Two of Michael Jackson’s former confidantes, medium Uri Geller and ex-bodyguard Matt Fiddes, say they tried in vain to keep the pop superstar from abusing painkillers and other prescription drugs suspected of leading to his death — but others in the singer’s circle kept the supplies flowing.
“When Michael asked for something, he got it. This was the great tragedy,” Geller said Thursday.
Geller, who said he suffered a terrible falling-out with Jackson several years ago over the issue, said he often had “to shout at Michael, to scream at Michael” as he sought to confiscate the singer’s stocks of medication during his travels in England.
“I tried to drum sense into his brain,” Geller said. “I told him, ’Michael you’re going to die, Michael you’re going to kill yourself.’ But he just stared at me. Many a time he was in his bed and I stood and shouted at him. He just stared at me.”
Speaking at his home near London, Geller said he slept on floors or sofas in Jackson’s hotel suites in a bid to talk sense into his sometimes-incoherent friend.
“Most of the people around Michael could not say ‘No!’ to him. He desperately needed someone there all the time who could say ‘No!’ and mean it, who could warn him of the dangers ... and tell him the truth,” Geller said. “The big problem was that many people wanted to help Michael, to save his life, but we could not be there all the time.”
Geller said Jackson relied on medications to help him cope with relentless pressure and media criticism in his later years. “With his sanity buffeted and health wracked by global bullying nonstop, I think it’s actually incredible that Michael held up as well as he did,” he said.
Fiddes, an English karate instructor who worked as a senior bodyguard during Jackson’s travels in Britain for a decade, said the pop idol abused prescription medications, not recreational drugs, and took so much that it could be difficult to wake him for engagements.
“I confiscated packages and Uri did too. I mean, Uri confiscated injection equipment from his room,” Fiddes said in an interview broadcast Thursday by Sky News. “And Uri would scream at Michael, you know, intensely, to stop doing this. But we just were getting pushed out.”
Fiddes recalled one occasion when Jackson planned to visit London Zoo to see the gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates — but was too spaced out to go anywhere.
The bodyguard said he and Geller "were both shaking him trying to wake him up. It was clear that he had taken something that morning and he was hard to wake. We were extremely concerned ... We couldn't get him in a state that would portray him in a good light."
Fiddes said both he and Geller told others supplying medications to Jackson to stop, but when their efforts “got back to Michael, he would have a screaming fit that we were interfering with his private life. He was in denial.”
However, Geller said he was convinced that “Michael did not want to die.”
“Michael loved life,” he said. “Michael loved his children. They were everything to him.”
Several other Jackson confidantes have expressed concern since his death at the volume and mixture of medications he was taking. Self-help guru Deepak Chopra said he rejected Jackson’s 2005 appeals for painkillers and that their relationship suffered lasting damage because of it.
Geller said he was fearful that Jackson could not have completed his planned 50-concert run in London, which was due to start July 13. Stress over the imminent comeback, as well as drug misuse, combined to kill his friend, he said.
“Whatever the autopsy will come back with, part of what made Michael Jackson’s heart stop involved the stress and the anxiety that, ’My God, in a few days I have to get on a plane and fly to England.’ But he could have done it,” Geller said.