Michael Jackson was "paralytic" shortly before announcing his This Is It shows, it has been claimed.
The singer was completing intense rehearsals for his comeback shows at the time of his death in 2009. He was due to take to the stage in London and confirmed the performances at a press conference in the UK capital city in March 2009.
According to his friend Mark Lester, Michael was battling an alcohol problem. Mark is godfather to the King of Pop's three children and claims the singer would drink as much as six bottles of wine a day in an effort to help him sleep.
"Michael passed out on the hotel bed. His doctor said he’d drunk two-thirds of a bottle of whisky and was paralytic," Mark told British newspaper The Sun of the day of the announcement.
“He sobered up enough to struggle through the This Is It speech, which he just about got away with.”
Michael had been due to play around 50 dates at London's O2 Arena.
Mark claims the star would ask him to bring him alcohol when he was staying at hotels.
Michael passed away of acute Propofol intoxication, with his personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray currently serving a prison sentence for his involuntary manslaughter. Propofol is an anaesthetic used to put surgery patients to sleep, with Michael apparently using it as he battled insomnia.
His mother Katherine Jackson has brought a lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live, claiming he was in no state to complete the planned shows.
The star's former maid Adrian McManus has also spoken out about how Michael lived. She claims that she and other members of staff regularly found Michael passed out after taking prescription medication while working for him in the '90s.
"One day I knocked on his door, but got no answer so I went in to clean. He was lying on the bed, ¬motionless, looking very pale," she told British newspaper The Mirror.
"I called several times, but he didn’t answer. As I got closer his eyes were open and he appeared not to be breathing.
"My heart sank as I thought he was dead. I called his name for several ¬minutes. I feared that he was gone for ever, but then he came to suddenly. He didn’t say a word, but burst into tears."
She also alleged Michael asked all his bodyguards to train in CPR.