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Video: La Toya: Dr. Murray is ‘fall guy’ in Michael’s death

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    >>> we're back at 8:09 with surprising claims being made by michael jackson 's sister la toya . she dedicates a large portion of her new book " starting over " to her brother and his death, including michael 's fear that he would be targeted in an assassination plot. la toya , it's nice to see you again. good morning.

    >> good morning. matt, how you this morning.

    >> i'm doing well. thank you. you know now that this book is coming out a lot of people will be talking about what's in it.

    >> sure.

    >> you wrote, michael who confided in me years earlier that he feared assassination by those who wanted to steal his valuable publishing catalog and estate. you quote michael as saying, i'm even afraid to walk around in my own yard because i'm afraid they're going to kill me. i could never perform again because i know they're going to kill me. do you know who he's referring to?

    >> yes, he told me exactly who he was referring to. he was terrified. he was terrified of the fact that he had this catalog and he knew they wanted it. that catalog.

    >> catalog of music.

    >> his publishing which he owned over -- i think it was 750,000 songs just alone. so he owned everybody's publishing --

    >> who did he think wanted to kill him to gain control of that catalog?

    >> women, everybody that surrounded that, that was involved in that. and he would speak about it. and he was very afraid. he said it was just a matter of time. he knew it was going to happen. when he first told me i was, michael , come on that can't be true. i didn't truly understand it in the beginning. but the more he explained it, the more i understood. not only did he tell me. he told my mother as well.

    >> one of the things that struck me. he said he was afraid to even perform yet we know at the time of his death he was rehearsing for a major tour over seas.

    >> that's right.

    >> what was the problem? he apparently had lost that fear.

    >> no, what it was, he was in a catch-22 where he knew that he had to perform and he had the perform ten dates because he was given so much. okay. i'll do this and only this. only the ten dates and that's it.

    >> so all the attention being paid to dr. conrad murray for the death of michael , you say he is the fall guy for a much larger plot. you write, quote, i decided to investigate michael 's death and go public with what i found with the hope of getting justice for michael by identifying those who really killed him. and yet in the book, la toya , i couldn't find anywhere where you actually named someone or give proof of anyone actually killing michael .

    >> but when you read the book and you read between the lines and you understand, you will know what exactly michael led you to that, to what was going to happen.

    >> lead me to it.

    >> when you read the book you understand it completely. once you read it, you will understand it. and i have to say that i was not there when he was actually murdered. however --

    >> but you do believe that it was not dr. conrad murray responsible for his death that someone actually murdered your brother?

    >> i believe that dr. murray was definitely the fall guy . i think that they need to invest gate this a bit more. go deeper into it.

    >> this idea of yours, and this belief of yours, has put you at odds with other family members.

    >> not at odds.

    >> you write in the book how the family always came together, for example, at the trial of michael .

    >> of course.

    >> -- earlier in 2003 . but they're in the on page you in this.

    >> in the beginning they were, oh, no, he's passed, let him lie to rest. you can't not let that be because his children thanks need to know what happened, they want to know what happened to their father. they were there. they understand.

    >> have you gone to the police now with information that you have uncovered in your own investigation? are they now looking in a different area?

    >> in the beginning i was with the detectives right there with them and i wanted the surveillance camera , i want to no everything and everyone who came in and out of that house. all of a sudden that's eradicate eradicat eradicated. they erase it but just the first three or four minutes there.

    >> on the subject of the trial of the situation the brother found himself in on two separate occasions with accusations of molestation. you held a news conference, i think it was in tel aviv in 1993 , and you said pretty important things. quote, i can no longer be a silent collaborator of these crimes against small innocent children.

    >> absolutely.

    >> you now say that you were forced to say that by your former husband jack gordon . how could he force you to say something so damning about your brother?

    >> matt, when you're in a relationship when you're being abused and very controlling, he controlled everything i did, everything that went on in my life. he was working with a group of people that were working with my brother at the time, which, in fact, i didn't know. i wasn't privy to that. i wasn't privy to watch television. i knew nothing that was going on. when i went on television and said my brother was wonderful, he would never do anything like that. he hated that. the next day, you get on. went to tel aviv . he said i was going on vacation. i thought there was an award show. we drove up, all those cameras and people there. i didn't know.

