Michael Jackson's Alleged Drug Problem
Despite these interventions, the bodyguards said Jackson did not seem like he had a drug problem.
"He was intoxicated in some way, but I wouldn't say a problem, no," Garcia said.
"Certainly there were times where he gave the appearance that he was probably high on something," Whitfield said.
The men said this would happen "once or twice a month."
Jackson died June 25 from a lethal combination of prescription drugs. Dr. Conrad Murray allegedly administered the drugs and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Last month, Murray pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court.
The bodyguards said Murray was the only doctor they saw while they worked for Jackson, but that Murray wasn't there all the time.
"When he came onto the scene, he was taking care of the kids. The kids had colds and stuff," Garcia said. He added that he thinks Murray is a "scapegoat."
"I never thought it was the fault of one person," Whitfield said.
Michael Jackson's Financial Troubles
In addition to being his bodyguard, Whitfield was also Jackson's gatekeeper. He said he handled Jackson's personal e-mails and phone calls.
"There wasn't a phone call or paperwork on our watch that didn't go through this man right here," Beard said, referring to Whitfield.
The paperwork, Whitfield said, showed millions of dollars in debts, much of it owed to law firms, and millions more being paid out.
"$38 million," Whitfield said.
"$10 million…$20 million," Garcia added.
But despite these payments, the men said sometimes it took Jackson months to pay them.
"I'm seeing all these zeroes and we can't get a $5,000 check," Whitfield said.
"It was going out faster that it was coming in," Garcia said.
Long after the 2005 child molestation case, the men said Jackson was still being sued and he chose to settle outside of court.
"We'd go to lawyers' offices and we'd be there from 10 a.m. until midnight," Garcia said.
Eventually, this took its toll on Jackson.
"He got so frustrated he threw my cell phone out the window, through the window, and broke the glass," Whitfield said. "And he looked at me and said, 'Bill, you're going to need a new phone.'"
Michael Jackson's Financial Troubles
The men described credit cards being declined on at least four different occasions and hotels evicting them.
"We were asked to leave hotels because the credit card on file was denied," Whitfield said.
In fact, the men said Jackson could not afford to attend longtime friend Jesse Jackson's 66th birthday party.
"Jessie Jackson put up his credit card to fly the entire staff and team out and put us up in a hotel three nights," Whitfield said.
Michael Jackson's Comeback
Although the King of Pop's empire was crumbling, the bodyguards said he was not physically prepared to save it. At the time of Jackson's death, he was preparing his comeback, launching a "This Is It" tour at the age of 50.
"I don't think he was physically healthy enough… to perform the shows they expected of him," Whitfield said.
"If you [were] with him, you would hear him [say] that he's in pain sometimes…He would tell me, 'right now is not a good day,'" Whitfield said.
The men said that although Jackson loved being in front of a crowd, he was pressured to perform because of dwindling finances.
Michael Jackson's Death
The three bodyguards said they were not in Los Angeles when Jackson died in June but attended his memorial at the Los Angeles Staples Center.
"I looked around, I looked at a lot of celebrities, a lot of stars…and it just made me wonder, where were they?" Whitfield asked.
"Were these some of the people who turned their back on him after the second trial?" Whitfield said, referring to Jackson twice being accused of child molestation. Jackson settled the first case in 1993 and was found not guilty in the 2005 criminal trial.
"The guy was so lonely, where were they?" Garcia asked.
The men said they did not "even want to talk about" seeing the children on stage at the memorial. "It was unbelievable," Garcia said.
They tried to reach the children on stage following the memorial, they said, but the three kids were already gone.
When asked what the bodyguards would like to say to Jackson's children, the three men became visibly emotional.
"I'm a little speechless on that right now," Whitfield said.
"Certainly we hope that we did the best that we could to make them feel like kids and provide them with things to make them feel comfortable," Whitfield said.
Garcia said he wants them to know that they "were everything to [their] father."
The men said that Jackson is watching over his children now, and that they are all very proud of them.
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