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Jackson's Lawyer: 'Drug Use Spiraled During Abuse Trial'

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Jun 30, 2009 | 5:21am EDT

Michael Jackson was taking 40 prescription pills a day during his 2005 abuse trial, according to the family lawyer.

Brian Oxman insists the King of Pop was taking huge amounts of strong painkiller Vicodin as he fought allegations of child abuse four years ago.

The "Thriller" singer was charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit that felony against teenager Gavin Arvizo.

The trial lasted five months, until the end of May 2005 when Jackson was acquitted on all counts.

But the lengthy court battle took its toll on the star, who reportedly became addicted to the painkiller.

Oxman tells British newspaper The Sun, "During Michael’s court trial he was taking 40 Vicodin a day -- and this may have even increased. It’s an insane amount of drugs to be given -- and to be taken.”

Jackson subsequently overcame his Vicodin addiction following the trial, but rumors about his drug use surfaced again last week following his death from a cardiac arrest.

Oxman has already voiced his concern about Jackson's dependency on pills -- including prescription painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs -- in the months before his untimely death, saying, "I did warn him about the drugs, but I am sorry I didn't warn him enough. I am going to wait until I get the toxicology report, and if his death has something to do with drugs, I am prepared to name names of doctors who prescribed them."

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