'No Way MJ Could Have Performed in London'
JUNE 29, 2009 - As fans mourned the death of Michael Jackson and revelled in his music, shocking stories of his last years began to emerge these past few days. Ian Halperin, who wrote a biography of MJ, said that there was no way he could have performed "one concert in London, let alone 50".
The concerts in London’s O2 Arena were an attempt to pay off MJ's huge debts estimated at £242million (RM1.3 billion).
Halperin wrote that MJ was suffering from a genetic disease called Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency – the lack of a protein that can help protect the lungs.
"Michael was receiving regular injections of Alpha-1 antitrypsin derived from human plasma. The treatment is said to be remarkably effective and can enable the sufferer to lead a normal life.
"But the disease can cause respiratory problems and, in severe cases, emphysema. Could this be why Jackson had for years been wearing a surgical mask in public, to protect his lungs from the ravages of the disease? Or why, from time to time, he resorted to a wheelchair? (picture) When I returned to my source inside the Jackson camp for confirmation, he said: ‘Yeah, that’s what he’s got. He’s in bad shape. They’re worried that he might need a lung transplant but he may be too weak. Some days he can hardly see and he’s having a lot of trouble walking.’"
Halperin wrote that as the London concerts approached, something was clearly wrong. Jackson had vowed to travel to England at least eight weeks before his first shows, but he kept putting it off.
‘To be honest, I never thought Michael would set foot on a concert stage ever again,’ said one aide, choking back tears on the evening of his death. This was not only predictable, this was inevitable.’
On June 21, Jackson told my contact that he wanted to die. He said that he didn’t have what it would take to perform any more because he had lost his voice and dance moves.
‘It’s not working out,’ Jackson said. ‘I’m better off dead. I don’t have anywhere left to turn. I’m done.’
"Michael’s closest confidante told me just two hours after he died that ‘Michael was tired of living. He was a complete wreck for years and now he can finally be in a better place. People around him fed him drugs to keep him on their side. They should be held accountable.’
It is worth noting that the O2 Arena has the most sophisticated lip-synching technology in the world – a particular attraction for a singer who can no longer sing. Had, by some miracle, the concerts gone ahead, Jackson’s personal contribution could have been limited to just 13 minutes for each performance. The rest was to have been choreography and lights.
‘We knew it was a disaster waiting to happen,’ said one aide. ‘I don’t think anybody predicted it would actually kill him but nobody believed he would end up performing.’
Their doubts were underscored when Jackson collapsed during only his second rehearsal.
Read the Daily Mail report here.