- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A sometimes tearful nurse testified Tuesday that her efforts to save Michael Jackson from the drug he craved for sleep were rebuffed by the star who insisted he needed the powerful anesthetic that eventually killed him.

Cherilyn Lee, a nurse practitioner who tried to shift Jackson to holistic sleep aids in the months before he died, said the singer told her Dipravan, a brand name for propofol, was the only thing that would knock him out and induce the sleep he needed.

He told Lee he had experienced the drug once during surgery.

Lee almost didn’t testify. She sat down in the witness box then said she felt dizzy before starting to cry.

“This is just very sensitive for me,” she explained.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor had her taken to another room to rest, and she returned 20 minute later saying she felt better. She became tearful again while testifying that she had warned Jackson not to take the drug.

The day was also marked by poignant testimony from the head of AEG, the concert giant that planned Jackson’s ill-fated “This Is It” shows in London.

Randy Phillips, the company president and chief executive officer who first proposed the concert to Jackson, said the star was excited and committed to restarting his career in London, where he could settle down with his children on a country estate “so they wouldn’t be living as vagabonds.”

“It was emotional,” said Phillips. “I cried.”

“Did he cry?” asked defense attorney Ed Chernoff.

“Yes,” Phillips said softly.

Lee told of coming into Jackson’s life at the beginning of 2009 and leaving just before Dr. Conrad Murray arrived. Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and is accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of the drug Lee would not give him.

Lee recalled a meeting with the superstar at his rented mansion two months before his death.

“He was sitting very close to me,” she said. “He looked at me and said, ‘I have a lot of difficulty sleeping. I’ve tried a lot of things and I need something that will make me fall asleep right away. I need Dipravan.”

Lee had never heard of the drug but did research and later told Jackson it was too dangerous to use in a home.

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