Janet Jackson Blames Dr. Conrad Murray for Michael's Death

Janet tells Robin Roberts Conrad Murray is responsible for her brother's death.

November 15, 2009, 7:20 PM

Nov. 16, 2009— -- Speaking out five months after Michael Jackson's death, Janet Jackson placed blame on Dr. Conrad Murray, saying the doctor should no longer be allowed to practice medicine.

"He was the one that was administering," she told ABC's Robin Roberts. "I think he is responsible."

Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, remains the focus of a manslaughter investigation into the pop star's death. Murray has admitted to administering the anesthetic propofol, but has denied giving Michael anything that should have killed him.

Jackson, who has walled herself in silence, fiercely guarding her private thoughts about the death of her beloved brother, Michael, opened up to Roberts in an exclusive interview that will air, Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 10 p.m. ET.

"It's been a tough year," she said. "You have your days where it's just really -- it's hard to believe. And a day doesn't go by that I don't think about him."

Jackson recounted the details of the morning of June 25, before she learned that Michael had collapsed, and her world turned upside down.

"I was at my house in New York. You know, another day. Another morning. And I get a call ... [my assistant] said, 'Your brother's been taken to the hospital. It's on CNN right now,'" she told Roberts. "I called everyone's. There's a line busy or -- someone wasn't picking up. I spoke to mother. I spoke to Tito. I spoke to my nephew Austin. I spoke to my sister La Toya."

Watch Robin Robert's exclusive interview with Janet Jackson, "In the Spotlight," Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 10 p.m. ET.

"I told them to call me when they got to the hospital. And I remember thinking nobody's calling me back, so I tried calling again, and that's how I found out that he was no longer ... I couldn't believe it," she said.

Jackson said the she and the entire family were in a state of disbelief.

"It just didn't ring true to me. It felt like a dream," she said. "It's still so difficult for me to believe. It's, you know, you have to accept what is. But it's hard. You have to move on with your life. You have to accept what is and I understand that."

For Jackson, Michael's memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the late King of Pop was surrounded by love ones, helped her come to terms with her brother's death.

"My brother's favorite song is 'Smile.' And I thought Jermaine sang it beautifully, beautifully. And that's his favorite song as well. ...There being some sort of a closure, I suppose, at that time," she said, getting emotional.

Growing Up Jackson

Janet, who has sold 100 million records and became a five-time Grammy award-winning artist, was the youngest of nine children in the brood. Growing up, she said that she was always closest to Michael.

"We were incredibly close," she said, "A lot of similarities, his love for children and me being a baby. …We would practically do everything together from morning to night every day. Everyday."

She recalled how the two would play after school, feeding the animals together at the family's Hayvenhurst compound in Encino, Calif.

"We'd feed all the animals, took care of the babies. All the animals -- giraffes, mouflon sheep, deer, they had fawned. All kinds of animals, all kinds of birds. And I remember I would come home from school with the hay like I'm going to a ranch," she said.

In later years, she famously wore the key to the animal cages in all her music videos -- a memento from her youth.

But Jackson does not look back on all of her childhood memories as fondly.

Living in the shadow of the Jackson 5, then the most famous family act in America, her father Joe Jackson took the reins when it came to her career.

Jackson, who once had dreams of going to college to study business law and pursuing an acting career, said her father changed her career path.

"My father said, 'I think you'll make more money singing than as an actress... And that was it," she said. "Obviously, he saw something. And it's sad that it takes away your childhood. If I had to do it all over again, would I go about it the same way? I would really have to think about that."

Joe Jackson, the patriarch and the driving force behind his children's success, has been accused by Michael and others of being an abusive stage father.

When asked by Roberts if her father was "abusive" or "old school," she said: "You have to keep in mind that I'm the baby...I think it's old school. And that may extrapolate into -- a -- being a little abusive. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

In a July 2009 interview with Chris Connelly, Joe Jackson addressed accusations that his children sacrificed a normal childhood for life on the stage. Joe Jackson denied allegations of beating Michael, but admitted to spanking as a form of physical discipline. He said he did not regret any part of Michael's upbringing.

"I was very young, very young. I can't remember the exact age, but very young, younger than ten, younger than nine. ...I remember when I had called him daddy, and he said, 'No, you call me Joseph, I'm Joseph to you.' Never said it again," she told Roberts. "...We called mother -- everybody called mother, mother. So I don't know, I don't know why. And I've never asked. I've never questioned it. It is what it is, and I just let it go. Joseph."

Jackson Childhood: No Birthdays, Cartoons

The Jackson children had a unique childhood. As devout Jehovah's witnesses, they did not celebrate birthdays or Christmas because of their beliefs.

"I would love to have experienced what it would be like to celebrate Christmas and birthdays. ...I had my first birthday party when I was 23 years old. And I'd never celebrated my birthday before then," she said. "You kind of feel like you missed something. But then again, you have to, to say to yourself, it's like a catch-22 -- well, how can you miss what you didn't have? You know? I -- we grew up pretty quickly."

Two days before her 43rd birthday was the last time Jackson saw Michael.

"We had a lot of fun, laughing. ...I was being silly, acting silly. And he was sitting in front of me and just cracking up, laughing at me," she said. "I was being loud. And he thought it was so funny. I was just being stupid, acting silly."

Watch Robin Robert's exclusive interview with Janet Jackson, "In the Spotlight," Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 10 p.m. ET.

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