Glove Comes Off in Jackson Interview : Entertainment: In a talk with Oprah Winfrey, the pop star denies he has had his skin bleached or undergone much plastic surgery.
Pop megastar Michael Jackson said Wednesday that he has a disorder that destroys his skin pigment and insisted during a live television interview with Oprah Winfrey that he has had “very little” plastic surgery.
In his first solo interview in nearly a decade, Jackson said that he regrets working through his childhood and that he was beaten by his father. He also assailed some news stories about him as “garbage.”
Jackson confronted a question about his fading skin tone and declared: “There is no such thing as skin bleaching. I’ve never seen it.”
The singer revealed that he has a disorder “that destroys the pigmentation of the skin” but didn’t identify the disorder, which he said began after his “Thriller” album was released in 1982.
“Using makeup evens it out. Why is that so important? That’s not important to me,” Jackson said.
Responding to another oft-repeated question, he said he has had a little plastic surgery--a minor procedure to his nose--but no alterations to the rest of his face.
“Very little. You can count it on two fingers,” he said, referring to cosmetic procedures.
Jackson defended his frequent crotch-grabbing during dance movements in concerts by saying, “It happens subliminally.”
“It’s the music that compels me to do it. You don’t think about it, it just happens. I’m slave to the rhythm,” he said.
In other revelations:
* Jackson said actress and good friend Elizabeth Taylor first came up with his “King of Pop” title.
* He doesn’t like going out to date but a woman friend does come to his “Neverland” ranch.
* He admitted he had a crush on singer Diana Ross and dismissed a question about whether he was a virgin. “You can call me old-fashioned if you want,” he said.
Miss Taylor appeared on the live telecast to declare that Jackson “is the least weird man I’ve ever known.”
“If he has any eccentricities, he’s larger than life and some people just cannot accept that or understand it,” Miss Taylor said.
Jackson said he rehearsed and performed constantly as a child and missed out on simply playing with other children.
“You don’t get to do things other children get to do,” he said, speaking of his career from childhood. “There were (no) slumber parties, hanging out. There was none of that for me.
“I compensate for that. People always wonder why I have children around. . . . I adore all that stuff,” he said.
Jackson said his father, Joseph, was a stern man who teased and beat him as an adolescent for being “sad” and withdrawn. The entertainer said he forgave his father.
As a teen, Jackson said, he had so many pimples he refused to look in mirrors. “I washed my face in the dark,” he said.
The singer also criticized media coverage of his personal life.
“There’s so much garbage and so much trash that’s written about me,” he said. “The press has made up so much godawful stories. . . . They’re completely appalling.”
Winfrey said there were no ground rules put down by Jackson for the interview.
The one-on-one interview, “Michael Jackson Talks,” aired live on ABC. The chat, held at the singer’s Santa Ynez ranch near Santa Barbara, was tape-delayed for the West Coast.
He also has become a more visible spokesman for charity. He recently announced a $1.25 million program to provide social services to Los Angeles inner-city youths who were victims of last spring’s riots.
In last month’s Super Bowl halftime show, he starred in an elaborate tribute to Heal the World, his year-old humanitarian foundation to help children and the environment.
His most recent album, “Dangerous,” was a commercial and critical disappointment despite selling 4 million copies domestically. His earlier “Thriller” and “Bad” albums were blockbusters, with 1982’s “Thriller” selling a record 21 million copies.
Jackson’s recent public performances have helped increase sales for “Dangerous.” The album rose from No. 131 on the Billboard pop album chart to No. 88 after his inaugural performance and then to No. 41 after the American Music Awards.
Post-Super Bowl sales are running one-third higher than the previous week.
In Forbes magazine’s ranking of the 1991-92 highest-paid entertainers, Jackson was listed in sixth place with $51 million. Miss Winfrey ranked No. 2, with $88 million.