It’s known throughout the world that Michael Jackson was one of the greatest pop stars of all time. Starting at the young age of just five years old, Michael Jackson was the lead singer of the musical group Jackson 5. The music group included Michael and his four brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, and Marlon. Michael moved on to a widely successful solo career topping countless charts with his music, winning Grammy Awards and ultimately being named the original King of Pop. Seven years after his controversial death, Michael lives on through his music and will no doubt be remembered forever in history.
Although Michael Jackson is still widely recognized for his many talents as a popular entertainer, there are several things about his life that were kept under wraps. From child molestation allegations to rumors of countless plastic surgeries, here are 12 Things Michael Jackson Wouldn’t Want You To Know.
12. His Best Friend Was A Chimpanzee
In the early 1980s, Michael Jackson purchased a Chimpanzee named Bubbles from a research lab in Texas. During his time spent as MJ’s pet, Bubbles wore matching outfits and accompanied the Grammy Award winner just about wherever he went. At MJ’s famous Neverland Ranch, it’s been said that Bubbles slept in a crib, ate at the dinner table and even used Michael’s toilet when he had to go to the bathroom. Although never confirmed, in an interview with TMZ, primatologist Jane Goodall, said that she believed that Bubbles was abused by the King of Pop. In 2000, Bubbles was sent to live in a sanctuary in Florida where he resides still today.
11. He Was Rumored To Have Been Battling Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
A former Rolling Stone writer by the name of Ian Halperin wrote a book on The King of Pop’s life, fueling the rumors that MJ had the genetic lung disease called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a condition that leads to the destruction of lung tissue, and often times leads to developing emphysema. This condition can be known to take a large toll on one’s wind power, which is extremely important when it comes to singing and performing. The rumor was never proven true and in fact was argued against by one of MJ’s doctors.
10. He Patented An Anti-Gravity Boot
Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” music video had his fans’ jaws on the floor and left them scratching their heads as he danced around and defied gravity. In the actual video, Michael and his dancers were able to use strings to help keep them up, but later MJ actually invented the real deal. Along with the help of two others, Michael was able to create the Anti-Gravity Shoe, which required shoes to be bolted to the ground in order to create the famous angled-dance move. The invention allowed Michael and his dancers to perform the move on stages across the world.
9. He Had A Video Game That Rescued A Little Kid
Michael Jackson’s video game Moonwalker (based off of the famous dance move) is probably not the first thing that Michael Jackson would want us to remember about him. The rhythmic Sega game featured actor Joe Pesci (weird, right?) as an evil kidnapper and portrayed Michael as the hero. Players could control Michael’s character by fighting off Pesci with the pop star’s impressive dance moves and ultimately rescuing children from Pesci. We’re going to go ahead and say this video game wasn’t exactly working against him when child molestation accusations against Michael went public.
8. He Was Accused of Child Molestation
Although never convicted, Michael Jackson was accused of molesting several different children throughout his life. In 1993, a case was opened accusing MJ of molesting 13-year-old Jordan Chandler. Jordan’s stepfather, David Schwartz owned a rental car shop in Los Angeles, and after MJ’s car broke down, offered him a free rental in exchange for a phone call to Jordan who was a big fan of the King of Pop. In 2003, another lawsuit was filed claiming MJ sexually assaulted 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo, whom MJ met after setting up a fundraiser to help raise money for Gavin’s chemotherapy treatment. After Michael’s death, dancer Wade Robson sued the Jackson estate claiming MJ sexually abused him between the years of 1990-1997. The most recent accusation came from James Safechuck who was a former child dancer that met the King of Pop while filming a Pepsi commercial. Despite multiple accusations, Michael was never formally convicted of any wrongdoing.
7. He Wanted To Be Spiderman
Marvel’s Chairman Stan Lee revealed that Michael Jackson tried to buy Marvel Comics when the company was struggling financially. But what possibly would have been the late pop singer’s motive in buying the failing company? To literally become Spider-Man of course! Besides being dubbed the King of Pop, Michael Jackson had dreams of starring in Marvel’s Spider-Man as the lead role. Unfortunately due to disputes between parties involved in the deal, MJ ended up having to give up on his lifelong dream of becoming the famous cartoon character and eventually Marvel was purchased by Disney.
6. He Had Vitiligo
Michael Jackson’s skin color began to change during the 1980s. This skin discoloration is known as vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin pigmentation disease that occurs when cells that produce skin pigmentation stop working properly. Discoloration can happen on any part of the body and often times is more visible in darker skin tones. Although many accused of Michael of trying to purposely change his skin color, the pop star remained true and proud to his race, even going so far as breaking down in tears in an interview with Oprah discussing the medical condition.
5. He Wore Wigs
In 1984, Michael Jackson was filming a commercial for Pepsi when an accidental explosion from pyrotechnics caused his hair to light on fire. The fire caused MJ to suffer from burns on his head and face. The burns were so severe that Michael had to wear wigs due to the hair loss from the accident. MJ also later went on to make a public statement blaming the accident for his addiction to painkillers. “This medication was initially prescribed to treat excruciating pain I suffered after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp,” MJ admitted in the 1993 statement. It has also been rumored that the unfortunate accident may have pulled the trigger on Michael’s countless plastic surgeries.
4. He Slept In An Oxygen Bed
Back in 1986, a picture surfaced of the King of Pop lying in an oxygen bed, otherwise known as a hyperbaric chamber. These beds are used for hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat serious conditions including carbon monoxide poisoning. After the freak accident that left him burned while filming a commercial for Pepsi, Michael used the oxygen chamber bed to help with his recovery at a California hospital. He donated over $900,000 to help purchase the machine for the hospital. He was also once quoted talking about the machine saying, “I plan to get one immediately. If I treat my body properly, I’ll live to at least 150.” The pop star ended up purchasing his own chamber several years later in 1994.
3. He Suffered From Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Along with the pop star’s medical problems and unfortunate circumstances from his fire accident, it’s said that Michael Jackson also suffered from body dysmorphic disorder. Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition in which a person is never satisfied with their physical appearance. Many people with body dysmorphic disorder spend their entire lives trying to achieve an unrealistic ideal of what they believe a person should physically look like. In MJ’s case, this resulted in multiple plastic surgeries to his face throughout his years in the spotlight. Although never confirmed, Michael was said to have had a nose job, chin and lip reconstructive surgery and cheek implants.
2. He Had Escape Plans
If Michael Jackson had been convicted of child molestation he had a plan in place to escape being imprisoned. MJ’s brother Jermaine Jackson admitted to helping his brother plan his escape route if he was found guilty in 2005. Jermaine admitted that a friend’s private plane was geared up and ready to take Michael to the Persian Gulf state if he was convicted. The Persian Gulf state doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States, so Michael would have been safe living there. “If they were going to sit and crucify my brother for something that he didn’t do, America deserves us not to come back here,” Jermaine said in an interview with The Times Magazine about the escape plan.
1. His First Marriage Lasted Only 18 Months
Just three months after Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley divorced her first husband Danny Keough, she tied the knot with Michael Jackson. It’s been said that the couple had first met back at one of Michael’s concerts in 1975 and didn’t begin dating until 1992. When Michael was accused of sexual molestation, he relied on Lisa Marie for guidance and support. The couple had an intimate wedding ceremony in the Dominican Republic on May 26, 1994. Michael and Lisa Marie divorced on January 18, 1996, although in a later interview with Oprah, Lisa Marie revealed the two had spent much time traveling together after the divorce.