“The pain… it is bad, really bad… sometimes it feels like a lion took a bite out of my leg!”
Those are the dramatic words of superstar Michael Jackson, after a nightmarish six weeks that propelled him into newfound controversy. Millions of TV viewers watched transfixed as the ‘King of Pop’ dangled his infant son from a fourth-floor balcony in Germany and then, as he hobbled into court on crutches, looking sickly, with his foot mysteriously bandaged and hand badly swollen. And the entire world has been asking: “What’s wrong with Michael?”
Now, in a world exclusive, Jackson is finally breaking his silence about those problems and giving ‘Globe’ readers a glimpse into his secret world! The bite, says the hermit-like ‘King of Pop’, did not, in fact, come from a ferocious lion, but from an itsy-bitsy — yet very dangerous and poisonous — spider.
That’s what Jackson claimed in court and a judge told him to prove it. Now, he’s doing exactly that. Jackson has chosen ‘Globe’ to show the whole world that he was telling the truth, displaying one of the gruesome spider bites — this one on his right leg — to our readers in these exclusive pictures.
“I really was bitten by spiders”, he tells ‘Globe’ in a blockbuster interview. “I have been in agony.”
And Jackson insists it was because of the searing pain caused by those bites that he missed court appearances in Santa Maria, CA, where a concert promoter is suing him for $ 21 million, claiming he backed out of two millennium concerts. And when the 44-year-old entertainer did attend the December court proceedings, he was carried inside with only a sock covering bandages on his left foot and saying that spiders chomped down on his hand, left foot and right leg.
“I didn’t take one pain pill to deal with the excruciating pain”, Jackson proudly tells ‘Globe’. “I have just been dealing with it by meditating. I deal with it and rise above it. Elizabeth Taylor once told me to rise above it when I was nervous to go on-stage. I know that other people who have this are in agony. But I have to rise above it and, like a force, I am doing it. I am rising above it.”
Jackson says a spider sunk its venomous fangs into him one night while he lay asleep at his Neverland ranch in Los Olivos, CA.
“I don’t know exactly how it happened” he admits. “I never saw the spider. I woke up one morning about a month ago and had a big spot on my leg. Pus was oozing out and it hurt terribly. I then had some cultures taken and found out that it was a bite from a very poisonous spider that can even be deadly.”
While some experts publicly scoffed at Jackson’s explanation, doctors who examined him confirmed the torturous spider bite. His personal physician, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian, says it was likely a brown recluse spider, which injects a devastating toxin creating nasty lesions that can take weeks to heal.
“The wound was 6 or 7 centimeters in diameter,” Dr. Farshchian confirms to ‘Globe’. “It was purple with three or four blisters in the middle. Shortly after that, we started treating it and it dried up and became a big scab. It is now in the state of healing. The old skin is now falling off and the new skin is starting to develop.”
Jackson tells ‘Globe’ the constant pain made it hard for him to attend court proceedings and prevented him from attending the recent Billboard Music Awards to accept a trophy commemorating the 20th anniversary of his landmark ‘Thriller’ album. Instead, pal Chris Tucker gave him the award at his ranch which was seen by live satellite feed. And he adds it made it difficult for him to function normally.
“I love to dance so much”, Jackson tells ‘Globe’. “But I haven’t been able to dance for weeks. That is one of the things I miss the most. Things have been getting better slowly but surely.”
Jackson says the bite on his leg is taking time to heal. “It became more of a scab when I was in Germany, getting more tender and a bit smaller”, says the father of three kids, Prince Michael Jr., 5, Paris, 4, and 11-month-old Prince Michael II.
Jackson’s doctor has been treating the ghastly wound on his leg with antibiotic Cipro, which hundreds of Americans took during the anthrax attacks, and cleaning it once a day to prevent further infection.
Under proper care, the wound has shrunk to 3 centimeters in diameter. “Everything is healing up beautifully,” Dr. Farshchian tells ‘Globe’.
“In three or four more weeks, Michael should be able to walk normally and dance again. Michael really heals fast. It’s amazing. It was such a big wound. If it was me or anybody else, it would take months and even surgery to recover. It has been painful and uncomfortable, but everyday he gets a little better. And I know for a fact that he has taken no painkillers to deal with this.”
And a close friend of the entertainer adds, “Michael has been in quite a bit of pain, but he said he would not let it get in the way of work or spending time with his children.”
“One day after he described the pain to me, he spent all day playing with his kids inside and outside the house. We knew it was hurting, but he was trying to act normally with his children as if he was Okay. He didn’t want them to know how much pain he was in.”
And the music giant wants ‘Globe’ readers to know that he is grateful for their get-well wishes.
“I am still hurting”, admits Jackson, “but I am getting through it with the love and support of my family and fans”.