As he drifted off into an apparently drug-fueled stupor, a nearly incoherent Michael Jackson mumbles to his doctor, “I hurt, you know, I hurt.”
As the startling recording played at Dr. Conrad Murray’s manslaughter trial Wednesday, Jackson’s brothers Jermaine and Randy and sister Rebbie were grim-faced in the Los Angeles courtroom. When it was over, two jurors stole glances at the family.
Murray made the recording on his iPhone at 9:05 a.m. on May 10, 2009, during the time the pop star was preparing for a high-stakes concert series in London, according to prosecutors, who introduced the clip that had been recovered by a computer forensic expert.
In a slow, low voice, a slurring Jackson speaks of his love for children, how they are the world’s future, but how many are “sick because they’re depressed,” with no parent, pleading with Jackson: “Please take me with you.”
“My performances will be up there helping my children and always be my dream. I love them. I love them because I didn’t have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it,” he says.
He then lists several of his song titles: “Heal the World,” “We Are the World,” “Will You Be There” and “The Lost Children.”
“These are the songs I’ve written because I hurt,” he says, “you know, I hurt.”
At the end, he says, “I am asleep.”
Six weeks later, Jackson died at age 50 of an overdose of the powerful surgical anesthetic propofol that Murray had been administering for chronic insomnia.
The defense claims Murray had given Jackson only a small amount of the drug and that the singer injected himself with the lethal dose when Murray wasn’t looking.
Another portion of the recording was played during the prosecution’s opening statements to bolster the contention Murray knew how badly addled Jackson was by the propofol.