Michael Jackson's Skin Condition Rumors Were Finally Put to Rest in His Autopsy

Prior to his unexpected death at age 50, rumors swirled around pop sensation Michael Jackson for a number of reasons. Not the least of which was whether or not he had a medical condition that turned his skin white. At Jackson‘s autopsy, those rumors were finally put to rest.

Before the rumors started

A world-famous performer from the tender age of six, Jackson packed at lot of music into his all too brief lifetime. With older brothers Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Jackie, the baby-faced youngster achieved international stardom with catchy pop tunes such as “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” and “The Love You Save.”

Although Jackson’s brothers were talented, it was the youngest member of the Jackson Five who garnered the lion’s share of the public ear along with the hearts and dollars of American teenagers. He was also the sibling about whom the most rumors were whispered.

While performing and recording with the Jackson Five, an adolescent Michael suffered severe acne breakouts but showed no signs of the discoloring skin disease that troubled him later in life. Nor was any unusual skin condition evident when he recorded his single, “Ben.”

By the time he went into the studio to record the Thriller album, however, the 24-year old Jackson was starting to notice odd changes in his skin color.

During a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson attempted to allay rumors that he was bleaching his skin in an effort to look more Caucasian. Jackson did not reveal the name of the disease that caused drastic disparities in skin tone on his hands, but told Winfrey that rumors that he was dissatisfied with his own race pained him deeply.

“I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin,” said Jackson. “It’s something I cannot help. When people make up stories that I don’t like who I am, it hurts me.”

Some believed him, some did not

RELATED: Did Princess Diana Inspire Her Friend Michael Jackson’s Hit ‘Dirty Diana’?

Jackson’s explanation as to why his skin color changed was met with both empathy and skepticism from a public that had been wondering (and whispering) about the singer’s drastic change in appearance for several years.

Some, especially those who suffer from the same disfiguring skin malady, completely believed him. Others, including his long time friend and mentor, Quincy Jones, discounted Jackson’s claim.

When asked by Vulture magazine what was most understood about the “Gotta Be Starting Something” singer, Jones replied: “I used to kill him about the plastic surgery, man. He’d always justify it and say it was because of some disease he had. Bullsh*t.”

The real reason Jackson’s skin turned white

Ten years prior to Jackson’s candid interview with Winfrey, Jackson’s personal dermatologist, Arnold Klein, observed symptoms of vitiligo on the singer’s hands and body, explained the Washington Post. The self-proclaimed King of Pop may be the most famous person to publicly disclose their vitiligo, although the condition is diagnosed in thousands of people every year.

Doctors at the University of Massachusetts Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center say that Jackson was good at covering up his vitiligo and that he undoubtedly treated the disfiguring condition with the prescription de-pigmenting cream, Benoquin. Conrad Murray (the disgraced doctor who served two years of a four-year sentence for the death of Michael Jackson) admitted that he applied the bleaching cream to the singer’s body every evening.

By the time he perished in 2009, Jackson’s once chocolate-brown skin was shockingly white. Shortly after his death, CNN revealed that Jackson’s corpse was “lily-white from head to toe” and that his paper-white skin was “as white as a tee-shirt.”

Doctor who did the most to dispel Jackson’s skin condition rumors was the coroner

While examining Jackson’s body at Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Christopher Rogers noted “some areas of the skin appear light and others appear dark” and were indeed consistent with vitiligo.

Vitiligo, explains Mayo Clinic, is a non-contagious malady that causes pigment cells to malfunction or die. It’s not fatal, but vitiligo can cause great embarrassment to persons who have it. In Jackson’s case, mortifying rumors suggested that he was changing his skin color on purpose. In the end, it turned out the King of Pop was telling the truth about his skin condition all along.

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Michael Jackson’s alligators ‘burned to death in Tiger King star Joe Exotic’s studio fire’ – The Sun

LATE pop legend Michael Jackson’s alligators were apparently killed in an arson attack featured in insane new documentary The Tiger King.

The seven-part Netflix mini-series – full title Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness – has won worldwide acclaim as it follows the life of eccentric zoo owner Joe Exotic, who’s now serving 22 years in prison for his part in a murder-for-hire plot.

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Featured in the doc was a mysterious fire at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which wiped out seven alligators and one crocodile along with its film studio – and Exotic was suspected of being behind it.

Now his ‘husband’ John Finley has revealed some of the deceased creatures belong to King of Pop Jackson, who died in 2009 and famously owned a number of unusual pets at his Neverland home.

Now living with his wife in Oklahoma, Finlay opened up to David Spade in an interview for Lights Out.

During the chat he revealed how they came to own Jacko’s exotic pets, and how much he liked looking after them.

Finlay said: "My favourite animals were the alligators and crocodiles. 

“A previous manager had gotten Michael Jackson’s alligators from Neverland ranch.

"We’d got some other ones from friends and stuff. They were the ones I really took care of most of the time."

Discussing the dangers of handling crocs and alligators, Finlay said: "You’ve got to be very cautious as they have a lot more to worry about than, say, a tiger or a bear.

"Their tail comes round half their body and it packs a wallop."

Finlay, who was one of Exotic’s 'husbands', also cleared up the nature of his relationship with his former boss.

He said: "Just to clear the record, me and Joe were never legally married, ever."

Finlay also admitted his reasons behind appearing in the documentary with his shirt off.


He said: "It was the director’s idea. It was kind of the sex appeal type thing.”

The Tiger King follows Exotic’s descent into a world of crime, leading up to his imprisonment for hiring a hitman to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin, and has given the animated zoo owner some newfound fame.

We reported how Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is "thrilled" by the public's reaction to the Netflix series and wants to become a "criminal justice reformer."

Co-directors of the documentary, Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, recently spoke with the Los Angeles Times and LADBible about the tiger lover's excitement – despite still being in jail.

Goode told LADBible: "Joe has called up Rebecca and I from jail since the airing of the documentary and, you know, he has lived his entire life just to be famous and so to finally realize this fame is just… He's tickled pink.

"Even though he's behind bars it's really interesting to see Joe's response – it's incredible, and very surprising.

"He's absolutely thrilled."

Tiger King is available to stream now on Netflix.

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