upon Michael`s family or his parents -- but we`ve heard him say how there was this consistent pressure, particularly from his dad, that Michael himself was part of, though he loved to perform, there was this constant drive to be Michael Jackson, the superstar, versus Michael the son or just Michael the human.

And so for me, I didn`t have any of those pressures that Michael had.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He has, in fact, said that his father whipped him during rehearsal, hit him with a belt if he made a mistake while he was doing a routine.

SEGALL: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If he didn`t move perfectly, boom, the belt came down. Now, what was that like and did you ever hear that from Michael himself when you were a kid?

SEGALL: No, no. The time that I spent with Michael was -- and it`s why there`s so much of this that needs to be talked about, and we need to have an answer about the case, and there needs to be something that`s done, because there are so many questions about the case. But the thing about Michael, my memories of him were only and always joy-filled; always and only him wanting to be happy, having a good time.

It was around the time of "Off the Wall", going into "Thriller", which for all of us is our favorite memories of Michael, because that`s when it was about the moonwalk and it was about his smile and it was about his brilliance and becoming the number one artist of all time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you knew him, how old were you and how old was he?

SEGALL: We met -- he was 11 years my senior. So I was 4, he was 15, and we remained in contact with each other, especially in `80 and `81. So I was 11 -- from 15 until he was 20.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you were one of his "special friends" then, quote/unquote.

SEGALL: Yes, with broken periods. We would be connected and then disconnect. And then we`d be connected. And when we were connected, there were times he would sneak out and spend time and we`d be on the phone a lot. I`d go backstage before and after concerts and talk with him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Even though he was 11 years older.

SEGALL: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you ever find anything strange about that?

SEGALL: No. Never.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is what some people are saying about this audiotape, because I covered the Michael Jackson child molestation trial, and a lot of people would sort of, they would actually read into something, a very sinister motive, when you could read a very innocent motive into it.

And this audiotape shows that he is really concerned about kids. This is him uncensored. He`s drugged out. He could say anything. If he had a dirty thought, he could have said it.

SEGALL: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But his thoughts were pure. It was about helping kids, building a children`s hospital, helping sick kids. So do you think he got a bum rap with the whole child molestation accusation?

SEGALL: Huge. I think it was huge. My first -- obviously, not there -- and I understand human nature and that anyone, no matter how sweet and sincere they seem could do the most heinous thing. But from my experiences with Michael as a kid and maintaining my focus upon Michael, wanting to get reconnected with him, just because I wanted to be a person who could love Michael for Michael and I knew he didn`t have that.

You hear it in his music. You see it in the choices he made that he didn`t have to make that he was in a position to do whatever he wanted to do artistically.

And you`re absolutely right. It`s a great observation that even in an induced state, his heart for wanting to help children and wanting to see the world a better place was right there, even in that state.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Tom Mesereau, his attorney who got him acquitted said he was just totally misunderstood. And you, being 11 years his junior, would be one of those people, if he was a pervert, he could have come after you. And you say that that`s absolutely never happened.

SEGALL: Never happened. And there`s those times where you can sense something, where you`re not trying to cast aspersions, but you get the sense that something`s off --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Creepy, yes.

SEGALL: Yes, even as a kid you can sense --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Of course you can.

SEGALL: -- especially around an adult -- never. Always the purest of motivations and the sweetness of, you know, just hearing his, "Hey", that was just Michael.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we have a very disturbing and sad photo, but we`re here talking about his death, so we`re going to show it to you and get your reaction. And it`s the photo that was taken of him when he was dead, the first photo. And there it is.

As his friend, as a person who cared for him deeply, the whole world is seeing this, what runs through you?

SEGALL: The same thing that ran through my mind when I first heard he had died, which was broken-heartedness, and a sense of, "That can`t be happening, please."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to the voice of Michael Jackson.

DR. CONRAD MURRAY, ON TRIAL FOR MICHAEL JACKSON`S DEATH: Your honor, I am an innocent man. I, therefore, plead not guilty.

JACKSON: When people leave my show, I want them to say, I`ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go.

NICOLE ALVAREZ, CONRAD MURRAY`S GIRLFRIEND: It`s Michael Jackson.

DEBORAH BRAZIL, PROSECUTOR: Must have been pretty exciting?

ALVAREZ: Definitely.

