Conrad Murray trial: Michael Jackson's assistant cites voicemail, 'cream' request
Michael Jackson's personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams, says Conrad Murray, the singer's personal doctor, left an urgent voice message on his phone minutes before the King of Pop was pronounced dead and told him there was "cream" in the singer's room "that he wouldn't want the world to know about."
Williams made his comments at Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial on Wednesday, September 28. NOTE: You can watch the proceedings online: OnTheRedCarpet.com is hosting a LIVE STREAM of the Conrad Murray trial.
"Call me right away," Murray's voice is heard in the recording, which was played in court (listen to it here). "Please call me right away. Thank you."
Phone records show the call was made at 12:13 p.m. on June 25, 2009. Paramedtics reached Jackson at 12:26 p.m. and the singer was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m.
Williams said he was miles away in downtown Los Angeles when the doctor called him. He said he called Murray back at 12:15 p.m. He said that during a 35-second conversation, Murray told him that Jackson "had a bad reaction" and asked for him to "get somebody up here immediately."
"I wasn't asked to call 911," William said, adding that he then called Faheem Muhammad, the head of Jackson's security team, as well as Alberto Alvarez, the singer's then-bodyguard.
Williams said that if Murray had told him to call 911, he would have taken his words more seriously and he would have called emergency services first.
Williams said it took him about half an hour to get to Jackson's home. When he arrived, an ambulance was parked outside.
"(The medics) were beginning to bring the gurney (with Jackson's body) down," Williams said. "It was real frantic. I remember seeing Dr. Murray down by the ambulance ... talking to medics."
Williams said after Jackson arrived at the hospital, he was wheeled into a room with a curtain, while he and the singer's family and associates waited outside. Williams said doctors emerged and said Jackson was pronounced dead, after which he was approached by Murray, who made a request.
"We were making small talk about how horrible this is and both of us I believe, (were) tearing. He said that there's some cream in Michael's room, or house, I believe room, that he wouldn't want the world to know about," Williams said. "He requested that I or someone give him a ride back to the house to get it, so ... the world wouldn't know about it. Some cream that Michael wouldn't want the world to know about."
Search warrants have showed that 30 tubes of skin whitening cream used in the treatment of vitiligo, a skin condition that the African-American singer had, were found at Jackson's home after his death. Further details about the cream Murray was referring to have not been disclosed at the trial.
Autopsy results have shown that Jackson died at age 50 at his Los Angeles from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which he called his "milk," and other sedatives. Murray, had said he gave the singer a dose of propofol as a sleeping aid in his house on the day he died and has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted. Murray's lawyers maintain that Jackson drank propofol on his own while the doctor was away from his bedside and that the dose Murray had administered was too low to be fatal.
Following Jackson's death, investigators found several medical substances and equipment in his room, including bottles of propofol, Lidocaine, which is another anesthetic that Jackson called "anti-burn," anti-anxiety, pain and insomnia medications prescribed by Murray, including Valium, lorazepam and tempazepam and the prostate medication Flomax.
They also found other prescriptions prescribed by dermatologist Arnold Klein and general practitioner Allan Metzger, which as the antidepressant trazodone, the muscle relaxer tizanidine and the anti-anxiety drug clonazepam. An IV stand with a saline bag was also found, as was a Cardiology Review book, a jug or urine on a chair and the jacket and pants worn by Jackson on his last performance - a rehearsal at Staples Center, on June 24, 2009, some 12 hours before his death.
Williams said he left to speak to Muhammad after Murray requested the cream, adding: "I told Fahim that we can't let him (Murray) in the house. I told Fahim that I was going to tell Dr. Murray that the police had our (car) keys."
Williams said he then told Murray that they were unable to take him back to Jackson's house because they did not have their keys. He said Murray then made another request.
"He said he was hungry, he hadn't eaten all day and all night and he wanted a ride to get some food," Williams said. "I remember just kind of shrugging it off, just like 'Okay.' He got the point that I wasn't going to take him."
Williams said he then told Muhammad about Murray's food request.
"He said, 'Just make sure you call security.' I told him to make sure security doesn't let anyone in or anyone out. I used the term 'lock it down.'"
Williams said he never saw Murray again. He then talked to the police for up to 10 minutes and provided them with Murray's contact information. Williams said he did not mention Murray's request for the cream. He said he told law enforcement officials about it in August, two months later.
He said he wanted to speak to them sooner, but their meeting was postponed. He also confirmed he had seen news stories about Murray between the time of the singer's death and that time.
Jackson's three children were home at the time of their father's overdose, William said.
"We got them in the car to get ready to follow the ambulance," he said, adding that Murray insisted on riding with Jackson in the ambulance.
"(Jackson) had two blue Escalades," Williams said. "I was in one of them. We had a driver, a security guard, myself, the three children - Prince, Paris and Blanket, and their nanny."
He said he took off his jacket and used it to help "shield" the children when they got to the hospital. Jackson, one of the most famous people in the world, had once made them wear masks in public.
Prosecutors have accused Murray of not providing adequate medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks, for Jackson while he was administering propofol and other prescription medications. The doctor's lawyers have disputed this.
"It was normal for oxygen tanks to be there," Williams said on Wednesday. "The chef or the children would bring them up. (Murray) would ask for them to be picked up and I would assign a security guard to drive and pick them up from another location and they would bring them to the home."
A picture of a room with oxygen tanks was shown to the jury. A sign in the background states: "Please remember to take the oxygen tanks every Friday as soon as the place opens."
Murray's trial began officially on Tuesday, September 27, with opening statements, and is expected to last until October 28.
Days before his death, Jackson was rehearsing in Los Angeles for his sold-out, 50-venue "This Is It" tour - his first major series of concerts since 1996. Murray was to provide medical care for Jackson at the time. Jackson missed several days of rehearsal in the days before his death.
On Wednesday, Kathy Jorrie, an attorney for tour promoter AEG Live, testified that Murray assured her that Jackson was "perfectly healthy, in excellent condition."
On Tuesday, the Kenny Ortega, co-director of the "This Is It" tour, said Jackson appeared unwell, "lost" and "incoherent" at rehearsals in the days before his death. Ortega said he wondered if he was under the influence of drugs.On Tuesday, one of the prosecutors played to the jury a recording of a voice message by Jackson, found on Murray's iPhone, to demonstrate the effect propofol had on him as he prepared for his tour. The singer's voice is deeply slurred.
Williams said he had never heard Jackson sound like that before, adding: "Never heard in that extreme. It's kind of sad. That was pretty extreme."
One of Murray's attorneys, Michael Flanagan, told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Wednesday that Jackson slurred his words because he "self-medicated" and that it occured when Murray was not around.
UPDATE: Check out details from the testimony from Jackson's security chief, Faheem Muhammed, who said Prince and Paris Jackson witnessed the doctor try to revive their father.
Don't forget: In addition to supplying you with breaking news reports, OnTheRedCarpet.com will provide a live stream of the Conrad Murray trial.