Sunday 11 December 2016

Doctor heavily in debt when he met singer

Published 08/11/2011 | 05:00

Conrad Murray became Michael Jackson's personal physician after treating one of the King of Pop's children in 2008.

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Jackson hired him for his 2009 concert tour, reportedly for $150,000 dollars (€109,000) a month.

This came at a time when Murray was in a $780,000 (€566,000) financial hole with unpaid debts and bill collection lawsuits but his good fortune took a turn for the worse when Jackson died on June 25 in 2009.

Murray (58) was accused of administering a fatal dose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol and charged with the singer's death.

The Houston-based cardiologist came from very humble beginnings.

Born in St Andrews, Grenada, he lived with his poor farmer grandparents, going to school barefoot because they could not afford shoes for him.

His mother spent most of her time in Trinidad and Tobago in search of better paying work.

At the age of seven, he moved to Trinidad and Tobago to live with his mother and stepfather.

He did not meet his father, a doctor, until he moved to the US in search of higher education in 1978.

After achieving a medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, he trained at various hospitals and then pursued a speciality in interventional cardiology.

In 1999, Murray moved to Las Vegas, opened a storefront medical practice and another in Houston where his father practised.

He also had a licence to practise in California.

But by the time he was hired by Jackson, Murray was deeply in debt.

Court records show he was ordered to pay nearly $3,700 (€2,680) for failure to pay child support in San Diego last December.

He also had credit card debts and owed $940 (€682) in fines and penalties for driving with an expired licence plate and for not having proof of insurance in 2000.

Judgments

Over the last 18 months, his Nevada medical practice was ordered to pay more than $400,000 (€290,000) in court judgments: $228,000 (€165,000) to Citicorp Vendor Finance, $71,000 (€51,500) to an education loan company and $135,000 (€98,000) to a leasing company. He faces at least two other pending cases.

He lived with his girlfriend Nicole Alvarez who is the mother of his young son. Ms Alvarez, who was a key witness during the trial, met Murray at a Las Vegas nightclub.

She said during the trial that she brought their little boy to Jackson's home twice for visits.

Irish Independent

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