JACKSON: He`s the greatest entertainer in the world.

I hurt, you know? I hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael. Justice for Michael.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, in an ISSUES exclusive, someone who was with Michael Jackson during his years as a child star. Don Berrigan is the former publicist for the Jackson Five. There he is, many years ago, with a very young Michael Jackson.

Don, thank you so much for being here on ISSUES tonight; I know that this has to be very emotional for you, as you listen to this person you knew as an incredibly talented child, then as a 50-year-old man, almost incoherent, slurring his words, but still, clearly, still clearly struggling with the trauma of his very difficult childhood. What were your emotions as you heard this?

DON BERRIGAN, FORMER PUBLICIST FOR THE JACKSON FIVE: Well, you know, Jane, I was following the trial for a while, but what came out today really got to me. I mean, what was amazing about it was Michael and I didn`t see much of each other after he was maybe like 14 or so, but we`d run into each other in Hollywood once in a while. And you know, he`d share things with me, when we`d go eat or something like that.

But it`s -- what struck me about it was that it -- I didn`t see it as incoherence at all. I just thought of it as something I`d heard so many times before. That`s Michael, about children. That`s him. So that`s my reaction.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you`re saying you don`t think it`s incoherent. OK. We -- we were able to do a transcript of it, and in that sense, you`re right, but he is clearly slurring his words.

BERRIGAN: Oh, absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a universal agreement that he seems to be on some kind of drug. What do you make of that?

BERRIGAN: Well, his thoughts were there. The same thoughts were there. They were just slowed down, that`s all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, OK --

(CROSSTALK)

BERRIGAN: -- things of Michael, but the Michael I knew, I know he has had some problems and so on. Who hasn`t? But I never believed most of it. Like, for example, I don`t believe the stuff about Joe Jackson, really. I mean, I never saw it, but that doesn`t -- I mean I was over at the house a few times, doesn`t it mean I would see it.

But I felt more that Mom was in charge, and she was kind of the matriarch, and I don`t think she would permit that to go on, really. But it was just my impression.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Don, Michael himself said it, he said it publicly, numerous times, that he was hit by his father.

BERRIGAN: I understand that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You don`t believe it?

(CROSSTALK)

BERRIGAN: It`s not that I don`t believe it. I just -- I just never experienced it. I want you to know I never saw it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen to more of this extraordinary audiotape from court, where Michael talks in a slurred voice about his vision for a children`s hospital. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACKSON: Children are depressed. The -- in those hospitals, no game room, no movie theater. They`re sick because they`re depressed. Their mind is depressing them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so sad. I mean, it really breaks my heart to hear this.

Don Berrigan, former publicist for the Jackson Five, we`re with you exclusively tonight. It sounds to me like Michael Jackson is depressed. And he is projecting his own depression perhaps on children that he meets. Not to say that there aren`t many children in need. You worked with him when he was a child, did he have a truly unhappy childhood? There is a sense that he never got a chance to be a kid. You were there.

BERRIGAN: I never saw an unhappy kid, never. I saw a kid who was talented. I saw a kid who wanted to go play instead of dance or sing. But I never saw an unhappy kid. He got along great with his brothers, he held back a little from the others.

Normally, in Hollywood, when an act gets going and they want to put themselves forward to the press, they would. The other boys did that, but Michael never did that. He would just stay back, and then when it came time to go on stage and do something, he`d knock your socks off.

But I just never saw -- I didn`t see him all the time, but I saw him for a few months, all pretty regularly. A never saw an unhappy person, a depressed person, anything like that. As a matter of fact, as he developed over the years, I became more and more astounded as he changed his face around, as he, you know, heard the rumors of drugs and so on. You know, if we think that this last drug episode was the only one, I would be shocked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brian Oxman, you`re the attorney for Joe Jackson. I think the unspoken subtext of these tapes, obviously, trumps. And so isn`t that something that cuts both ways, given that Michael Jackson had a history of substance abuse, which he discussed publicly in 1993, Brian?

BRIAN OXMAN, ATTORNEY FOR JOE JACKSON: It seems to me, Jane, that when a person is under the influence like this, that they`re kind of, their real personality, their real thoughts come out; who and what they are, is magnified. And what we hear is a Michael Jackson who is very concerned about children, not someone who wants to exploit them. We hear someone who says, I`m in pain; a lot of people say, oh, that`s pain from his childhood, his father. Nonsense.

