Has the Conrad Murray trial hurt the Jackson brand?

OPINION - Tragically losing any relative too soon is already hard but, when that relative is global superstar Michael Jackson, it's even more unimaginable...

Tragically losing any relative too soon is already hard but, when that relative is global superstar Michael Jackson, it’s even more unimaginable. Since his untimely death on June 25, 2009, that’s been the Jackson family nightmare, along with Michael Jackson’s legion of fans.

And, for the last few weeks, the family and fans have had to relive MJ’s death all over again through the Conrad Murray trial. Part of the saga ended yesterday when a California jury delivered a guilty verdict against Conrad Murray for involuntary manslaughter.

No, it won’t bring the gloved entertainer back but, for his family, especially the several members who have been adamant that Jackson’s death was a homicide even when early reports deemed otherwise, it was a beginning. TMZ captured LaToya Jackson in front of the L.A. County Courthouse after the Conrad Murray guilty verdict proclaiming “Victory.”

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In July when LaToya appeared on The Joy Behar Show in July promoting her book, Starting Over, she shared some of her insight into her brother’s death. She indicated that her brother’s death was more than a homicide. Instead, she insisted to Behar that it was part of a larger conspiracy to kill Michael that he, himself, had been well aware of.

According to Michael’s elder sister, her brother was a target for murder mainly because he dared to purchase the Beatles catalogue. LaToya Jackson told Behar that the events Michael described to her regarding how his death would play out had come to eerie fruition.

While it is certainly not inconceivable that Michael Jackson could be at the center of a sinister murder plot, the trial brought up some disturbing details that some of his family members may not be willing to acknowledge. In the end, Conrad Murray was found negligent but he did not act alone. While the claim by Murray’s defense team that MJ had administered the fatal dose of propofol to himself failed, Michael Jackson was not completely innocent.

Admission of this doesn’t mean that foul play is completely out of question. But, as difficult as it is for the family, especially considering that three young children — Prince, Paris and Blanket — have also been deeply affected, some disturbing truths about Michael Jackson’s abuse of drugs emerged in the trial that the family should not ignore. Unfortunately, early indicators show that LaToya and other members of her family have elected to assign fault purely to other parties and ignore Michael Jackson’s complicity in his death, albeit it not directly.Following the verdict, LaToya tweeted “Michael I love you and I will continue to fight until ALL are brought to justice!” More than likely, the “ALL” to which she refers is those who she believes conspired to kill her brother and not the many doctors who, like Murray, acted negligently. That is backed up by tweets from other family members.

Randy Jackson, Jr. tweeted “The Pawn has been convicted but now its [sic] time for the Hidden Hand behind the Plan… JUSTICE will be served. Thank you all for the support!!! Jermaine Jackson II shared similar sentiments in his tweet that reads “Strong victory in court! Thank you all for your love and support. Step one has been accomplished! We are ready for next!!”

In fact, since Michael Jackson’s death, the one family member who has indicated that Michael Jackson was sick and played a hand in his demise has been Janet Jackson. Although she’s been very quiet and doesn’t speak on it much, her conversation with Oprah Winfrey to promote her Tyler Perry film Why Did I Get Married, Too? shortly after her brother’s death spoke volumes.

In that exchange, Janet, who seems to have been closer to her brother than anyone else in their family, discussed that the family had tried to stage interventions regarding Michael’s drug use. “A lot of people think that we were in denial, which we weren’t at all,” she told Oprah. Michael, on the other hand, was very much in denial, Janet shared. Many of the other family members have not mentioned it though. And that’s sad too.

As much as we all miss Michael Jackson, it is dishonest to ignore that he had a major problem. In the end, it is absolutely inexcusable that Conrad Murray and the many other doctors who fed Michael Jackson’s addiction would act so irresponsibly. Faced with clear evidence that Michael Jackson was very weak and chemically-dependent, Murray and others did little to stop it. Instead, they enabled it.

Few would argue that it’s mighty suspect that AEG and many others appear to have benefited handsomely from Michael Jackson’s death. As LaToya Jackson shared with Joy Behar, there is the issue with the film This Is It! and now there’s the touring Cirque Soleil show built around Michael Jackson’s music. Of course the family should go after those leeches but they also shouldn’t let the many other Conrad Murrays off the hook.

The American medical system is tremendously flawed and it’s high time someone started addressing doctors who refuse to uphold their oath to “do no harm.” For the Jackson Family to pursue AEG and others alone would be a great disservice to us all. Michael Jackson was the world’s most beloved entertainer and his sheer popularity is enough to send a strong message to all doctors that abuse of their profession has dire consequences.

Therefore, the family should commit to bring all of Michael Jackson’s negligent doctors, including the dermatologist Arnold Klein, who was supposedly MJ’s friend, to justice to help prevent other families from going through their personal hell. Doctors need to be held accountable for their actions and the Jackson Family, as hard as it may be, is in position to exact true justice across the board.

As bittersweet as it may be to win this verdict against Conrad Murray, to truly honor Michael Jackson’s legacy, they cannot stop there. Once the family as a whole faces up to the truth, they can ensure that Michael Jackson’s death will truly not be in vain.