Feature

A fallen idol’s personal physician

George Nichopoulos, Elvis Presley’s personal physician, is sympathetic to the plight of Michael Jackson's doctor.

George Nichopoulos knows all too well how it feels to be Michael Jackson’s doctor, says Gerald Posner in TheDailybeast.com. As speculation swirls about the role that Dr. Conrad Murray played in Jackson’s demise, Nichopoulos, Elvis Presley’s personal physician, remains embittered that some people still blame him for the King’s death. “That’s all I hear in Memphis. It drives me crazy. I was one of his closest friends.” When Elvis died, in 1977, a toxicology report found significant amounts of codeine, Quaaludes, and other drugs in his bloodstream. Nichopoulos had provided most of them. “I don’t regret any of the medications I gave him,’’ he says. “They were necessities.” In 1995, Tennessee officials permanently suspended Nichopoulos’ medical license for overprescribing medications to other patients, but he says that was part of a vendetta. As for comparisons to Jackson’s doctor, the 82-year-old Nichopoulos points to an important difference—one, in fact, that could help exonerate Dr. Murray: Nichopoulos was Elvis’ only physician, while Jackson employed multiple doctors. “If you added up all their prescriptions, they’d be a lot more than mine.”

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