Michael Jackson was "paralytic" from a booze binge as he announced his doomed 2009 tour, according to his actor friend Mark Lester.
In March 2009, the Thriller hitmaker staged a press conference to reveal plans for a comeback at London's O2 Arena, but Oliver! star Lester claims Jackson was hiding a secret from his fans as he took to the stage to speak about his This Is It concerts.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "Michael passed out on the hotel bed. His doctor said he'd drunk two-thirds of a bottle of whisky and was paralytic. He sobered up enough to struggle through the This Is It speech, which he just about got away with."
Jackson died two weeks before the first of his This Is It concert series was scheduled to hit the stage in London. His mother, Katherine, is suing bosses at promoting company Aeg over allegations they were negligent in ignoring life-threatening health concerns. She is reportedly seeking more than $40 billion for loss of future earnings and other damages, and wants them held responsible for hiring Conrad Murray, the medic who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for causing the singer's 2009 death.