Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Is the King of Pop now the Viceroy of Voodoo?
According to the April issue of Vanity Fair, Michael Jackson paid an African "witch doctor" $150,000 to place a curse on 25 of his enemies -- including Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.
Jackson reportedly paid a voodoo chief named Baba for the ritual, performed during the summer of 2000 in Switzerland.
Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth says Baba sacrificed 24 cows as part of the ceremony and assured an observer at the scene that Geffen would die within a week. Geffen, however, lives.
It was unclear why Jackson might hold a grudge against either of the entertainment moguls. Stuart Backerman, a Jackson spokesman, said the singer would not comment on the report.
A spokeswoman at DreamWorks, which Geffen and Spielberg founded with Jeffrey Katzenberg, said the two did not wish to comment on the allegations.
Orth also reports that the tip of Jackson's nose is a prosthesis designed to replace cartilage destroyed during plastic surgery.
She writes that one person who has seen Jackson without the device says he resembles a mummy with two nostril holes.
The article also says Jackson bleaches his skin with a cream called Benoquin "because he doesn't like being black" and cites a court affidavit saying Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and discoid lupus, which cause skin blotches.
The magazine also details finances and charitable activities the author says are suspect.
In addition, Orth reports Jackson expenses said to be owed from a three-month period in 2000, including $99,831 to Celebrity Costumes, $845,000 for payroll and $62,645 to Mickey Fine Pharmacy in Beverly Hills, Calif. Other expenses include $75.62 for Slurpee-machine maintenance at his ranch.