Michael Jackson was so distraught over persistent insomnia in recent months that he pleaded for a powerful sedative despite warnings
it could be harmful, says a nutritionist who was working with the singer as he prepared his comeback bid.
Cherilyn Lee, a registered nurse whose specialty includes nutritional counseling, said on Tuesday that she repeatedly rejected his demands for the drug, Diprivan, which is given intravenously.
But a frantic phone call she received from Jackson four days before his death made her fear that he somehow obtained Diprivan or another drug to induce sleep, Lee said.
Following Jackson's death, allegations emerged that the 50-year-old King of Pop had been consuming painkillers, sedatives and antidepressants. But Lee said she encountered a man tortured by sleep deprivation and one who expressed opposition to recreational drug use. ``He wasn't looking to get high or feel good and sedated from drugs,'' she said. ``This was a person who was not on drugs. This was a person who was seeking help, desperately, to get some sleep, to get some rest.''
Lee said at one point, she spent the night with Jackson to monitor him while he slept. She said she gave him herbal remedies and stayed in a corner chair in his vast bedroom.
After he settled in bed, Lee told Jackson to turn down the lights and music, he had classical music playing in the house. ``He also had a computer on the bed because he loved Walt Disney,'' she said. ``He was watching Donald Duck and it was ongoing. I said, `Maybe if we put on softer music,' and he said, `No, this is how I go to sleep.'''
Three and a half hours later, Jackson jumped up and looked at Lee, eyes wide open, according to Lee. ``This is what happens to me,'' she quoted him as saying. ``All I want is to be able to sleep. I want to be able to sleep eight hours. I know I'll feel better the next day.''