CNN anchor Don Lemon unspools the confusing reports still swirling around his death in Michael Jackson – the final days debuting Friday, June 25, at 8:00pm ET and PT.
Following Lemon’s report, a special Larry King Live tribute program highlighting the music milestones Michael Jackson achieved during his lifetime will air at 9:00pm ET and 6:00pm PT.
Lemon’s revealing hour allows viewers to hear directly from Tito and Jermaine Jackson about their last contact with their brother and, how they first learned of their brother’s collapse and death.
Lemon begins by pressing music producer Rodney Jerkins about reports that Jackson was too physically frail to fulfill his nine month, 50-performance THIS IS IT! engagement in London. Lemon also confirms with concert promoter Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live, that Jackson had missed several rehearsals in the run up to the tour.
Though they had some doubts about Jackson’s ability to manage the grueling rehearsal and performance schedule, musical director Michael Bearden, and concert tour choreographer Travis Payne, insist Jackson’s dancing and voice were both strong, that his mood was optimistic – and that Jackson’s stamina surpassed that of the dancers preparing to tour with him, many of whom were half his age.
Jermaine Jackson, who says he was unaware of the extent of his brother’s alleged drug use that other family members and friends have described, tells Lemon that there was a conspiracy to kill his brother. When Lemon asks Jermaine Jackson directly about the culpability of Michael Jackson’s last physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who is currently standing trial accused of involuntary manslaughter, Jermaine Jackson responds with:
“I think he [Dr. Murray] know[s] the players. And I think if you squeeze his hand hard enough, he would say.”
Celebrity biographer J. Randy Tamborelli tells Lemon that Jackson may have been using the anesthetic drug Propofol, proposed as the cause of his death, as long as 5 or 6 years ago. Jackson friend Dr. Deepak Chopra has confirmed knowledge of Jackson’s extended use of prescription drugs.
Lemon’s documentary ends with intimate reflections from Tito and Jermaine Jackson on the family’s mourning of the loss of their beloved brother, son, and friend. Viewers can also remember Michael Jackson’s life at www.cnn.com/michaeljackson, where they can find a photo archive and follow developments in the ongoing probe into his death.
Scott Matthews is executive producer for CNN Productions, which produced Michael Jackson – The Final Days. Bud Bultman and Jeffery Reid are executive producers for the documentary. Stan Wilson is senior producer.
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