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Jackson estate blasts Murray doccie

2011-11-10 07:26

Los Angeles - Michael Jackson's estate condemned as "reprehensible" on Wednesday a TV documentary featuring convicted doctor Conrad Murray, set to be aired after the medic was found guilty over the star's death.

Jackson's executors demanded broadcaster MSNBC withdraw plans to screen the programme - along with an interview in which Murray quotes Jackson's last words in 2009 as "begging" for propofol, the drug that killed him - later this week.

"Like so many of Michael's fans, the estate is... disgusted by MSNBC's irresponsible and inexplicable decision to air a Conrad Murray 'documentary,'" it said about the show, Michael Jackson and the Doctor, A Fatal Friendship.

The estate's co-executors John Branca and John McClain sent a letter to the top executives of Comcast, NBC Universal and MSNBC "to express their disdain for their actions", it added in a statement.


The show, scheduled to be aired on Friday in the United States and in Britain within the next week, includes interviews with Murray in the months leading up to his trial in Los Angeles, which ended with his conviction of involuntary manslaughter on Monday.

In an interview with the Today show which will be part the MSNBC special, Murray notably recounts the hours before Jackson's death, when the star was begging for "milk" - his word for propofol, which he had been using to help him sleep.

"He was pleading, and begging me, to please, please, let him have some milk," Murray says in the documentary. "That was the only thing that would work. He really could not sleep," he says, according to MSNBC.

Murray, who was paid $150 000 a month by Jackson, was remanded in custody after being convicted over the star's death on June 25  2009 in Los Angeles, where the singer was rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts in London.

The doctor faces up to four years in jail, and is due back in court on November 29 for sentencing.

The estate's letter to MSNBC said: "No sooner was Conrad Murray ordered led away in handcuffs... than we discovered your MSNBC network inexplicably will showcase him in primetime... as if he is worthy of celebrity."


Excerpts from the show so far broadcast suggested that Murray, "who refused to tell his story under penalty of perjury in a court of law, apparently has no qualms about smearing the reputation of his 'friend'", it said.

It questioned reported claims by production company October Films that Murray was only paid $1 for his role in the documentary, in which he was followed around by cameras for two years "as if he is his own reality television show".

"It is equally irrelevant whether any or all interviews took place before the jury convicted him. These are moral loopholes aimed at excusing a reprehensible programme stemming from Michael Jackson's tragic death.

"We demand that you exercise proper judgment and refrain from airing this programme," it added.

MSNBC did not respond to a request for reaction to the Jackson estate letter. In Britain, Channel Four said in a tweet that the show is to be broadcast in the next week, at a date and time to be confirmed.

Meanwhile a cardiology equipment company filed a lawsuit against MSNBC and others, claiming the network should pay off a debt Murray owes them before the doctor gets paid anything for participating in the documentary.

California-based Digirad Imaging Solutions, which obtained a $147 075 judgment against Murray because he didn't pay his bills, sought an order forcing MSNBC, documentary producer Zodiak Media Group and others to settle its bill first.

Read more on:    msnbc  |  conrad murray  |  michael jackson  |  tv  |  celebrities

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