Michael Jackson's Nurse Refused to Help Get Powerful, Dangerous Sedative

Jackson's nurse said she would not get him potent drug, said it may kill him.

June 25, 2009, 10:15 PM

July 1, 2009— -- A Los Angeles nutritionist who worked for Michael Jackson has come forward saying the pop star begged her give him a powerful sleeping agent in the days before his death.

Cherilyn Lee, a registered nurse and nutritionist said she refused to help him obtain Diprivan, a sedative used mostly in hospitals.

Lee said during the call from a Jackson staffer, she heard Jackson in the background "He said 'Find me an anesthesiologist, I don't care how much money they want, find me an anesthesiologist to be with me here overnight and give me this IV.'"

Jackson, Lee said, said he was in extreme discomfort, was desperate for sleep and said that one side of his body was hot and the other side was cold.

Lee said wasn't familiar with the drug when he first asked for it three months ago, but, after consulting with a doctor, warned Jackson it could kill him.

"'I look at you Michael and I've been around you long enough now, I love you asfamily. I would not give this to anyone,'" Lee said she told Jackson. "I said, 'This is not a safe medicine, please don't take this.'"

Lee said Jackson had often complained of not being able to sleep more than a few hours at a time and the man who would often watch Donald Duck cartoons in bed, trying to sleep. "'The problem with you telling me you want to be knocked out,'" She says she told him, is "'you might not wake up the next morning. You don't want that.'"

But Jackson, she said, was convinced he'd be OK, telling her that his doctors had said it was safe as long as someone was monitoring him.

Lee said that encounter, three months ago, was the last time she saw him.

Then, four days before Jackson suffered cardiac arrest at his rented Los Angeles home, Lee said she got the frantic call from Jackson's camp about the singer wanting Diprivan and complaining about his body being alternately hot and cold.

Lee said she told Jackson to go to the hospital. He never went.

"I don't know what that could be, maybe his heart, his central nervous system and at that point I knew that somebody had given him something that hit that central nervous system because you know, that's all he wanted, was to sleep," she said. "But he was in trouble."

Though some close to Jackson have told ABC News the King of Pop was addicted to the painkillers OxyContin and Demerol, a lawyer for his Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, said the doctor had not prescribed either of those drugs for the pop icon. He has not commented on Diprivan.

Dr. John Dombrowski of the American Board of Anesthesiology, said Jackson's complaints of being hot and cold are consistent with someone who was already receiving intravenous drugs.

Diprivan is not to be used as a sleeping agent, he said, but rather to put patients to sleep in hospital settings.

"There's a big risk here," he told "Good Morning America" today, listing respiratory failure and the collapse of the patient's heart rate and blood pressure as possible side effects.

And, Dombrowski said, if Jackson was on other painkillers and prescription drugs, adding Diprivan could have created a lethal combination. The drug, he said, will show up in toxicology tests.

Saying Goodbye to the King of Pop

A memorial for Jackson is expected to be held at Neverland Ranch, the pop star's crumbling Xanadu-like estate replete with zoo and amusement park, but which Jackson abandoned years ago in the wake of child molestation charges, law enforcement sources said.

The ranch Jackson bought when he was 29 years old and built into a fantasy land has become a shadow of its former self -- the amusement park rides have been still and shuttered for years, the exotic zoo animals long gone.

A rare look at what was inside the ranch when authorities seized Jackson's belongings in 2003 -- only to return them after he was acquitted of child molestation charges --shows unique features including a reported windowless room with photo albums and unmarked videos and a wall with photos of boys, including child star Macaulay Culkin.

And there's a reported bedroom where children would stay, accessible only by passing through Jackson's bedroom.

But it is the place where Jackson fans have already begun flocking, saying it's where they can feel close to him.

Jackson's body will be moved to Neverland and a memorial service will likely be held there Friday, according to the sources and published reports.

The funeral, however, will likely not end speculation as to how Jackson, 50, died.

Police still have questions for Murray, who administered CPR to Jackson before he was taken to the hospital. Murray will not attend the funeral, the doctor's lawyers told ABC affilaite KTRK.

Following the lead of family matriarch Katherine Jackson, the family has hunkered down at their California home, rarely speaking with the media. Some family members, as well as police, have been seen entering the Holmby Hills rental home where Jackson died.

Katherine Jackson, 79, "has always had the quiet hand," the Rev. Al Sharpton told "Good Morning America" today.

Sharpton, who has known the family for more than three decades and has spent time with the Jacksons since Michael Jackson's death last week, described Jackson's mother as a "rock."

Though the family's grief is palpable, Sharpton said, there is "a spirit of 'We've got to move on and protect Michael's legacy.'"

And that legacy includes three young children, now in the custody of their grandmother.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled that, at least for now, Katherine Jackson would get custody of his three children, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., known as Prince Michael, 12; Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, 11; and Prince Michael Jackson II, 7.

Beckloff also made Katherine special administrator of the property pending a hearing July 6.

The judge's ruling did not cover Jackson's financial assets, which includes his stake in the Sony-ATV Music publishing catalog. The catalog contains legendary music from the Beatles, and Bob Dylan, as well as new acts such as the Jonas Brothers. Its worth has been estimated at as much as $2 billion.

A hearing to consider those requests has been scheduled for Monday.

A source confirmed that Jackson drafted a will in 2002 and the document will filed in court as early as Wednesday. Longtime Jackson attorneyJohn Branca and John McLain, a friend and music executive, are the named executors.

Jackson, according to the source, bequeathed everything he owned to his mother Katherine, three children, and charitable organizations.

Sharpton said one of Katherine Jackson's biggest priorities is going to be getting her three grandchildren acclimated to the scrutiny that comes from being Michael Jackson's children.

"They're fine," Sharpton said of Jackson's daughter and two sons. "They seem at home. They are at home."

Sharpton said that despite reports to the contrary, the Jacksons are a close-knit family who have always rallied around their most famous member.

"I think they've always operated as a family," he said, adding that strife within the Jackson clan has always been exaggerated. "At the lowest point in Michael's life when he was on trial, it was his mother and father that walked with him out of that courtroom every day."

But things seemed to be looking up for Jackson, professionally, in the months before his death. Though many speculated he would not be physically capable, Jackson, friends and colleagues have said, was looking forward to his 50-concert "This Is It" show in London.

There was something almost magical about Jackson's last rehearsal, according to lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe, who said in a BBC radio interview that "it was almost like he couldn't stop himself."

Even though "he was frail you might say," Woodroffe said, he remembered something "extraordinary" happening when Jackson took the stage around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

"Suddenly he was performing as one had remembered him in the past," he said.

While Woodroffe said he didn't know if Jackson would have been able to do all 50 concerts, "there was a sense he would have done it."

"He was an odd person, he was a different person," Woodroffe said, "but my view is you always judge people as you find them."