    >> you had a complete change of heart in terms of your brother's situation with molestation.

    >> never had a change of heart . i always knew he never did that. and that's one thing that michael and i discussed and talk about because i had to speak to him about that. he said, la toya , you don't have to mention that. i know you. i know your heart i know he was making you do this. michael knew more than i thought. he would call me and tell me to get away from him. gordon is going to murder you. what i would want to say he would tell me if i didn't do what we he wanted me to do or say he was going to kill michael .

    >> you have also made comments about your father joe molesting you and other forms of child abuse . now you say no other man alive or dead did anything like joseph did for his family and i thank him for that.

    >> i do.

    >> is this a contradiction?

    >> no, it is not. my father did a wonderful job of raising all of us. i have to tell you that when you're young, you see things differently than when you get older. when you get older and you have children and your nieces and nephews, you understand why your father disciplined you the way he did. parents beat their children back then. they don't do that today. if you do it today, you're going to jail.

    >> but you stand by the comments you made about molestation and child abuse ?

    >> my father is a very wonderful man, matt. i have to tell you something. my father is getting older. i love him with all my heart. michael loved my father at the end of the day . people are showing footage of michael speaking at my father the way he thought many years ago. at the end of michael 's life he called my father several times, wanted him there. he even told his children, call grandpa, he will help me get out of this situation.

    >> you're standing by your original statements about your dad?

    >> my father is a wonderful person and always will be. he has a great heart and, yes, i do love him and care for him a great deal.

    >> la toya jackson , appreciate it.

By
TODAY contributor
updated 6/21/2011 12:14:11 PM ET 2011-06-21T16:14:11

Don't call her a conspiracy theorist. Instead, let's just say that La Toya Jackson has a lot of interesting ideas about the death of her brother Michael.

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On TODAY to promote her new autobiography, "Starting Over," La Toya told Matt Lauer that Michael feared that people wanted to kill him so they could steal his music catalog and estate.

"I could never perform again, because I know they're going to kill me," she said he told her.

Story: La Toya Jackson: I feared for Michael’s life

But when pressed over just who would want to do that, La Toya remained vague. "Everyone that surrounded that and was involved in that," she said, urging Lauer (and viewers) to read her book. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009.

"When you read the book and read between the lines ... Michael led you to that. To what was going to happen. When you read the book you understand completely," La Toya said.

Despite Lauer's attempts to get concrete details, much of the interview proceeded in that vein. She called Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, a "fall guy."

Video: La Toya Jackson’s ‘Starting Over’ (on this page)

"They need to investigate this a bit more," she added.

Lauer and La Toya also touched on other statements she's made in the past, including the 1993 press conference where she said she believed the sexual abuse allegations that had been brought against Michael.

Now, she says she was forced to do that by her husband, Jack Gordon.

"I always knew [Michael] never [molested children]," said La Toya.

She also defended her father, Joe Jackson, for his much-criticized parenting approach.

"You see things differently when you get older," she told Lauer. "You understand why your father disciplined you the way he did.... My father is a very wonderful man."

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: Michael Jackson’s life and career

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  1. Little boy Michael

    Jackson was just 12 when this picture was taken in May 1971, but his career was already stratospheric. Berry Gordy had signed the Jackson 5 to Motown Records in 1968, and Michael and his brothers had already topped the charts with "ABC" and "I'll Be There." It was a bright start for the boy from Gary, Ind. (Henry Diltz / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Signs of success

    Michael Jackson, far left, and the rest of the Jackson Five; the five brothers from Indiana were signed to Berry Gordy's Motown record label pose in 1972. (Frank Barratt / Getty Images file) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. All in the family

    The Jackson 5 performs in Los Angeles on a 1970s Bob Hope TV special. Michael continued to front the band, but his solo career was already on the rise, starting with 1971's "Got to Be There." (Neal Preston / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A wonderful Wiz

    Michael Jackson at the opening of "The Wiz." The 1978 movie musical was the first time Michael worked with legendary producer Quincy Jones, who would soon produce Jackson's breakout solo album, "Off the Wall," and eventually the "Thriller" album as well. Jackson's "Wiz" co-star was friend and mentor Diana Ross, who had introduced the world to the Jackson 5 back in 1969. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Wanna be startin' somethin'?

