In day 70 of testimony, Debbie Rowe took the stand in the wrongful death trial of Michael Jackson.
Debbie Rowe, who was born in Spokane, Washington, is the second wife of Michael Jackson in 1996 through 1999 and the mother of their children Prince and Paris Jackson. Lisa Marie Presley, daughter to legend Elvis Presley, was Jackson’s first wife who divorced him in 1996.
On her second day of testimony, the judge ordered Ms. Rowe to testify to AEG’s attorneys about Jackson’s drug usage. AEG was Michael Jackson’s concert promoter, who is being sued by Jackson’s mother and three of his children in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Debbie’s story begins when meeting Jackson while working as a nurse in a dermatology office where the singer was being treated for a skin problem, vitiligo. Vitiligo is a pigment condition causing white spots to appear on the skin for which Michael was covered with.
Rowe said the skin disease caused Jackson see himself as the Elephant Man making him feel like a circus sideshow. The singer worried that people would see his horrible skin condition and shun whom he truly was inside. And inside Jackson had a great fear of pain. No wonder the poor guy created his Neverland Ranch, a child’s playground filled with a zoo, carnival and much, much more.
Rumor has it Justin Bieber is now considering purchasing the ranch so he can relocate to a quieter retreat and just get away from it all.
Along with having vitiligo, Jackson’s hair was burned in a pyrotechnic accident while filming a Pepsi commercial. Jackson’s hair on his head literally went up in flames. The after affects from the damage created discoid lupus, which made the skin tissue on his scalp mushy and very, very painful.
Another problem ensuing the singer was insomnia. In Debbie’s testimony, treatments for this condition began in Germany 12-years prior to his death. Jackson could not sleep between concerts, so his U.S. doctor, Allen Metzger who was Jackson’s general practitioner at the time, arranged for the singer to be infused with propofol in 1997. The drug seemed to have positive effects, so Jackson and his doctor’s continued the practice.
Attorney for AEG Marvin Putnam’s questions to Rowe focused on Jackson’s use of prescription drugs due to the scalp surgery pain and twice in Germany where propofol was used to treat his insomnia.
Dr. Metzer denies these allegations in having used anesthesia on Jackson as treatment. But in a previous deposition, Rowe claimed the doctor gave Jackson propofol in 1990 while touring in France. She has since retracted that statement.
Although Dr. Metzer denies using the drug on Jackson, the singer’s death on June 25, 2009 was from an overdose of propofol administered by another physician, Dr. Conrad Murray who was hired by AEG to provide medical treatment to Jackson, their moneymaking client. Murray has since been convicted and is serving time for involuntary manslaughter.
AEG states the company was unaware of Jackson’s use of the anesthetic until the time of his death. However, Jackson’s family claims that AEG concert promoters ignored the warning signs of Michael’s deteriorating condition two months prior to his death, and continued to push Dr. Murray to getting the singer to rehearsals.
AEG paid Murray $150,000 per month to make sure Jackson could fulfill his promotional contract obligations.
AEG states Dr. Murray was hired only as Jackson’s doctor, and it was the singer who controlled and pushed for what drugs that were provided him.
On the stand, Debbie Rowe exclaimed the doctors treating Jackson were idiots, including the dermatologist she worked for at the time she met Jackson. Michael had total trust in his doctors, she demanded. What treatment they prescribed he took in full faith of their expert knowledge.
In the fall of 1993, Rowe and Jackson argued that he was in such a mess using prescription drugs that he finally agreed to enter into a rehab facility and at the time, AEG knew about Jackson’s drug usage.
Asked what impact Michael Jackson’s death had on his daughter Paris, 15, Debbie Rowe replied that Paris doesn’t feel she has a life since her father’s death. She is so devastated by losing her father that her young, beautiful and haunted daughter attempted to kill herself.
In June, Paris attempted suicide by ingesting 20 Motrin pills and slashing her arm with a kitchen knife. She is currently being treated for her emotional breakdown in a private facility.
When Rowe’s 3-year marriage to Michael ended, she left the pop star custody of the children. Michael wanted to be a father so badly, the grieving mother sobbed on the stand. Michael wanted to be the best father and give his children everything he did not have as a child growing up. (Would that void include love and Neverland Ranch?)
As for Debbie herself, she did not truly sign up to be a mother, but she angrily told the inquiring attorney that she never would have left the children with Michael knowing he was a drug addict.
Michael was the victim, not his children and the reason for Debbie Rowe speaking out and taking the stand in Michael Jackson’s wrongful death trial.
Written by Lisa Graziano