For Dr. Conrad Murray, the best defense may be a no-holds-barred smear campaign against Michael Jackson.
Celebrity defender extraordinaire Mark Geragos, who successfully repped Jackson during his 2004 child-molestation trial, spoke to E! News yesterday, explaining why he rejected an overture to defend Murray, why he thinks the doctor may wind up charged with murder, and what exactly he believes the embattled medico will use as a defense strategy.
Which, in a word, would be Jackson himself. (And all the controversies, mysteries, trials and, per Geragos, general "weirdness" that will forever be part and parcel with the King of Pop.)
"Ultimately, that may be…what the defense is, to say things about Michael I'm just not going to say," Geragos said. "Whatever is required by somebody who is going to defend the doctor, is not something I can do ethically."
"I've been approached," he said in reference to the possibility that he would join Murray's defense team. "But clearly I have a conflict of interest.
"I represented Michael and I would not want to be in a position where I was deprecating Michael in any way, shape or form."
Part of that defensive deprecation may come in the form of rehashing Jackson's drug addictions and his alleged doctor shopping—some reports claim the star sought prescriptions under 19 different aliases—which investigators are currently sussing out. (A copy of the search warrant executed this week shows officials were seeking proof that Murray bought propofol at a Las Vegas pharmacy.)
A source told E! News that three prescription medications, including Xanax, were found in Jackson's system at his time of death, and Geragos said that he suspects detectives' efforts at tracking down the source of the drugs is the reason for the indefinitely delayed toxicology tests.
When the results do finally come in, expect the pointer fingers—and the legal action—to fly.
"I can imagine 10 different lawsuits coming out of this," Geragos said, adding that someone will likely need to be "blamed" for the death and that a wrongful death lawsuit would not be unexpected.
"Whether it's against doctors, whether it's the Jacksons against AEG, or AEG against the estate…Anytime you've got the kind of money that's at stake here, there will be lawyers, and where there's lawyers, there's lawsuits."
And where there's Murray, there's likely a criminal charge…though not, Geragos suspects, involuntary manslaughter, which is what he is currently under investigation for. Instead, Geragos believes attorneys may have the upper hand if they try to nail him for murder.
"It's one of the most bizarre things," he said. "It's literally easier if you look at jury instructions, to get a jury to convict on second-degree (murder) than involuntary manslaughter."
As for Jackson, the attorney has high hopes for his legacy. When asked what he hoped people would remember most about the star, Geragos said he wanted people to think of "all the greatness…and forget all the weirdness."
Too bad a lot of it's one and the same.
Should Murray go on trial? Beats us. But there's no justice in the world if you don't check out our Guilty Gallery.