Michael Jackson's longtime friend and dermatologist has admitted that he gave the troubled singer Demerol, the powerful painkiller Jackson was allegedly addicted to.
Speaking to Larry King on his TV chat show, Dr Arnold Klein, who was a part of Jackson's inner-sanctum, also said he once donated sperm to a sperm bank - but craftily dodged questions about him allegedly siring two of Jackson's children.
Quizzed by King about Jackson's purported drug use, Klein said he prescribed Jackson Demerol "on occasion" to sedate him. But added that was the "strongest medicine" he'd ever used on him.
The Beverly Hills dermatologist also denied ever giving the star Diprivan, a powerful anesthetic that was reportedly found in the singer's home and suspected of causing his demise.
Klein said he discovered Jackson was using Diprivan, usually administered by anesthesiologists in hospitals, while the singer was on tour in Germany.
"I told him he was absolutely insane," Klein said of Jackson's use of the drug - which he reportedly used to combat chronic insomnia.
"You can't repeatedly take it, because what happens with narcotics, no matter what you do, you build a tolerance to them."
He also said Jackson was once a drug addict.
"Michael, at one time, had an addiction. And he went to England and he withdrew that addiction at a secure setting, where he went off of drugs altogether. And what I told Michael when I met him in this present situation when I was seeing him, that I had to keep reducing the dosage of what he was on, because he came to me with a huge tolerance level."
This sounds like the Dangerous Tour era (1993) - when reports first surfaced about Jackson's addiction to painkillers and subsequent hospitalisation.
Skirting away from the drug banter, King then probed the good doctor about whether he is in fact the biological dad to Jacko's eldest two, Prince, 12, and Paris, 11.
And that's when he played the coy carp...
"Now what about all the rumours about you and the fathering of those children?" asked King.
"Here's the most important thing. Michael loved those children. Those children loved him as a father. As far as I am concerned, that's the most important grouping there is," Klein said.
KING: "That's not answering the question".
KLEIN: "No, because I'm not going to answer it the way you want me to answer it, because..."
KING: "Well, you can say no?"
KLEIN: "I can say no then. I will say no if that's what you want to hear".
KING: "No, I want to hear what you know".
KLEIN: "What I will tell you is I think what's most important about this whole thing, to end this thing, is that the most important thing in who the father is - who the children want their father to be".
Pressed again by King...
KLEIN: "And I will tell you this, I will say no, because the most important person to these children is how Michael loved them and how he loved his children and how they loved him.
He went on...
"I once donated sperm," he admitted, quickly adding that it was "absolutely not" to Jackson, but to a sperm bank.
"But I don't think I should go over my legal affairs, because I think to the best of my knowledge, I'm not the father. I want to tell you that this discussion, however, is between Michael, his children and this person. It's not to be discussed who the father is over national television."
Video: Michael Jackson's doctor: I gave him Demerol
Read the full transcript of Klein's interview here.
So it was an interview that raised more questions that answers. Prior to his confab with King, Klein had embarked on the 'confessional' treadmill and been interviewed by ABC's Good Morning America show, where he again coyly said he is not their father "as far as I know".
Klein wasn't a part of the public whoopla (as Jacko's gal pal Elizabeth Taylor put it) - that was Jacko's memorial. His religious beliefs precluded him from attending, apparently. But more to the point was he even invited? Probably not.
There's a part of us that commends this guy for seemingly going out of his way to keep a firm lid on Jackson's chamber of secrets. Even if he is the biological father, the kids probably only ever saw the gloved one as their real papa.
But here's the truth... we can't help but be curious and fascinated as the mystery of Jackson's cloak and dagger life begins to unravel.
And so are you if you've made it this far. Don't judge yourselves... it's human nature.
What do you think of Klein's interview?
Blogger Bites Back
* For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, see here.
Pictured above: Michael Jackson (R) and his longtime friend and dermatologist Dr Arnold Klein. Photos / AP
*New(ish) - follow Blogger Bites Back on Twitter