That Michael Jackson denied lightening his skin tone was always one of those laughable things that his fans ignored. It was obvious that his disappearing blackness wasn’t totally natural, but no one ever seemed to press the issue and demand that he admit to tampering with his own skin color. After his death, a search of his home revealed dozens of tubes of several skin-whitening creams which his doctor, Conrad Murray, wanted to conceal. After authorities obtained a warrant to search Jackson’s home on June 29 of last year, Murray told Jackson’s assistant, Michael Amir Williams to go to the singer’s home to “pick up some cream that Mr. Jackson has so that the world wouldn’t find out about it.” And with that, the world’s shadiest doctor just got a little shadier.
Jackson suffered from vitiligo, a disease that causes patches of skin to lose their pigment, and he allegedly used the cream to even his skin tone. That’s all well and good, but why not disclose that fact instead of concealing it? Lying seems like a lot more trouble than it’s worth, especially coming from the man who had plenty of other, weirder habits. Considering Dr. Murray’s track record for telling the truth, it’s actually not all that surprising that he was behind all the secrecy, but at least their existence confirms what we suspected all along. The creams were not a factor in Jackson’s death. [Photo: Getty Images]
According to testimony discovered by the Associated Press, Dr. Conrad Murray stopped CPR on a dying Michael Jackson in order to hide evidence of drugs. Jackson logistics director Alberto Alvarez told police that Murray had him remove an IV bag and several vials of drugs from Jackson’s bedroom before allowing him to call paramedics. Murray, who had been performing CPR with one hand before cleaning the room, also allegedly told Alvarez and driver Faheem Muhammad that he had never attempted the resuscitation method before. After traveling with Jackson’s body to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Michael Amir Williams, Jackson’s personal assistant, says Murray asked to be brought back to the house to remove items, and left the building through a side door when they refused to help. Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter last month.
Murray’s lawyer Ed Chernoff, denied the charges, saying Murray had performed CPR numerous times and noting Alvarez failed to bring up the drugs at his first police interview (Murray showed the missing chemicals—hidden in a closet at Jackson’s—to police after questioning). Since Murray is legally qualified to administer Propofol, the anesthetic believed to have killed Michael Jackson, the trial against the doctor hinges on whether Murray was negligent in his administration of the drug, and his treatment of Jackson’s “bad reaction.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
In the wake of Corey Haim‘s untimely death, Corey Feldman is lashing out at the media for speculating about his cause of death without all the facts. At first glance, Haim’s death appears similar to Brittany Murphy‘s – both were former drug users whose deaths were pegged as accidental overdoses, but Haim too was suffering from flu-like symptoms and taking prescription drugs at the time of his death. As a drug user who had struggled to get clean, drugs seemed an obvious conclusion, but Feldman told Larry King he’s sick of people guessing what happened. “They need to stop jumping the gun. They need to stop saying it is a drug overdose. . . Until the coroner’s report comes out and we have specific evidence and know what the toxicology reports say, nobody knows.”
Feldman also took on the Hollywood machine, saying that the entertainment industry had treated Haim cruelly. “In Hollywood we build people up as children, we put them on pedestals, and then, when we decide they’re not marketable anymore, we walk away from them. Then we taunt them and we tease them … It’s okay for society as a whole to poke fun at, to point fingers at, us as human beings. Why is it okay to kick somebody when they’re down? I don’t think it should be tolerated anymore,” he told King. Feldman plans to hold a “sizeable memorial”for his best friend, though a date has yet to be determined.
[Photo: Getty Images]
The story of missing actor Andrew Koenig has a sad ending, it was reported that his body was found yesterday in a Vancouver park. Koenig (who, as you all know by now, was Boner on Growing Pains) is believed to have taken his own life.
His father, actor Walter Koenig said in a press conference yesterday “My son took his own life. Obviously, he was in a lot of pain.” Andrew had suffered from depression for years, and his mother Judith also spoke at the press conference, addressing that fact by saying “People don’t realize there is help. Families, familiarize yourself with these signs. Don’t rationalize anything away. People have shown signs of love.” His body was recovered in Vancouver’s Stanley Park by Koenig’s friends who formed their own search party after police search-and-rescue teams turned up nothing. We haven’t thought much about Growing Pains or Richard Stabone for a while, but this unfortunate news has brought back a lot of fond memories for us about the show. Hopefully Boner is cooking up some schemes from the great beyond. [Photo: Getty Images]
Fashion designer Alexander McQueen, beloved by such celebs as Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Moss, has committed suicide in London. The 40-year-old fashion icon was found dead in his London apartment, where it appears that he hung himself. A rep for his company confirmed the death, saying “‘It is a tragic loss. We are not making a comment at this time out of respect for the McQueen family.”
McQueen appeared to be grief-stricken recently after losing his mother just a week ago and had posted several emotional messages on his (now-defunct) Twitter page in the past few days.
