Michael Jackson's longtime friend and occasional spiritual advisor RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH has blasted those close to the King of Pop who stood by and watched the star kill himself with prescription drugs.
The Jewish leader-turned-reality TV star became one of Jackson's closest friends a decade ago and was often seen with the pop superstar.
Like many people who have been close to Jackson, Boteach was devastated by the singer's death on Thursday (25Jun09) - and his thoughts are with the pop star's three kids and his fans.
He says, "His death is not just a terrible tragedy for three young children who will now be orphaned, it is also an American tragedy that affects us all. Our culture, in which fortune and fame readily eclipse family and life nurturing-values, is claiming an increasing number of casualties."
In paying tribute to Jackson, Boteach has taken aim at those who facilitated the star's painkiller addiction.
The singer reportedly died at his rented home in Los Angeles after suffering a cardiac arrest following a prescription drug overdose.
The Rabbi adds, "The saddest aspect to this tragedy is that so many watched it happen and few did anything to stop it. I pray that Michael’s death will not be in vain and that we see a return, even among Hollywood celebrities, to the spiritual and family values that are life sustaining.
"There was a great beauty and gentility in Michael’s soul. His talents far surpassed those of his contemporaries and he yearned deeply to make the world a better place. I am saddened that the emotional pain he lived with prevented him from finding the meaning and connectedness which he longed for."