Piers Morgan Calls for Accountability in Whitney Houston’s Death

One Moment in Time

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Piers Morgan has been interviewing people who were close to Whitney Houston over the past few days.  I think he was hoping they would agree with him that her close friends and the people responsible for her professionally should have protected her, and stopped her from going out to clubs and drinking.  He said the world knew she was an addict, so why didn’t anybody intervene?

He made the same point with Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse.  I understand what Piers was saying.  What kind of friend allows an addict to go to parties where suppliers of prescription drugs to celebrities hang out?  What kind of friend says to an alcoholic “here, hon, have another glass of champagne, it can’t hurt you”?

Everybody just went into total denial after Whitney’s death – she wasn’t out of it, she wasn’t drunk, she could handle the alcohol, she was just having a good time.  She wasn’t an addict, she wasn’t an alcoholic.  The same kind of drivel was trotted out when Michael Jackson died.  What is it about friends of superstars that makes them unwilling to intervene?

Do people have responsibility for others?  Ultimately I don’t think so, I think we all have to be responsible for ourselves.  But I also think that includes not enabling alcoholics and addicts.  And when you love and respect somebody is it okay to just abandon them because they’ve lost self control?  What happened to “he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”?


Jackson Trial: Conrad Murray’s Attorney Is Burying His Client

Whoever says that life isn’t as interesting as the movies or TV is lying or delusional.  Or has different taste to me.  I’ve been watching the Conrad Murray trial at night and it’s absolutely fascinating.  The poor man doesn’t stand a chance in hell of winning.

For a start, prosecutor David Walgren has done all his homework and is a smart guy.  He’s making his case expertly and clearly.  It’s not that hard for him to do, since all the evidence points to Murray having acted irresponsibly.  Still he’s covering all the bases.

On the other hand, Murray’s attorneys – especially Ed Chernoff, an older guy with white hair and a pock-marked face and an expression reminiscent of a distinctly nauseous reptile – just aren’t as smart.  In fact I’d go so far as to say the reptile fella is a bit of a fool.  But an arrogant one.

The questions he asks when he’s cross-examining, if you can call it that, are burying his client.  He’s proving the prosecution’s case.  It’s too weird for words.  The witnesses so far have been intelligent and articulate and they obviously have no respect for him at all.

It’s annoying listening to and watching him.  He irritates the judge and the witnesses no end.  A British attorney who comments on the case now and then for SkyNews said he’s worked with some really brilliant American lawyers, but this guy isn’t one of them!

I wonder what Conrad Murray is thinking.  It’s hard to tell, he shows no expression on his face.  Sometimes he looks quite sedated.  I wonder if he’s taking Propofol!  But most of all I wonder what impact the defense attorney is having on the jury.  It can’t be good.

I lie.  I wonder about one more thing more than anything else.  If the dishy-looking prosecutor is married.  I think I’ve developed a crush on him.  He’s rather gorgeous in an understated, quite down-to-earth way.  Looks like quite a regular guy.

Michael Jackson’s Death and The Trial of Dr. Conrad Murray

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.

Lisa Marie Presley Asks Oprah Why Am I Having This Experience Again?

Imagine being Elvis Presley’s daughter.  He was a phenomenal man with a charisma that seemed unearthly, but I wonder what it was like for Lisa Marie growing up in the shadow of that out-of-control ego.  In an interview with Oprah she said when he shone his light on her, her whole world lit up.  Trouble is, he could switch it off, too, so she grew up knowing the intoxication of his attention, but never knowing the kind of real unconditional love that a child needs from its parent so that it can grow up knowing its own worth.

Then she married Michael Jackson.  And he was exactly the same kind of person, with almost inhuman capacity to seduce people with his brand of charisma.  So Lisa had the same experience, all over again.  She spoke of how incredibly high she got when he lavished attention on her.  But the other side of the coin was that if you didn’t give him what he wanted he iced you out.  You were gone.  So she was completely dispensible.  Just as she was for her father.

Somehow, though, she found strength to leave him and she went through a period of massive anger and refusing to speak to him.  Probably the healthiest thing she’d ever done in her life.  But when he died guilt got to her, and in the interview with Oprah she spoke about how she felt she let him down, and she made all sorts of excuses for him, for the way he behaved towards her.  I hate it when women do this.  I understand it, because I’ve done it myself.  Haven’t we all.

But the thing is, it’s not healthy, it’s the same dynamic that pulled us into the relationship in the first place.  Putting him first, at the expense of ourselves.  If we do that, we’ll never get out.  And our partner may die or we may divorce, separate, but if we haven’t learned how to put ourselves first, we’ll find ourselves back in a similar situation.  Lisa Marie said to Oprah, why have I had to go through this twice?  What do I have to learn that I’m not learning?

So many women think that the lesson is about forgiving their partner, or their father, or whoever has hurt them, but it isn’t that.  It’s about learning to put yourself first, demand respect, walk away when you don’t get.  It’s about refusing to comply with the rules of that game called I’m going to ice you out if you don’t please me.  It’s about understanding why you let yourself be so vulnerable, and forgiving yourself.

Until we learn that lesson, nothing is going to change.  Because we’ll keep giving our power away.  And when you’re in that place, it’s unfortunate but true that you don’t give it away to decent, balanced, healthy partners.  You give it away to partners who need yours because they don’t have enough of their own, who live by sucking the life force out of others.  Who exploit and control and don’t care who they hurt.

Life is a stern task-master / mistress.  Speaking for myself, it’s never let me get away with not taking care of myself adequately.  It’s kept shoving that awful, painful experience of being used and exploited in my face until the experience got so unbearable that I started saying I don’t ever want to be back here again. That’s when I started facing the unfortunate truth that I was the one letting myself be used.  So I had to learn how not to, how to  pay attention to the cry that comes from my heart what about me?  How to take it seriously and say I hear you and from now on I’ll listen to you first. 

The lesson isn’t about loving them more.  It’s about loving me more.