Former crooner James Debarge and Dr. Conrad Murray are just a few feet away from each other at the L.A. County Men’s jail. And why is this a problem? According to TMZ, Debarge, who was once briefly married to Janet Jackson, isn’t reportedly happy about Murray’s location, because he considered Michael Jackson a brother.
DeBarge, once thought of as a “pretty boy,” was a member of the successful five-family ’80s group DeBarge. After James and Janet eloped in 1984, they were married less than a year. At the time, all fingers pointed to Jackson patriarch Joe as the one who put the kabosh on the relationship.
Although James and his siblings had a string of successful R&B and pop hits, drugs eventually split the successful family unit up. Over the years, James has been arrested several times and has battled drug addiction. He was most recently arrested yet again for assault with a deadly weapon and drug charges.
Murray, who was Michael’s personal physician, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter last November in the death of the pop icon and is expected to serve about two years of his four-year sentence. The cardiologist had been giving Jackson nightly doses of propofol to help him sleep as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts. Propofol is supposed to be used in hospital settings and has never been approved for sleep treatments, yet Murray acknowledged giving it to Jackson then leaving the room on the day the singer died.
Murray is serving out his sentence in a county jail rather than a state prison. Under a recent California policy, those convicted of certain non-violent crimes, including involuntary manslaughter, are not required to serve their time in prison.
Ironically, now the two men have to catch glimpses of each other in a jail that holds approximately 4,000 inmates. Reportedly, both James and Murray have been placed in Administrative Segregation, the place where famous inmates are housed to keep them from associating with the general prison population.
James, who was only recently seen on “Dr. Drew’s Life Changers” talk show with former DeBarge member siblings Randy and Bunny, according to lawyer Spencer Vodnoy, is “really upset” he’s so close to Murray.