Attorney Blames Prescription Meds

2007/3/9 Michael Jackson headshot, singer, Tokyo, Japan, AP

While it won't be clear for a while what caused the death of pop star Michael Jackson, a family attorney's comments Thursday pointed towards a problem with prescription drugs.

"I have warned of the use of prescription medication and people who have enabled the use of those medications," Brian Oxman, the family attorney, told CBS News anchor Harry Smith (see video below). "I do not know how much he has taken, I don't know what his current situation is in the last couple of weeks. Over the last several years I have said to family members that he is overmedicated.

A report on the entertainment Web site TMZ.com says Jackson family members feared a "heavy dose of morphine" prior to his death caused an overdose.

Oxman said that he's been the family's attorney for 20 years. But in 2005, Oxman disassociated himself from the defense team in Jackson's molestation case after a spat with another attorney.

At the time, CBS News legal correspondent Andrew Cohen wrote, "You get the clear sense that Oxman became the 'lawyer who wouldn't leave' the case, so much so that a written 'notice' had to be filed to ensure that he wouldn't be hanging around the courthouse for the next few months."

Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson's brother, gave a press conference in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon. He said that his brother died at 2:26 p.m. local time, and it is believed that Jackson suffered cardiac arrest in his home, but that the cause of death is unknown until they received the results of an autopsy.

Jackson's personal physician tried to resuscitate him at his home, as did the paramedics, Jermaine Jackson said. Then at the hospital, doctors tried to revive him for more than an hour, but were unsuccessful.

More Michael Jackson coverage:
Pop Legend's Life Had Ups And Downs
Throngs Of Fans Pay Tribute To Jackson
Jackson's Health Woes Took Center Stage
From Tokyo To Rio, Fans Mourn King Of Pop
Family Attorney Blames Prescription Meds
A Collection Of CBS Videos Of Michael Jackson
The Death Of Michael Jackson, Full Coverage

The coroner's office received Jackson's body Thursday evening. They anticipate performing the autopsy Friday morning, but the final cause of death will not be conclusive because they need time to conduct toxicology and tissue studies.

Over Jackson's chart-topping music career, his health has commanded as much publicity as his hit songs.

Plastic surgery, mysterious hospitalizations and reports of pill popping have long plagued the King of Pop.

Jackson's unexpected death at age 50 during a comeback attempt stunned the world despite a history of health problems - some real and others rumored - that have been fodder for tabloids and gossip columns speculating wildly about his woes.

In the early 1990s, Jackson's dermatologist revealed the singer had a skin disorder known as vitiligo, which leads to white patches on the skin. Over the years, Jackson underwent numerous plastic surgeries, including a nose job.

Jackson was also widely reported to be addicted to painkillers from pain he developed after he was burned while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984.

To watch Brian Oxman's full interview with Harry Smith click below.



  • Gina Pace

Comments