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Michael Jackson Court Case Doctor's Love Life, Strip Clubs Cited
Michael Jackson's doctor was so distracted by his own complicated love life that he failed to pay proper attention to Jackson's treatment in the hours before the pop star died, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Prosecutors said they can show Dr. Conrad Murray was talking on his cellphone and sending text messages to three different women during that time.
One conversation with a cocktail waitress he met at a Houston restaurant lasted 11 minutes and apparently ended when Murray realized Jackson wasn't breathing, prosecutors said. Murray also was accused of receiving calls and texting with two other women he had met at Las Vegas strip clubs.
"He was receiving personal phone calls during the hours when he was supposed to be completely focused on the care of Mr. Jackson," prosecutors said in the documents.
Prosecutors are trying to persuade a judge to allow the testimony during Murray's upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial.
Murray also violated doctor-patient confidentiality by trying to impress the women with the fact that he was treating Jackson, deputy district attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Brazil said in their motion.
Murray also was accused of disclosing confidential information to the women but withholding it from authorities at the time of Jackson's death on June 25, 2009.
"He had a pattern of revealing confidential information when it suited him, but he was unwilling to reveal patient information at the most critical time," the motion said.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of gross negligence for administering the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives to Jackson before he died.
The trial is likely to focus on his competence based partially on his reactions after Jackson stopped breathing.
Testimony at a preliminary hearing earlier this year showed that Murray never told paramedics or hospital personnel that he had given Jackson propofol or other sedatives.
Defense attorneys have moved to bar evidence involving "sexually scandalous information," including Murray's patronage of strip clubs.
"This evidence has no rational bearing on any issue in this matter and is presented merely to harass and discredit Dr. Murray," a defense motion stated.
Among other things, prosecutors want to show jurors Murray's receipt for $1,100 from a strip club in Las Vegas where he met dancer Michelle Bella. They said Bella would testify that Murray wrote his cellphone number on the receipt.
The motion said Bridgette Morgan, who had met Murray in 2003 at another club in Las Vegas, would testify they dated until 2005 but stayed in touch.
They said she would testify she had lunch with Murray three weeks before Jackson's death, and the doctor confided he was working with the singer.
She said he also offered to buy her a plane ticket for her birthday, and on the day of Jackson's death she called Murray to follow up on the offer.
The motion said the timing of the calls showed that Murray "put no limitations as to the time period when his acquaintances could call him."
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor has set a hearing on all pending motions for April 21. Jury selection resumes May 4.