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Jacko’s kids thought he was pretending to be dead

entertainment Updated: Jun 29, 2009 17:10 IST

Late King of Pop Michael Jackson’s children reportedly thought that the singer was just playing a practical joke by pretending to be dead.

Jackson breathed his last at a rented Los Angeles home on Thursday, and was found lying unconscious in the bedroom.

“An air of crisis swept through the house like a whirlwind,” the News of the World quoted a source in Jackson's staff as saying

“The three children had been taken to another room by their nannies, but they thought their dad was just fooling around. He often played dead and would then jump up and surprise them, so they thought he was just having a bit of fun.

“But when they saw the emergency trucks arrive, that really shook them. There were paramedics running upstairs and ambulance sirens blaring. The kids were terrified and started crying and howling for their dad,” the source added.

Even Las Vegas-based cardiologist Conrad Murray, the personal physician who was by Jacko's side at the time of death, also though that the singer was just playing dead.

"It was terrifically sad. Murray told us he thought Michael was joking around, as he often did to entertain the kids. But this time, tragically, it was real. Murray tried to talk to Michael to rouse him but soon realised it was no joke. It suddenly dawned on him he was in deep trouble," said the insider.

The report further reveals that Jackson was carried out of the house with an oxygen mask strapped to his face so as to save his kids from the trauma of seeing their motionless father.

The children were quickly hustled into the back of a waiting car by Jackson's sister La Toya and mother Katherine, and later driven to the UCLA Medical Centre.

At the hospital, Paris, 12-year-old Prince and six-year-old Prince Michael II were provided with crayons and paper as a distraction, and were asked to draw their daddy ''Get well soon'' pictures, even though the Thriller star already lay dead in an operating theatre.

The children even hugged their older relatives at one point, and prayed for their father.