Michael Jackson’s propofol abuse could have started as early as 2005, according to sources with longstanding relationships with the singer.
“He went to Dubai in 2005 and when he was there, people around him started to grow concerned. He was acting bizarre, and everyone knew he was using,” said one business associate. “Finally he was confronted and all he’d say was ‘It’s stronger than Demerol, it’s something you can only get at the hospital.’ Now, looking back, it sounds like it could have been propofol.”
“He described it to me as ‘something to sleep that completely puts you out, that you get in hospitals,’ ” said another source who was in talks to start a new tour with Jackson during the Dubai trip, which followed the singer's acquittal on child molestation charges.
“His behavior was strange enough that it was good reason to not continue talks of a tour, at least until he got help,” the source said. “He was an addict. He admitted so himself on television. But now that we know about the propofol, there’s a lot of us thinking that was why he was so weird in Dubai — maybe it was propofol.”
That same source was involved in Jackson’s “This is it” tour and says that the behavior Jackson exhibited at the beginning of rehearsals did not indicate drug abuse of any kind. “He was totally present, totally dedicated to the tour. There was no way he was on anything, at least until the month before he died,” said the source. “The last month, he definitely changed.”
When Jackson asked his nurse Cherilyn Lee for the drug days before his death, Lee said that it was clear Jackson had been given the drug before. “He definitely had had it. He knew exactly what it would do, how it was administered,” Lee said. “But he wouldn’t tell me who gave it to him.”
Jermaine cashes inMichael Jackson has plenty of siblings who depended on him financially, but it’s brother Jermaine who seems to be doing the most to profit from him after his death.
Not only has Jermaine struck a deal to release a recording of “Smile,” the song he performed at Michael Jackson’s July 7 public memorial, but now there’s a series of tribute concerts he’s planning. Jermaine made the announcement during a taped interview with Larry King, which airs Aug. 7, according to multiple sources who had access to the interview.
What’s interesting about the announcement is right up until the interview, Jermaine was making calls to artists who were involved with the “This Is It Tour,” telling them the tribute concerts would be part of the World Music Awards. Not only is this not true, but the World Music Awards turned down a Jackson family appearance at the show, which will be taped in late October in Monaco, according to a person with direct knowledge of the Jacksons’ proposal.
“Two different people, each claiming to be representatives of the entire family called to ask if there was interest,” said the source. “Let’s say there was interest: First of all, no one represents the entire family, so that wasn’t right. Then, you can’t get past the issue of their travel needs. They said the entire family would have to travel from California to Monaco via chartered jet. And that’s just not going to happen.”
What will take place at the World Music Awards? Janet Jackson (who, it should be noted, is not to be lumped into Jermaine’s category — she’s been an example of pitch-perfect respect toward Michael and the situation as a whole) will not perform, but organizers expect she will accept an award on behalf of Michael, who was due to receive the award prior to his death. Also, Prince is in talks to do a tribute performance to Michael Jackson.
Brown has friends in music, but not advertising All things considered, Chris Brown’s image hasn’t taken too terrible a turn since pleading guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna. His record sales dipped somewhat, but thanks to the spotlight being turned away from him by bigger events (Jackson’s death, for example) and a dancing wedding party’s song selection, it appears he’ll come out on the other side with his image mostly intact. That doesn’t mean his bank account won’t suffer, though.
Brown has friends like Diddy telling people he’s really sorry, and is learning from the experience, but outside the record studios and inside the boardrooms, it’s a different story. Brown lost his Wrigley’s deal this week, and future appearances (and appearance fees) at big events are in jeopardy because the advertisers behind the events don’t want to be associated with Brown.
“It’s a situation where the advertiser isn’t paying Chris, but is instead a show sponsor. They hear Chris might appear and perform, and the color drains from their faces. Having Chris be a part of a larger event, they’re afraid, looks like you’re supporting Chris,” said one person who’s been working on the corporate side of deals involving Brown.
And there’s the Britney Spears factor: “A lot of people got burned by Britney and all the fallout from her meltdown. Now there’s Chris as a reminder that you have to be really careful about where you put your money,” said the source.
Patricia Arquette’s TV career is for the poor, crippled
Part of the Television Critics Association dog-and-pony show included a chat with “Medium” star, Patricia Arquette. Msnbc.com contributor and RealityBlurred.com scribe Andy Dehnart was there, and tells us that among the questions lobbed to Arquette, was one commonly posed to actors who’ve been in the business for some time: What’s the difference between doing film and TV? While her answer did little to address that difference, it took a rambling turn toward the benefits of network television, which include being available to the poor and crippled.
Since it defies explanation, I’ll stop attempting to do so, and let the statement speak for itself: “I thought I want to do entertainment that’s network because it’s basically free, and people were at home or who are poor or who are crippled can get entertained in their house without having to go to a movie theater and pay a bunch of money, and I like that idea.”
There are no words.
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @courtneyatmsnbc.