    Michael Jackson performs in concert during a 1981 tour with his brothers. During the tour Michael began writing down ideas for a solo project that blossomed into the highest-selling album of all time. (Susan Phillips / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Michael Jackson and Diana Ross hold their American Music Awards in L.A. Jackson won for favorite soul album and Ross won for favorite female soul vocalist. (Juynh / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Fright night

    Michael Jackson stands with a group of dancers dressed as zombies while filming his 1983 video "Thriller." "Thriller" was revolutionary in the music industry. The zombie-themed minimovie put MTV on the map and essentially confirmed music videos as an art form of their own. The album sold 25 million copies in the United States alone. (Corbis / Sygma) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Moment of stardom

    Michael Jackson performs the moonwalk for the first time on television's "Motown 25," a tribute to Berry Gordy. The dance move that would become Michael's trademark stunned viewers and the crowd, and marked his imminent crowning as the King of Pop. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Handfuls of glory

    With Quincy Jones at his side, Michael Jackson holds six of the eight awards he won for "Thriller" at the 1984 Grammy Awards. His outfit, complete with epaulettes, sequined glove and dark shades, became a quintessential Michael look. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Role model

    During a May 1984 ceremony at the White House, Michael Jackson accepts a Presidential Award from President Reagan as First Lady Nancy Reagan looks on. Jackson was honored as a model for American youth, and for lending his hit song "Beat It" to a new campaign against drunk driving. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A scary day

    Michael Jackson, background, is seen with his hair on fire during a taping of a Pepsi TV commercial in Los Angeles on February 1984 as brother Jermaine Jackson, foreground, continues to perform, apparently unaware of the situation. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. LONDON-1985: Michael Jackson is lead through a crowd by policeman on a promotionial tour of Great Britain in London.(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)UK NEWSPAPERS OUT WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT FROM DAVE HOGAN. PLEASE CONTACT SALES TEAM WITH ENQUIRIES (Dave Hogan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. They were the world

    In January 1985, a who's-who of the music and movie worlds came together to sing "We Are The World," written to benefit famine victims in Ethiopia. Michael Jackson can be seen front and center, along with Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, and dozens of other stars. Michael's sister Janet can be seen bottom right. (Bettmann / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Victory lap

    Guitarist Eddie Van Halen, left, makes a July 1984 guest appearance during Michael Jackson's Victory Tour concert in Irving, Texas. Van Halen had recorded the now immortal guitar riff on "Beat It," to the displeasure of bandmate David Lee Roth, but to the delight of nearly everyone else. (Carlos Osorio / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Who's bad?

    Michael Jackson and his dancers in concert during a 1987 Tokyo concert on Jackson's "Bad" tour. The previous year, he had starred in the 3-D film "Captain EO," one of the most expensive short films ever. But Jackson had begun to draw more criticism as his albums and videos grew costlier and more infrequent. His next album, "Dangerous," wouldn't arrive until 1991. (Neal Preston / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A difficult year

    A cameraman photographs Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey in January 1993. This was the year Jackson was first accused of child molestation, and he took an opportunity on a 90-minute Oprah TV special to address the charges. The criminal allegations eventually were dropped, but Jackson reportedly paid as much as $25 million to settle the claims. (Neal Preston / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Black and white at the Super Bowl

    Michael Jackson gives a performance with 30,000 children during the Super Bowl XXVIII halftime show, on January 31, 1993, in Pasadena, Calif. Despite allegations against him, Jackson's career had regained momentum with hits like "Black or White" and "Remember the Time," and the "Dangerous" album was a multi-platinum seller. (Ralf-Finn Hestoft / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Michael Jackson and French mime Marcel Marceau clowning for the cameras at the Beacon Theatre in New York on Dec. 4, 1995. (Bob Strong / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Power marriage

    Michael Jackson and his wife Lisa Marie Presley are seen at Neverland Ranch in preparation of the Children's World Summit in April 1995. Presley would file for divorce less than a year later, prompting speculation about just what had inspired the relationship. (Steve Starr / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Golden man

