LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Funeral services were pending Friday for Dr. Arnold Klein, a dermatologist who gained fame for treating Hollywood A-listers and for his longtime friendship with the late Michael Jackson.
Klein, 70, died Thursday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, according to the Riverside County coroner.
TMZ, which first broke news of his death, reported that Klein had been hospitalized for four days suffering from severe abdominal pains.
Klein's longtime association with Jackson often pushed him into the spotlight, particularly during the investigation into the pop star's death from an overdose of a powerful anesthetic in 2009.
Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the medication at the singer's rented Holmby Hills estate, and was sentenced to four years behind bars. Murray was released from jail in October 2010.
Although Murray was Jackson's primary physician while he was in Los Angeles rehearsing for a series of concerts in London, the singer still saw Klein regularly. Klein treated Jackson for more than two decades, and their friendship was so close that he was even rumored to be the biological father of the singer's son, Prince.
Following Jackson's death, however, Klein's treatment of the singer and administration of painkillers brought him under public and law-enforcement scrutiny. He was ultimately never implicated in the singer's death.
Klein's publicist, Michael Levine, told KNX that the questions over Jackson's death took a toll on Klein.
"There's no question that Arnold Klein was a pioneer in the field of dermatology and Botox, and there was also no question that his career, which was spectacularly successful at a certain point, became really drowned in controversy,'' Levine said. "Ultimately, I think, it took a deep emotional tool on him.''
Klein was also a founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research.