The Michael Jackson Rumor Mill

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, but he could also be dubbed the King of Crazytown Rumors. With all the hoopla taking place in Los Angeles right now over his memorial service, I thought it would be nice to look back at some of the most “Off The Wall” allegations about the singer. From accusations of him sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber to trying to buy the Elephant Man’s skull, below are five outrageous rumors spread about Jacko that were really wacko.

  • Jackson Purchased the Elephant Man’s Skull. After seeing the Broadway show based on the John Merrick’s (aka the Elephant Man) life, MJ became obsessed with the story of the circus sideshow attraction who had a bone growth disorder. Supposedly, Jackson showed up twice at the hospital where Merrick had died (once in 1982 and again in 1985) to view the remains and then made offers of $500,000 and $1 million to purchase the skull. The chief administrator of the hospital confirmed that the offers were made, but stated that the hospital never sold the remains. [Associated Content] — So although he never purchased them, he did try? Gross.
  • Jackson Slept In A Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber To Stay Youthful. In 1986, a photo taken of Jackson sleeping in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber was published in the National Enquirer. Along with the photo was the story that Jackson was regularly sleeping in the chamber to help him live to age 150. Eventually, he publicly put this falsity about his sleeping habits to rest and admitted that he did not sleep in the chamber. [Radar Online]
  • Jackson Took Female Hormones To Keep His High Pitched Voice. To this day, some people believe that Michael Jackson was given female hormones to ensure that his voice wouldn’t change so his successful music-making pipes would stay forever young. While it seems unlikely, it can’t be denied that his childish voice definitely added to his oddity as an adult and made the pedophilia charges against him seem less outlandish. [Huffington Post]
  • Jackson Bleached His Skin To Look White. It’s pretty much common knowledge that this is false, but in case you didn’t know, Jackson suffered from a disease known as Vitiligo and Lupus that causes skin pigment to fade. But before the truth was widespread, many of MJ’s black fans were infuriated with the pop singer for rejecting his heritage. Hence his response with the song “Black Or White.” [Undercover]
  • Jackson Needed A Lung Transplant Or He Would Die. The most recent of these bizarre rumors came just seven months ago when Ian Halperin, an unofficial Jackson biographer, claimed that the pop-icon was suffering from a genetic disorder that required a lung transplant, which Jackson was too weak to undergo. Jackson’s representatives never responded to the claims, but Halperin was discovered to have lied a bit on his resume, so the point probably goes to the Jackson camp on this one. [Artist Direct]