SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The King of Pop appeared zonked on meds, half-starved and headed for a complete meltdown as he was practically carried into the courtroom Monday after again showing up late – this time with his doctor in tow.

Michael Jackson’s health emergency, his third since Feb. 15, delayed his child molestation trial for 45 minutes while he got medical help in a courthouse bathroom. On the upside, Jackson, 46, avoided jail, the punishment the judge had promised if he ever again came late or failed to show up for court.

The rail-thin pop icon brought not a mere doctor’s note, but an actual scrubs-clad physician, Dr. Bert Weiner, to convince the judge he really was hurting.

Jackson’s attorneys declined to explain his medical problem to reporters, but after court the star himself confessed he’s on medication: “Yes, by way of the doctor,” he responded, adding in his tiny voice that he was hurting. “Very much. … I’m in pain.”

The drama began at 8:15 a.m. when Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau noticed his famous client was not at the defense table. The red-faced lawyer began making phone calls and pacing.

At 8:29, a minute before zero hour, he conferred with the judge’s clerk, who then went back to the judge’s chambers to break the news. But then, at 8:34 a.m., deputies signaled that Jackson had arrived.

What came next was like a scene out of “Frankenstein.”

With matted hair, glassy eyes and wobbly legs, the ghostly pale pop icon took tiny shuffling steps as two burly bodyguards – one at each elbow – propelled him slowly toward the defense table, six minutes late.

Then the singer clutched a huge wad of tissue to his mouth and appeared to be complaining of nausea. One of his attorneys, Susan Yu, glanced pleadingly to a deputy to let the singer leave.

At 8:40, Jackson was escorted to the men’s room by bodyguards and his brother Jackie.

The doctor was summoned briefly to the judge’s chambers but then went off to treat Jackson, who returned at 9:12 a.m.

Later in the day, Jackson was more alert – and agitated – as a former charter flight attendant testified she hid his white wine in Diet Coke cans and stashed little bottles of booze in the aircraft lavatory.

“I hid little bottles of Tanqueray, tequila and vodka, usually in the lavatory, above children’s reach. I would inform him they were there,” said XtraJet flight attendant Lauren Wallace.

Wallace said she served 15 to 25 flights with Jackson aboard.

Of the wine-filled soda cans, she added, “I kept them on ice for him.”

Under cross-exam, she agreed with Mesereau’s contention that Jackson hid his booze because “he doesn’t want children to see him drinking alcohol.”

“Yes, I was told that,” she said.

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