*Michael Jackson’s family has expressed its anger that Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of the pop superstar’s death, was allegedly paid for a tell-all TV Q&A.
In his first full-length interview, Murray claimed he loved Jackson, who died from a drug overdose in 2009.
Australia’s “60 Minutes” has reportedly paid Murray a six-figure sum in a move slammed by crime victims’ support groups. But a source said the figure was “nowhere near six figures.”
“It’s not even in the vicinity,” the source said. “More like the fives.”
Murray, who injected the singer with Propofol, was released from jail last month after serving almost two years of a four-year sentence. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s death.
The interview, which aired in Australia on Sunday night, has made Jackson’s family “sick to the pits of their stomach.” Tanay Jackson, Michael’s niece, said the family could never forgive Murray.
“No matter what he says and no matter what anyone else says the point still remains the same: he was the physical culprit of my uncle’s death,” Tanay told Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper. “He had that needle in his hand and he injected Michael. Whether he meant to overdose him or not, he still injected him. He’s the doctor, he should’ve known better. It didn’t matter what Michael told him, he shouldn’t have done it.”
Tanay Jackson said she feared the interview could harm Jackson’s daughter, Paris.
“She is trying to find a way to escape and it doesn’t seem like anyone knows what to do. This is a 15-year-old going through a 40-year-old’s problems,” she said.
Murray told “60 Minutes” that Jackson still “speaks to me” but wouldn’t elaborate further, saying “it is too emotional to go into.”
Crime Victims’ Support Association president Noel McNamara was critical of the interview.
“To think that the family have gone through all that trauma of being in the courts and then to have this bloke come out and try to make out he is Mother Teresa is absolutely disgraceful and disgusting,” McNamara said. “It is just checkbook journalism.”
Channel 9 spokeswoman Michelle Stamper declined to respond to the Jackson family’s comments. She also refused to say whether Murray was paid for the interview.