More than a decade following the passing of his father, Michael Jackson, Prince Jackson is opening up about how his superstar dad suffered from the vitiligo skin condition, which caused patches of skin to lose pigmentation and have a milky white appearance.
“When I was younger, he was always explaining to me, speaking about that,” Prince said during a recent appearance on the “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson“ podcast, “I think it was even in the autopsy report. I think the cause of it is up for speculation, but it’s either vitiligo or some form of lupus contributed to the vitiligo.”
Mike Tyson mentioned that people thought Michael “was changing his skin because he wanted to be white, he was changing it because he wanted to glow. He wanted to be a light, he wanted to shine.”
The King of Pop’s eldest child, 26, added that the condition caused his father anxiety.
“He had a lot of insecurity around, kind of looking blotchy in his appearance,” said Prince. “So he wanted to see if he could smooth out his appearance, to help with his security on his physical appearance.”
Michael was diagnosed with vitiligo in 1983. The 13–time Grammy winner used fair-colored makeup and creams to cover the blotches, causing a very pale appearance.
Michael first addressed the condition in a 1993 interview.
“I have a skin disorder, the pigmentation of my skin. It is something I cannot help,” the singer said at the time. “When people make up stories that I don’t want to be who I am, it hurts me. It’s a problem for me. I can’t control it. 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.”
He added at the time: “It’s in my family, I can’t control it. It makes me very sad,” Michael added, denying that he was bleaching his skin. “I try to control it, and using makeup evens it out because I have blotches on my skin and I have to even it out. But you know what’s funny? Why is that so important? That’s not important to me.”
Michael died in 2009 of cardiac arrest.