Entertainment & Arts

Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray gives TV interview

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Media captionDr Murray was speaking to Steve Hewlett for a Channel 4 documentary, The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson, which aired on Thursday night

Dr Conrad Murray, who was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson, has defended his actions in a television interview.

Speaking to Channel 4, he maintained he had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol before the star's death.

But Dr Murray admitted it had been "really stupid" and "careless" not to keep notes of his treatment.

"Was this a mistake? Absolutely," he said. "But the absence of notes was not responsible for his death."

Dr Murray did not give evidence during his six-week trial, which ended on Monday when a jury ruled he had given Jackson a fatal overdose of propofol.

He spoke to journalist Steve Hewlett eight days before the verdict as part of a documentary called The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson.

The pop star's family have complained about the programme, which is due to be screened in the US next week. under the title Michael Jackson and the Doctor: A Fatal Friendship.

The executors of the pop star's estate said Murray was getting a primetime platform to smear Jackson's reputation without fear of cross-examination, and demanded that the screening be cancelled.

"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.


Asked about Jackson's use of propofol, Dr Murray said: "I did not recommend it. I would never have recommended propofol to Mr Jackson".

"He needed to get rid of it and resume a more normal state of sleep."

Using an analogy to explain his actions, he told Mr Hewlett: "If I came to your house and you were a friend of mine and unexpectedly I saw you with a gun in your hand, I can do one of two things and maybe succeed.

"I can tell you stop it and you might listen to me, or I might take hours to get you to hand over that gun. So I would say, basically, it took me a while to take away from Michael something I thought he should not use."

Describing the night when Jackson died, Dr Murray accounted for his actions in the one hour and 40 minutes between administering propofol and the emergency services being called.

He said he had sat with Jackson, checking his vital signs until he believed the effects of the sedative had worn off, before moving to an adjacent room at 11:20 am.

"If you say: 'Dr Murray, that was really stupid, you should have had a look,' then I agree," he said.

Dr Murray added that he had not informed police or the ambulance crew that Jackson had taken the drug because "they never asked me" and "I did not think it was important".

Image caption The prosecution said Murray had caused Jackson's death through negligence

His comments echoed a similar interview given to the US breakfast television show Today earlier this week.

"I think propofol is not recommended to be given in the home setting," Dr Murray said during the interview.

"But it is not contraindicated."

In court, the defence argued that Jackson was a drug addict who caused his own death by giving himself an extra dose of propofol while the cardiologist was out of the room at the star's rented Los Angeles mansion.

Murray told Today's Savannah Guthrie he had not been distracted by phone calls, emails and text messages.

"When I looked at a man who was all night deprived of sleep, who was desperate for sleep and finally is getting some sleep, am I gonna sit over him, sit around him, tug on his feet, do anything unusual to wake him up? No," Murray said.

Asked if he was right to leave Jackson alone, he replied: "Had I known what I know today in retrospect, that Mr Jackson was an addict - and he had shared that information with me - addicts may behave in a way that is unreasonable and you may consider it."

Dr Murray, 58, is due to be sentenced on 29 November and could receive a maximum prison term of four years and lose his licence to practice medicine.

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