Michael Jackson had broken vertebrae in his back that hurt him like the devil when he danced. And he had a broken femur and a broken ankle that had residual pain. He was truly in pain. And this is the real Michael Jackson. It`s the Michael I knew who was concerned about kids, concerned about his career, and wanted to be the best he could be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Jackson had a lot of prescriptions under different names. In fact, published reports have gathered those names together and suggested he had something like 19 aliases for the prescriptions that he got.

You can take -- his favorite was Omar Arnold, but he also used very sort of quirky ones, Josephine Baker, of course, the famous singer from the 1930s. Jack London, the famous novelist.

I want to go to Howard Samuels, addiction specialist. You heard Brian Oxman say, well, Michael Jackson had severe back pain. Now, the family has said, we should not be looking at this audiotape and blaming the victim or assuming even that he is an addict. We should not go back to 1993 when Michael Jackson admitted that he had a substance abuse problem and was going into treatment.

We should consider the possibility that he was in pain and he was just getting sedated for good reason. Your thoughts?

HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: That`s cold denial, Jane. I mean so obviously; once an addict, always an addict. You know, I`ve been sober 27 years, and the way that I heard Michael Jackson was the way that I was 27 years ago when I was using opiates, ok?

Now, this is obviously a case of all the behaviors of the 19 aliases, those are the behaviors of a prescription addict junkie that goes to different doctors, gets different medications, because I have a lot of clients that have these exact behaviors that are in my clinic today.

And that is why, him not being an addict, people like saying that he`s not, is a joke. I mean, he has all the behaviors, all the signs of addiction.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four years is not enough. Four years is not enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ask Dr. Murray how long the patient had been in this condition? What did Dr. Murray say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just happened when I called you.

TOM MESEREAU, FORMER ATTORNEY OF MICHAEL JACKSON: He should have looked at Michael and said, "Michael that`s dangerous".

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Dr. Murray ever mention to you having administered Propofol to Michael Jackson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No he did not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me what you saw Dr. Murray do with those Lidocaine bottles please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He scooped up (INAUDIBLE) and put them into a black bag.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a patient that was somebody we had a really good chance of saving.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jay Coleman, you were Michael Jackson`s former agent. As you watch this case, what are your thoughts? How are you seeing it from the perspective of somebody who knew Michael Jackson, who represented Michael Jackson?

When you`re an agent, you`re kind of like a parent. You`re guiding the person, you`re advising them. You`re protecting them. You are their - - their representative in the world, the commercial world. What`s your reaction to how this trial is going?

JAY COLEMAN, FORMER AGENT OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Well, I represented Michael back starting in 1983 to the early `90s, when, you know, Michael was in his prime. He was the biggest pop star in the world. And everything was going great.

And, you know, after the early `90s, my contact with Michael was kind of very limited. But obviously, following what`s going on now is very tragic.

You know, I was really looking forward to him making a comeback, you know. I worked with his manager, Frank DeLeo and the people at AEG, and we were really excited that this could lead to Michael going back all over the world. And obviously, it -- it didn`t come to pass. But it`s extremely disappointing.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`d like you to check out one thing. This is a turning point moment for Michael Jackson. And it happened in the early `80s, as he was shooting a Pepsi commercial. Take a look at what happened. Watch this from "US Weekly".

All right. That is Michael Jackson; unfortunately, his hair going on fire, and everybody rushing to put out his hair that caught on fire during the shooting of this Pepsi commercial. And anybody who has ever experienced a burn knows how painful that is.

And Jay, that`s -- isn`t that when he first developed his addiction to pain killers, or his -- let`s say reliance on pain killers?

COLEMAN: Well, I was there when they shot the spot. It was frightening to watch. But I will say that two or three weeks later, he was in New York at Lincoln Center at a big event for Pepsi. He was in great spirits. He had a small patch on the top of his head. He was there with his family and his brothers.

And, you know, a few weeks later, he had hair transplants. I`m sure it was very painful. And I`m sure he had pain killers at that point. But as you all remember, a few months later, he went on the "Victory Tour". He continued to put out great album albums. So the fact that what happened 27 years ago -- I don`t think has too much to do with Michael`s addiction to pain killers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well.

END