Michael Jackson was drinking heavily, showing signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive behaviour and insisted on being called 'Mikey' in the weeks leading up to his death in 2009.
The Los Angeles Times obtained 250 emails between the promoters of his comeback tour, AEG, which show the singer's rapid decline.
Emails between the show's director, Kenny Ortega, who had known Jackson for 20 years, told AEG executive Randy Phillips that the star was not ready for the tour.
“It is like there are two people there. One trying to hold on to what he was and still can be and not wanting us to quit him, the other in this weakened and troubled state,” Ortega wrote.
Phillips saw Jackson in an intoxicated state in a London hotel suite on March 5, 2009, and emailed AEG boss, Tim Leiweke: “MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent ... I [am] trying to sober him up.”
"He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self-loathing and doubt now that it is show time.
"I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking," Phillips wrote. "He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time."
Despite this, they continued to deny this to the media, stating: "The man is very sane, the man is very focused, the man is very healthy."
The promoter blamed London traffic when Jackson was 90 minutes late for an appearance that day.
CNN reported that the email correspondence could play a role in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson's heirs against AEG.
It alleges the the promoter contributed to his death by pressuring him to prepare for the concerts despite his weak condition and poor mental state.
A lawyer for Jackson's mother and a spokesman for Jackson's estate declined to comment on the e-mails reported in the newspaper.