    Michael Jackson performs on stage during is "HIStory" world tour concert at Ericsson Stadium in November 1996 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Phil Walter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Marriage 2.0

    Just months after his divorce from Lisa Marie, Michael Jackson walked back up the aisle with Debbie Rowe. This wedding photo was released by Jackson's publicist minutes after the Nov. 13, 1996, ceremony in Sydney, Australia. But the pairing was less about romance and more about bearing Jackson a child, and the two would divorce three years later, with Rowe eventually ceding parental rights to Jackson. (Reuters / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Best of friends

    Michael Jackson and actress Elizabeth Taylor arrive at a Sept. 7, 2001, concert celebrating the 30 years of Jackson's career. The two stars had been longtime friends, and Taylor is godmother to two of Michael's children. (Jeff Christensen / Reuters / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. (FILES) Photo dated November 13, 2002 shows US entertainer Michael Jackson testifying in Santa Maria, Calif. Superior Court in a trial in which he is accused of cancelling concert appearances, costing the promoter several million dollars. (- / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Not so invincible

    Michael Jackson poses for photographers during a Nov. 2001 appearance in New York's Times Square. Jackson made his first ever in-store appearance to promote his new album, "Invincible," which was released Oct. 30. "Invincible," at the time the most expensive album ever produced, fared better with critics and fans than 1995's "HIStory," but questions began to surface about the future of Jackson's career. (Brad Rickerby / Reuters/Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. One big mistake

    Michael Jackson holds a towel-covered Prince Michael II over the balcony of a Berlin hotel on Nov. 19 2002. Jackson later called the incident a "terrible mistake," but the image of him dangling his baby son out a window shocked even many die-hard fans. And his reputation was to receive far worse damage just a few months later. (Tobias Schwarz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Arresting development

    Michael Jackson is pictured in this Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department mug shot from Nov. 20, 2003. In a February 2003 documentary, Jackson acknowledged letting boys sleep in his bed. Soon after, Santa Barbara district attorney Tom Sneddon launched a probe into allegations that Jackson had molested a teen boy who appeared in the program. Authorities raided Neverland Ranch in November, and Jackson surrended for arrest days later. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff's D / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Family support

    Michael, center, and sisters LaToya, left and Janet Jackson walk over to greets fans during a lunch break at a pretrial hearing in Santa Maria, Calif. in this Aug. 16, 2004 file photo. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. MJ's PJs

    Michael Jackson wears pajama pants and is aided by bodyguards after arriving more than an hour late to court on Mar. 10, 2005, during his trial on the 2003 molestation charges. Jackson appeared after Judge Rodney Melville threatened to revoke his bail. (Kimberly White / pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Singin' with the kids

    Michael Jackson sings with some of his young fans at the World Music Awards at Earls Court in London on Nov. 16, 2006. (Graham Jepson / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Fans in uniform

    Michael Jackson receives a letter of appreciation from Col. Robert M. Waltemeyer, the garrison commander of Camp Zama, on March 10, 2007 in Zama, Japan. Michael greeted thousands of U.S. troops and their family members at the U.S. Army base. (U.S. Army via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Father figure

    Michael Jackson walks with kids Prince and Paris through a studio parking lot in Los Angeles in March 2009. The singer had been spotted with his entourage going to a studio on a cold rainy day in the city. The pop star stayed at the studio for more than two hours, and there were many production people working around him, suggesting that the star was filming. (Splash News / Splash News) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Concert tour planned

    Fans take pictures of an electronic screen projecting a press conference by Michael Jackson at the O2 arena in London on March 5, 2009. The pop megastar announced he would play a series of comeback concerts in London in July, his first major shows in more than a decade. (Ben Stansall / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Reaching for redemption

    Jackson, center, is shown in Los Angeles on May 6 during rehearsals for his planned concert tour in London. "He was on the eve of potentially redeeming his career a little bit," said Billboard magazine editorial director Bill Werde. "People might have started to think of him again in a different light."

    Discuss the life and impact of Michael Jackson in PhotoBlog. (Courtesy of Michael Jackson via) Back to slideshow navigation
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