Michael Jackson was long-rumoured to have skin condition vitiligo (Picture: AP)
Michael Jackson’s son Prince has opened up about the late singer’s skin condition, vitiligo, that caused his colour to change.
The Thriller singer, who was African-American, was subjected to rumours he was bleaching his skin as it became progressively lighter in the 1980s.
By the early 90s, his physical appearance was markedly different and his skin was almost completely white.
It’s believed Jackson, who died in 2009 following an accidental overdose, was diagnosed with vitiligo, which is a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin. It’s caused by the lack of melanin, which is the pigment in the skin.
Jackson’s eldest child Prince, 26, has debunked the skin-bleaching rumours and shared what he understood of his father’s condition.
Speaking to former boxer Mike Tyson on his Hot Boxin podcast, Prince said: ‘When I was younger he would always explain to me that he had a skin condition called vitiligo. I don’t know what the actual medical term is.’
Jackson felt ‘insecure’ about having blotchy skin once the vitiligo began (Picture: Getty Images)
By the early 1990s he was completely white (Picture: Getty Images)
Prince Jackson revealed he’s still doing ‘research’ about his father’s life (Picture: Rex Features)
When Tyson’s co-host asked: ‘So that was real, not a rumour?’ Prince replied: ‘Yeah, I think it was even on the autopsy.
‘I think the cause of it – it’s up for speculation – but it’s either vitiligo or some form of lupus that contributed to the vitiligo and he had a lot of insecurity around looking blotchy and his appearance so he wanted to see if he could smooth out his appearance to help with his security on his physical appearance.’
In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson confirmed he had a skin condition that he ‘[could not] help’ and felt ‘hurt’ by the ‘stories that I don’t want to be who I am’.
The Man In The Mirror singer added: ‘But what about all the millions of people who sit in the sun to become darker, to become other than what they are? Nobody says nothing about that.’
Despite growing up with his father, Prince revealed he’s still learning new things about the late musician – who is regarded as one of the most successful entertainers of all time – and is ‘doing some research’ on his life.
It comes after Prince and his siblings Paris, 25, and Blanket, 21, marked what would have been Jackson’s 65th birthday.
Prince and Blanket were seen greeting fans at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas where they watched the Michael Jackson ONE show by Cirque du Soleil.
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