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‘You can’t marry young girls in TT’

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News day / The claim is made in Murray’s new memoir, This is It!: The Secret Lives of Dr Conrad Murray and Michael Jackson. The 254-page self-published book was released last week.

Murray, 63, writes of an incident that he says occurred just before a trip to London where Jackson was due to begin his ill-fated comeback tour in 2009.

“He told me that he intended to marry someone named Harriet, a blonde on whom he had a terrible crush,” Murray states.

“I was startled to learn that the tall, ultra-thin Harriet was a 13-yearold girl on whom Michael was fixated. Michael fell in love with Harriet when she was roughly five-years-old, then by age 12 he grew to become fixated on her.” Murray became worried.

“I was concerned that Harriet was legally far too young for marriage,” Murray writes.

“I remembered saying to him in Trinidad and Tobago I’m familiar with some prearranged marriages, especially in the Hindu faith, but I don’t think it’s allowed for ages that young. It would be something to scour for the legality of marriage to a minor, I was sure it was statutory rape in America and England.” Murray states Jackson said he planned to have someone review the legality and ramifications of marrying someone as young as Harriet when he arrived in London.

But the comeback tour never happened.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009, of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication at his home at Los Angeles. Murray, who was treating Jackson at the time, was later charged with involuntary manslaughter. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to four years in prison.

He was released after two years due to prison overcrowding and good behaviour. He is barred from practising medicine, and now lives in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

Of Jackson’s brief marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, Murray states, “Michael told me that he really did love Lisa Marie Presley and that he felt it was reciprocal.” Publication of the book came as the debate on child marriage in Trinidad and Tobago continued on Friday with a consultation event hosted by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi in Tobago.

The State is moving to abolish child marriage, currently permissible under Hindu, Muslim and Orissa statutes.

In his book, Grenadian- born Murray also reflects on his own life story. He credits growing up in Trinidad with transforming his life and taking him down the path to success.

“This is in part the story of the barefoot kid from one of Grenada’s poorest neighbourhoods who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and who successfully fought hard to stay away from gangs and drugs while working his way through college and medical school to become a highly respected American physician,” Murray states in the book’s introduction.

“As I looked back over the years the most impacting life changing event that happened to me as a youth was my mother’s determination to bring me to live with her in Trinidad.” Murray adds, “Had I stayed with my grandmother, I likely would have been spoiled rotten, and grown up irresponsible.

The relocation changed everything in my life and I’d say for the better.”

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