Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Did Danny get any of his prescriptions from this company?" Alicia Jacobs asks the tough question about Danny Gans' drugstore

Did Danny Gans get his fatal dose of prescription drugs from the pharmaceutical supply company he partly owned? His longtime close personal friend, the beauty queen-turned-television entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs asked the question on Las Vegas television, and the answer was, “I don’t know.”

Jacobs took control of the story last night after it was reported earlier on her KVBC-TV News that Gans, who'd overdosed on a powerful opiate May 1st, was a minority owner of Green Valley Med, a "healthcare and specialty pharmacy" in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, where Gans had lived. She expanded the story to report that in the first week of June, the Nevada Board of Pharmacies had raided the place and seized “all of Danny’s records.

“They have yet to return them.”

Jacobs said that the company’s owner, Scot Silber, told her off-camera (because he “was not comfortable speaking on camera”) that “there are five investors in the company and that Danny is the second largest owner.”

Referring to Gans as “Danny” and in the present tense throughout, Alicia Jacobs said, “It began back in 2003. Silber owned Green Valley Drug, which Danny frequented. Silber was expanding his business and approached Danny about investment opportunity, which included selling medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.”

And though Jacobs pointed out that Green Valley Med “is not a place to fill prescriptions,” she asked Silber’s attorney, Bob Massi, on camera:

“It begs the question. Danny died of a drug toxicity. Now we find out he has ownership in a pharmaceutical company. Do we know? Did Danny get any of his prescriptions from this company?”

Massi replied:

“Well, I have no personal knowledge if he did. But the fact that any pharmacy would dispense medication doesn’t mean that they did anything wrong. I’m sure through the pharmaceutical board, you could find out whatever information that you want. Certainly.”

Besides letting slip that Gans had multiple prescriptions (something the coroner did not address when he said that Gans, a former athlete who’d had his share of injuries, had died from taking hydromorphone, which is sold as Dilaudid and known as “drugstore heroin") Jacobs also concluded that there is indeed a connection between Gans' case and the Michael Jackson death investigation.

Alleges link to Jacko death probe

Silber, Jacobs said, had considered buying Applied Pharmacy Services, the operation that federal agents had raised in their investigation of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray.

Martin Singer, attorney for the Gans estate and other related interests, informed Tabloid Baby that Danny Gans had never been treated by or prescribed medication by Dr. Murray, and we issued a retraction to our story suggested that a possible connection be investigated by the Las Vegas news media.

As KVBC’s newscast tease of a “Michael Jackson connection” was far more misleading than the questions we raised, we wonder if KVBC will also be asked to issue a clarification.

As for Alicia Jacobs, it appears she may be attempting to salvage the credibility she squandered in trying in the weeks after Danny Gans’ death to help spin it into something other than the tragedy it was. Some say that fellow Born Again Christians and those, who, like Alicia Jacobs, saw Danny Gans as a religious leader, should have been the first to shout that the fact that he was a human being who’d suffered to the point where he needed medication takes nothing away from the philanthropy and honest values he espoused, or from the brilliant, unique, family-friendly talent he displayed onstage.

Gans family leaves Las Vegas

As Massi added somehwat superfluously in Jacob's report: “I don’t think you could classify Michael Jackson’s way of life with the Danny Gans way of life. That would be a real tragedy. That would be Shakespearean tragedy. Danny Gans was the antithesis of a Michael Jackson. From start to finish.”

Alicia Jacobs revealed that Gans’ ownership in the company has shifted to the Gans family trust, where it remains, and added a footnote that any local reporter and McCloud-imitating editor would find newsworthy: Gans’ wife Julie and her three children have moved out of their estate in Henderson, and “left Las Vegas for good.

“They’ve moved back to Los Angeles.”

Alas, the rest of the Las Vegas news media has yet to pick up on this latest twist in the Gans saga. While the story of the swimsuit-model-in-the-suitcase leads the mainstream agenda, one respected reporter told us that there is more concern about Time magazine’s cover story in which Joel Stein paints Las Vegas as a burnt-out shell “in the deepest crater of the recession.”

We’d hoped that there would be one strong truth-seeking reporter amid the beholden pack in Sin City. We did not expect her to be Alicia Jacobs. We’ll watch what happens next.

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