I feel a lot of compassion for Dr. Conrad Murray, on trial for the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson. The odds are so massively stacked against him, I can’t see how justice can possibly be done. Michael Jackson is being held up as a hero, and a fantastic father, a straightforward man, a brilliant loyal friend.
But a lot of that is just part of the myth that’s developed around him, and much of it is out and out denial. He was a superstar who wanted what he wanted, and if he didn’t get it from somebody he got rid of them. He was a man who was neurotically obsessed with changing his appearance. He wasn’t a normal guy. And he was addicted to something. That was obvious from a recording which was used as evidence yesterday. He was virtually comatose, his speech massively slurred. Completely out of it.
But his family and the world want to believe that he was in great health, emotionally stable and didn’t touch drugs. With that kind of enablement it’s no wonder he lost control. And with that strength of denial, what chance does Dr. Murray have of his side of the story even being heard? One thing everybody said, though, was that his relationship with Jackson was very caring. Actually, a prosecution’s witness said that!
Last night Piers Morgan interviewed some of Murray’s ex-patients, who utterly adored him and swore by him. So it doesn’t seem that he was the kind of callous doctor who would irresponsibly administer drugs to his patient. But he was in debt when he started working for Michael Jackson. And he was promised a pretty good salary – $150,000 a month. What if he too got sucked into the star’s orbit and lost his power like everybody else? What if Jackson was already heavily addicted to this weird anesthetic Propofol, and demanded that he give provide it or he was out? What if Dr. Murray believed that he could wean his patient of the drug and was trying to do exactly that?
As he sat, stone-faced, in the courtroom yesterday, betraying nothing, I wondered whether he was feeling bitter about how much he had cared about Jackson and tried to actually save him from himself. Caught in a deadly web that wasn’t of his making. Whatever the outcome of the trial, he has a difficult time ahead of him. And let’s not forget that the celebrity here isn’t the man on trial. It’s the victim.
That being so, it might turn out that the man on trial ends up being the bigger victim.