Jackson doctor ‘distracted by love life’

MICHAEL Jackson’s doctor was so distracted by his own complicated love live that he failed to pay proper attention to the pop star’s treatment in the hours before he died, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said they can show Dr Conrad Murray was talking on his mobile phone and sending text messages to three different women during that time.

They allege an 11-minute conversation between Dr Murray and a cocktail waitress he met at a Houston restaurant apparently ended only when Dr Murray realised Jackson was not breathing. Dr Murray also was accused of receiving calls and exchanging text messages 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 filed today.

Prosecutors are trying to persuade a judge to allow the testimony during Dr Murray’s upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial.

Dr Murray also violated doctor-patient confidentiality by trying to impress the women by revealing Jackson was his patient, deputy district attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Brazil said in their motion.

The doctor also was accused of disclosing confidential information to the women while withholding it from authorities at the time of Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009.

Dr Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of gross negligence for administering the anaesthetic 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 Dr Murray never told paramedics or hospital personnel he had given Jackson propofol or other sedatives.

Defence lawyers have moved to bar evidence involving “sexually scandalous information”, including Dr 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 defence motion stated.

Among other things, prosecutors want to show jurors Dr Murray’s receipt for $US1100 ($1050) from a strip club in Las Vegas where he met dancer Michelle Bella. They said Ms Bella would testify that Dr Murray wrote his mobile phone number on the receipt.

The motion said Bridgette Morgan, who had met Dr 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 lunched with Dr 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 Dr Murray to follow up on the offer.

The motion said the timing of the calls showed Dr 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 on May 4.

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