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Michael Jackson's father suspects "foul play"

 Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's son, Prince Michael Jackson I (R), leans on the shoulder of his aunt Janet Jackson (C), as she comforts Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's daughter, at a memorial service for Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, July 7, 2009. REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys/Pool
— image credit: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson's father said on Friday he suspected "foul play" in the death of the singer, adding that his son had apparently taken drugs to help him relax and that he "never woke up."

Joe Jackson, 79, told ABC News in an TV interview broadcast on Friday that he was dumbfounded when he learned that his son, 50, collapsed at home and was being rushed to the hospital two weeks ago.

"I just couldn't believe what was happening to Michael. I do believe it was foul play. I do believe that," he said, without elaborating.

Asked what he knew about powerful prescription drugs reportedly found at Jackson's home after his June 25 death, Joe Jackson said: "I didn't know anything about the drugs. I didn't even know the name of them. But I do know that whatever he'd taken was to try to make him rest because he had been working so hard, and that drug was supposed to try and make him relax.

"But anyway he didn't wake up. He never woke up. Michael died in his sleep."

Toxicology reports are pending on the official cause of Jackson's death but numerous media reports have said that the dangerous sedative Diprivan -- normally used in hospitals by anesthesiologists -- was found at his rented Los Angeles home.

The day before his sudden cardiac arrest, Jackson had been rehearsing in Los Angeles for a series of comeback concerts planned to start in July in London to revamp his career after a 2005 trial and acquittal on child molestation charges.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that the coroner's office has issued subpoenas for medical files from several doctors who treated Jackson, including his Beverly Hills dermatologist Arnold Klein.

Klein has denied ever giving Jackson overdoses of drugs.

Joe Jackson said he thought Jackson's three children -- Prince Michael Jr, 12, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II, 7, who is also known as Blanket -- might one day follow in their father's footsteps.

"I don't know -- I keep watching Paris. "She ... wants to do something. And as far as I can see, well, they say Blanket, he can really dance," he added.

The children are being cared for by Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, pending a Los Angeles court hearing next week.

Burial plans for the "Thriller" singer have not been announced.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Eric Beech)

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