Michael Jackson's longtime friend Kathy Hilton is outraged the star's family witnessed distressing details about him in court on Tuesday (27Sep11), and has branded a recording of the singer slurring his words weeks before his death "suspicious".
Several of the Thriller legend's relatives, including his parents Katherine and Joe, were in a Los Angeles courtroom as Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial began under intense media scrutiny.
During the first day's proceedings, an eerie cell phone chat between Jackson and his personal physician was played to jurors. They were also shown a photo of the star's lifeless body on a gurney.
Hilton, a childhood friend of Jackson, was stunned to see the case unfold on TV news and she later appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight to express her shock at the evidence.
Hilton, who admits she was "apprehensive" about conducting the interview and asked for Katherine Jackson's permission to appear on the show, says, "When I heard the tape I could not believe what I was hearing. I had never heard anything like that before, with anyone.
"I thought it was very suspicious and I thought it was very strange and not normal. Wouldn't he (Murray) have called somebody right away, a manager or a family member and say, 'You need to get over here and see this'?"
"When I saw this today, this was criminal. To have his parents and his brothers and sister and children to see something like this..."
Jackson's sister La Toya has also expressed her anguish at the day's court proceedings, telling her fans on Twitter.com, "Seeing his lifeless body laying there on the gurney is heart wrenching!"