Jackson trial: Shocking recording of pop star played for jury

LOS ANGELES (RNN)  - A disturbing recording of a slurring and incoherent Michael Jackson was played for the jury on the first day of the manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician at the time of his death.

Murray is accused of giving Jackson the fatal dose of propofol, a common surgical anesthetic usually administered in a hospital setting.

Jackson's promoter and producer for the final tour, Paul Gongaware, testified Tuesday that Jackson seemed upbeat and excited about working, adding almost 20 shows to the originally planned 31 at the O2 Arena in London.

However, the pop star was noticeably different after visiting his then-physician, Dr. Arnold Kline.

"His speech was just a little bit, slightly slurred," Gongaware said. "He was a little slower than I know him to be."

The recording, taped on Murray's iPhone in May 2009, depicts Jackson trying to communicate his desires for the tour's audience to come away from his performance awestruck and convinced that he was the best performer in the world.

In the recording, he seems to have trouble articulating basic words.

"When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say 'I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go,'" Jackson garbled.

According to testimony, Murray asked for $5 million a year to take over Jackson's care. He eventually took the job for $150,000 a month, or $1.8  million a year. He allegedly claimed he needed more money to justify closing his four practices and laying off employees.

The tour's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, testified that during a June meeting on Jackson's health, Murray became agitated at others' supposed interference.

"He was upset that I didn't allow Michael to rehearse the night before and that I sent him home," Ortega said. "He said I should stop trying to be an amateur doctor and psychologist and be the director and (leave) Michael's health to him."

It appears the defense will attempt to place the blame for Jackson's death squarely on the shoulders of the aging pop star.

"Jackson wanted to sleep for 10 hours, was frustrated, unable to sleep, couldn't sleep, needed to sleep, needed to succeed, and his doctor would not give him propofol," said defense attorney Ed Chernoff.

"Jackson swallowed, while he was up and about the room and other rooms and the bathroom, up to eight pills on his own, without telling his doctor; without permission from his doctor."

Propofol is a surgical anesthetic that Jackson allegedly used regularly as a sleeping aid.

The trial continues Wednesday. If convicted, Murray could get up to four years in prison.

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