Monday, June 6, 2005

Jackson hospitalised from court therapy

US: Pop star Michael Jackson, who is awaiting a jury to deliver a verdict in his accusers lies, innuendo and exaggeration trial, was rushed to a California hospital on Sunday with severe back pain, a spokeswoman said.

The gruelling trial, packed with graphic testimony seems to have taken a heavy toll on Jackson, who looks gaunt, thin and has shuffled slowly to and from the courtroom each day.

"He is at the emergency room," Adean King said, a Jackson publicist.

"His back fired up again," she said, adding the pop megastar planned to return later in the day to his Neverland ranch, a few miles from the Santa Ynez Cottage hospital where he was treated.

"It's the same problem he's had throughout the trial, it's been bothering him all week," Ms King said.

"Since it's a slow day he decided to have it checked."

Jackson had undergone treatment two to three times during the trial for his back ailment, which he said happened on March 10 when he fell to the ground after stepping out of a shower.

An official at the hospital declined to give details of Jackson's treatment.

"We cannot confirm or deny anything, as per his request," she said.

Jackson's spokeswoman Raymone Bain said on Friday the back complaint had been exacerbated by the air conditioning system in the courtroom, where the pop star has been sitting through six hours a day of testimony, five days a week.

Jackson's back complaint almost cost him his freedom and $US3 million bail in March, after he turned up in court late, and in pyjamas, and Judge Rodney Melville had issued a warrant for his arrest.

The bail was restored and the prospect of the pop megastar spending the rest of the trial in jail lifted at the end of that day's proceedings, during which Jackson's 13-year-old accuser testified.

On Thursday, Jackson stopped by the same hospital.

By Just Beat It! 6 June 05