As a designer he was occasionally shocking, dark and always unconventional but he was beloved in the fashion community and and named British Designer of the Year four times. He was a designer for Givenchy and Gucci, as well as running his own label, and opened several boutiques in the past three years. His death will cast a shadow over the upcoming Fashion Week activities in London and Paris. No doubt the fashion world will honor the man and his talent there and mourn his tragic passing. [Photos: Getty Images]
As tired as we are of seeing Brittany Murphy‘s husband, Simon Monjack, and mother Sharon making the news rounds with frivolous lawsuits and the like, their appearance on Larry King Live last Friday made us feel for them.
Sharon Murphy tearfully explained that her 32-year-old daughter told her “Mom, I’m dying,” on the morning of December 20, hours before she passed away. Monjack also said that Brittany wasn’t acting normally that day. “Her eyes were not right. They were darting off left and right and center,” he told King. The recent release of the coroner’s report cited Murphy’s cause of death as pneumonia coupled with over-the-counter medication, in contrast to the denials that Monjack made about Murphy’s drug use as a contributing factor to her death. Even on the show, Monjack maintained that stance, telling King “My wife had not taken any drugs that could harm her that morning.” The elder Murphy gripped Monjack’s hand tearfully during the interview and seemed to cling to him for support, contrary to claims that they have been at odds with one another since Brittany’s death.
[Photo: CNN via New York Daily News]
The long road to Dr. Conrad Murray‘s arrest for the death of Michael Jackson was supposed to reach it’s end today with his arraignment on manslaughter charges. But TMZ reports that, after months of investigation and case-building (he was originally expected to be charged last August), the District Attorney’s office and LAPD are now feuding over how Murray will arrive in court. Seems the lawyers worked out a plan where the doctor would arrive in court of his own free will. Unfortunately, no one told the cops, who prefer a more public affair when murder is involved—the kind with handcuffs and whirling sirens.
Jackson’s family aren’t the only ones irritated with these delays; Murray’s legal team calls the dilemma “insane.” “Dr. Murray will wait for a call as to where and when he will surrender,” said a representative, but promised they’ll arrive in court at 1:30pm PST if they haven’t been contacted, whether or not charges are filed. Murray has been accused of criminal negligence in his administering of the drug Propofol, leading to the superstar’s lethal overdose. He is expected to plead not guilty.
[Photo: Splash News Online]
The L.A. County coroner ruled today that Brittany Murphy‘s death was accidental, according to TMZ. The cause is listed as “community acquired pneumonia, iron deficiency anemia, and multiple drug intoxication”—a lethal mix of untreated illnesses, tragically coupled with over-the-counter self-medication.
Despite the role chemicals played in Murphy’s passing, the news doesn’t directly contradict widower Simon Monjack and mother Sharon Murphy‘s denials that Brittany was addicted to drugs or alcohol. “Everyone used to say she was wasted, she was this, she was that,” the elder Murphy told People. It was hard for anyone to imagine that somebody was so high on life.” Monjack, who has faced intense scrutiny following his wife’s death, recently claimed that the majority of prescription drugs found in their home belonged to him. Murphy was 32.
[Photo: Getty Images]
In one of the shakiest lawsuits we’ve seen in a while, Brittany Murphy‘s husband Simon Monjack plans to sue Warner Brothers for wrongful death, claiming that Murphy suffered from heart failure as a direct result of being fired from the film Happy Feet 2. Monjack told The Daily Beast “They killed her,” referring to the film studio who terminated Murphy’s contact on the film two weeks before her death in December. He explained that the stress of being let go from that movie as well as being replaced by Rachel Lefevre on the film The Caller took a toll on her health and directly resulted in the heart attack that claimed her life. He also acknowledged that he’s no stranger to lawsuits, reasoning that “I litigate when somebody does something wrong to me. That’s one of the reasons I make enemies.”
The death of a 32-year-old is certainly uncommon, and forgive us for contradicting a grieving widower, but Murphy’s history of extreme weight loss, drinking and drug use might have had more to do with her death than anything else and a lawsuit just seems like a greedy, bad idea. We’re pretty sure Judge Judy would ream Monjack out for wasting her time with this case. [Photo: Getty Images]
Despite reports by TMZ and E! that troubled Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson has died, her fianceé Tila Tequila has been furiously tweeting that she is actually in a coma. After knowing each other for a few hours, the pair announced their engagement last month, and discussed buying a house and having kids five days later.
Neighbors of Johnson say her maid came running out of her LA home this morning and screamed “She’s dead!” Her 3-year-old adopted daughter Ava is now in the custody of Casey’s mother in Manhattan.
Like her fianceé, Casey Johnson used Twitter frequently. Her last tweets were in the early morning hours of December 29th, wherein she discussed buying a new car with room for her daughter.
The cause of death is undetermined. [Photo: Getty Images]
UPDATE: Tila Tequila has confirmed the death of her bride-to-be. At 10:15PM, she tweeted:
“R.I.P my Angel. @ u will forever be in my heart! I love u so so much and we will Marry when I see U in Heaven my Wifey.”