Michael Jackson had faint pulse when doctor found him in bed
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LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson still had a faint pulse and his body was warm when his doctor found him in bed and not breathing, a lawyer representing the doctor said yesterday.
Edward Chernoff also said physician Conrad Murray never prescribed or gave Jackson the drugs Demerol or OxyContin. He denied reports suggesting Murray gave Jackson drugs that contributed to his death.
Chernoff told the AP that Murray was at the pop icon's rented mansion Thursday afternoon when he discovered Jackson in bed and not breathing. The doctor immediately administered CPR, Chernoff said.
"He just happened to find him in his bed, and he wasn't breathing," the lawyer said. "Mr. Jackson was still warm and had a pulse."
A private pathologist hired by the Jackson family completed a second, private autopsy Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the case.
Jackson's family requested a private autopsy in part because of questions about Murray, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday.
People close to Michael Jackson have said since his death that they were concerned about his use of painkillers. Los Angeles County medical examiners completed their autopsy Friday and said Jackson had taken unspecified prescription medication.
Chernoff said any drugs the doctor gave Jackson were prescribed in response to a specific complaint from the entertainer.
"Dr. Murray has never prescribed nor administered Demerol to Michael Jackson," Chernoff said. "Not ever. Not that day. . . . Not Oxycontin [either], for that matter."
Paramedics were called to the mansion while the doctor was performing CPR, according to a recording of the 911 call. Medics spent three-quarters of an hour trying to revive Jackson. He was pronounced dead later at UCLA Medical Center.
Murray was interviewed by investigators for three hours Saturday. His spokeswoman called Murray "a witness to this tragedy," not a suspect. Police said the doctor was cooperative.
Chernoff also said the promoter of Jackson's 50-show London concerts, AEG Live, owes the cardiologist $300,000. "His contract with the promoters states he would receive an amount of money each month to be his [Jackson's] personal physician, and they have failed to honor that contract," Chernoff said. "They are two months behind."
Randy Phillips, president and chief executive officer of AEG Live, acknowledged the contract called for Murray to be paid $150,000 a month, but said the contract required Jackson's signature.
"Michael never signed the contract," Phillips said.
Three days after the death of the King of Pop, celebrities descended on Los Angeles for what promised to be a spectacular celebration of Jackson's life at the annual BET awards show.
Media requests for last night's show doubled after the death, and the red carpet was lengthened.
Previously announced performers, including Beyoncé and Ne-Yo, were working to overhaul performances they had planned for weeks so they could honor Jackson. Other stars tried to catch last-minute flights.
Los Angeles County coroner's officials said their autopsy found no indication of trauma or foul play. But because of additional tests, an official cause of death could take weeks to determine.
In an interview aired on Fox News Channel's Geraldo at Large yesterday, Jackson's father said he did not believe stress over the intense series of concerts the King of Pop planned for his comeback led to his death.