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Muscle Sport Magazine

Will Media Include Lou Ferrigno as One of Michael Jackson’s Enablers?

All you keep hearing on every television and radio station is talk about the untimely and shocking death of Michael Jackson. Because the pop icon lost his life at 50 from cardiac arrest due to apparent prescription drug use, everyone is looking to point the blame somewhere. Calling them ‘enablers,’ the media has picked up on the possibility of criminal charges being filed against the people who surrounded Jackson and helped him obtain the substances.

Pending toxicology reports, speculation is surrounding that there were a number of doctors that either provided or administered a plethora of pain killers into Jackson, including morphine, valium, oxycontin, propofal, percocet and diprivan, which is a powerful anesthetic used for surgery.

While the people involved in that end of Jackson’s addiction will have to shoulder the majority of the blame, there is also talk of others who sat by idly while the singer moon-walked slowly to his grave. How could the people who supposedly cared for him the most allow him to continue on this path?

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One of those names should not be Lou Ferrigno, who had known Jackson for over 15 years and was hired as his personal trainer to prepare for his upcoming 50-date tour. The former bodybuilder and star of “The Incredible Hulk” television series previously trained Jackson for his 1994 tour.

“When the promoter hired him to do the tour it wasn’t any question for me to train him again because he knew that he trusted me, especially with toning and shaping his body,” Ferrigno told People magazine. “Being such an icon and he couldn’t afford to have any injuries.”

Ferrigno added that he implemented the same routine for Jackson that they had used in the past, which consisted of “conditioning, toning and increasing his flexibility and stamina” and that he wanted to “increase the strength in his legs.”

The normal bodybuilding regimen was not on the table. “The workout wasn’t any heavy resistance,” continued Ferrigno. “A lot of stretching and a light walk on the treadmill. Being 50, his body went through a lot of stress getting ready for the tour, but he was awesome.”

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In an interview with Britain’s Daily Mirror, Ferrigno spoke of Jackson’s eating habits, or lack thereof. “He ate only one meal a day, always in the evening. He’d wake up and not have anything for the whole day and when he did eat it was always vegetarian.”

The two got together at Jackson’s residence for the training sessions three times a week starting in April. “I was with him until the end of May and he was fine,” said Ferrigno. “There was no sign of drug use and his flexibility was improving. That was important because he was a little tight in certain areas. He hadn’t danced for so long.”

Why they stopped working together is not known or if Ferrigno tried to get Jackson into better shape by bringing nutrition into the mix. Because of Jackson’s peculiar ways, it is doubtful that he would have taken instructions from Ferrigno to add to his diet. One meal a day, especially with a lack of protein, is a recipe for disaster for anyone, let alone someone trying to get in shape. Bring the drugs into the equation and Jackson’s death does not seem as much of a surprise as it did when the news first hit the airwaves.

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The easy scapegoats in Jackson’s death are the doctors who signed off on the prescriptions, but will any questions arise that Ferrigno did not notice something was amiss? How did Jackson go from being “fine” and able to exercise multiple days a week – regardless if it was extremely low impact or not – to a drugged-out corpse less than a month later?

Brian Oxman, a Jackson family attorney, brought up similarities to the Anna Nicole Smith case and that he warned everyone that “one day we’re going to have this experience.” The lawyer further stated that he would not remain silent if Jackson were to die, so we can expect him to line up the media and begin to pass blame on anyone and everyone he can associate with his former client.

When Smith, the former model and actress, died of a drug overdose in 2007, her boyfriend Howard K. Stern and doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were each charged with three felony counts of conspiracy and a number of charges involving fraudulent prescriptions. Stern obtained the drugs from the doctors and gave them to Smith, 39.

Jackson, who had suffered a broken leg and an injured back in the past, would have been a candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy. Painkillers and HRT are commonly connected and athletes and people recovering from serious injuries often are prescribed both, especially in the over-40 crowd. With his frail build, being middle-aged and needing to ‘play through pain’ if you will, Jackson could have easily followed many of the other celebrities in the entertainment industry and recapture some of his youth through the use of human growth hormone and testosterone, even in limited dosages.

This is obviously mere speculation but the toxicology report may reveal more than just painkillers. Out of all the people in Jackson’s inner circle, one of them could have made the suggestion to him to use HRT.

With the media’s anti-steroid infatuation in the sports world – especially when it comes to bodybuilding – would anyone be surprised if a tabloid or Oxman start making suggestions that Ferrigno, 48, was one of Jackson’s enablers (even if it was through ignoring the obvious or making suggestions) that helped cause his death?

This would be a preposterous accusation but headlines and Hollywood lawyers are not exactly known for being low-keyed.

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