Excerpt: Wendy Walker's 'The Producer'


CHOPRA: Magical. First time I met him, he was magic. He had a jukebox in his studio, with the traditional coins. So, we threw in a few coins and he said, choose the music. And I chose "Saturday Night Fever" and he started to dance...

KING: You complained, though, today about people around him. You've been very open and been critical of what?

CHOPRA: Well, in 2005, after the trial, Michael came and spent a week with me. And out of the blue he asked me for a prescription, knowing that I'm a doctor and I have a license, too. It was a prescription for a narcotic. I said, wait, why would you want a prescription for a narcotic? It suddenly dawned on me that he was getting a lot of prescriptions from a lot of people.

KING: Was he an addict?

CHOPRA: Yes, he was.

KING: Did people around him encourage that addiction?

CHOPRA: Yes, more so his doctors.

KING: Didn't he have migraine headaches, though? Wasn't he in a lot of pain?

CHOPRA: He was in pain. But there are many ways to manage pain. Even if you're on narcotics, there's a way to manage narcotics.

KING: Did he take a lot of pills and stuff?

CHOPRA: I know for a fact that he did. I saw bottles of OxyContin. I knew he was getting shots. I knew his doctors were enablers. What can I say? I confronted him many times with it. When I did, he would stop returning my calls until we changed the topic.

KING: Lisa Marie Presley, his ex-wife, writes on her MySpace blog that Michael once told her he was afraid he would end up like her father. Did he talk about that?

CHOPRA: He did... I'm discussing the problems in the medical profession which enables this kind of addiction. It's become a tradition in Hollywood.

KING: You're blaming the medical profession.

CHOPRA: Of course. There's a coterie of doctors right here in Hollywood that like to hang around celebrities. They perpetuate their habit. They make them drug addicts. We've got to really investigate this.

Deepak was the first to tell it like he believed it to be. When he went on the air and said what he did about the medical profession, people were enraged at him and they wanted to kill the messenger. But it came out later that Michael had had countless interventions that clearly did no good at all. And in the end, when Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael's primary doctor, was arrested for involuntary manslaughter, everyone had to admit that Deepak's suspicions may not have been unfounded.

Over the next few weeks, while we continued to cover this monumental death, it seemed as if a never-ending flurry of celebrities were dying. The list includes: David Carradine, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite, Ed McMahon, Robert Novak, Ted Kennedy, Dominick Dunne, DJ AM, and Patrick Swayze. We covered these deaths as best we could on Larry King Live, making sure we were honoring most of the people on this long list. In fact, the viewing audience tuned in to our show for that very reason. With so many deaths occurring and so much public grieving, they needed a place where they knew their favorite personalities would be given their due. That was how people looked at our show.

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