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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson was on the brink of financial ruin when he agreed to do his "This is It" concert tour, and his fear of failure spurred by severe insomnia drove him to take desperate measures that killed him, a lawyer for his doctor said Wednesday,
The statements by defense attorney Edward Chernoff during a pretrial hearing brought a new twist to the case being built by lawyers for Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged in the death of Jackson.
Defense lawyers previously suggested the pop star might have self-administered an overdose of the anesthetic propofol while Murray was away from his side.
While seeking access to Jackson's financial records, Chernoff added Wednesday that Jackson was in anguish over his financial situation and faced ruin if he failed to perform during the upcoming tour.
"The crux of the defense is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death," Chernoff told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor. "We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man in relation to his financial affairs."
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