Video: Jackson's ill timing?
updated 6/3/2005 2:44:50 PM ET 2005-06-03T18:44:50

According to NBC News sources, Michael Jackson made a stop at a Santa Maria-area hospital on Thursday evening to be treated for dehydration. This event, just hours before his defense team was set to wrap up its closing arguments on Friday, is just the latest twist in what has been an eventful legal event.

Friday morning, MSNBC's Lisa Daniels talked with Jane Velez-Mitchell of 'Celebrity Justice' about the pop star's trip to the hospital, his physical condition and the timing of his latest illness.

To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the complete video clip, click on the link above.

Lisa Daniels: Jane, do you agree with me that Michael Jackson did not look well?

Jane Velez-Mitchell:  No, he didn't.  He's got thinner and thinner over the course of the trial.  If you even look back at some of the video tapes that were played during this trial from a couple of years ago, he's got to be 20 or even more pounds heavier.  He is gaunt, his is ashen and he looks like a ghost.

Daniels: I have to tell you, when you look at it from a TV perspective, when you’re a viewer at home, it’s hard to tell, because he’s a bizarre guy. But being right there, up close, he looks so thin, so pale. Jane, as you said, you've been covering the trial.  Tell me how his condition has worsened.

Velez-Mitchell:  This is a person who's obviously gone to the hospital several times now and I've followed him various times.  He creates a lot of chaos wherever he goes.  When he went into two of the hospitals nearby at one point, he created such a scene that a patient had to be moved.  That patient later died.

There could be legal action stemming from that.  This is more drama.  He generally chooses more significant days in the trial to become ill.  I'm not questioning the fact that he's ill.  He may be ill because of the stress of those significant days but one of those last days he became ill was when his accuser was taking the stand. 

That's the day he famously showed up in his pajamas.  So there he is, in his pajamas having just been released from the hospital and the boy has to take the stand and testify against him assign pressure for the young accuser.  Now we are here at the very end of the trial.  The jury is about to close this case and his is once again ill so the timing is questionable.

Daniels: Good point about the timing, but being up close, he did look very ill. He just seemed out of it, that’s the only word I can think of, out of it.

Before starting her broadcasting career, NBC's Lisa Daniels was an associate with the New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.

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