A shocking never-before-seen video has emerged showing the moment Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire during a 1984 Pepsi ad shoot.
The infamous footage, shot as the late King of Pop performed in front of 3000 fans at LA's Shrine Auditorium, shows the moment a pyrotechnic stunt went horribly wrong, leaving the singer with second and third-degree burns on his scalp and body.
The video, obtained by American magazine Us Weekly, shows one take where a pyrotechnic, which was part of the performance, went off as planned. But on the sixth take the fireworks go off too early - showering the star in sparks and setting his hair on fire.
Jackson is at first unaware he's on fire, and continues to dance as he sings Billie Jean before the screaming crowd.
Onlookers believed Jackson appeared to be so calm, they thought the incident was all part of his stage act.
Moments later, the singer was surrounded by security and stage hands who tried to damped out the fire. But the damage was already done. You can clearly see a bald patch on Jackson's scalp as he raises his head before being carted off the stage.
He was never the same after the accident, reports the magazine article.
To relieve the pain caused by the horrific burns, and to tolerate multiple surgeries on the scorched spot on his head, Jackson was prescribed several medications - prompting tongues to wag that this was the beginning of the end of Jackson and his alleged pill addiction.
Pill-popping catalyst or not, there's no denying that the footage is a wee bit shocking.
The singer's afro-singeing has been the butt of jokes for more than 25 years, with the extent of his injuries poo-pooed as it largely relied on anecdotal yabbering - not pictorial perving. But now, thanks to the interwebnet and its expositional powers, we can see the horrifying moment in all its glory. Question is, did we really need to see it? The decision, our dear readers, is yours...
In other Jackson developments...
* Rowe, no dough. Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe has piped up and flatly denied she was paid a whopping US$4m to give up parental rights to their two children. The increasingly unreliable New York Post quoted a snitch as saying Rowe had accepted the cash to give up her rights to children Prince Michael Jr, 12, and Paris, 11. However, Rowe's legal muscle claims the report is riddled with "blatant falsehoods", and "concocted with reckless disregard for the truth". Interestingly, The Post's editor-in-chief Col Allan said the paper "stands by its story".
* A rep for tell-tale La Toya Jackson has confirmed that she did in fact sit down for a four-and-a-half hour confab with British tabloids News of the World and Mail on Sunday. Jackson revealed to the red tops that she was convinced that her brother Michael was 'murdered' by a "shadowy group" of clingers on who were out to manipulate and take advantage of the gloved one. Meanwhile, it's also claimed La Toya was paid for her interview. Classy.
Check out this video tribute to Jacko, originally intended to be broadcast at the BET Awards, but never aired.
Hankies at the ready...
* No beating. Patriarch Joe Jackson has denied he ever beat his singer son. Despite Jackson speaking out about alleged abuse at the hands of his father in several interviews, even to the point where he would "regurgitate" with fear ("There's been times when he'd come to see me, I'd get sick, I'd start to regurgitate", he told talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey in 1993), Joe denies any beating. "Michael was never beat as they call it. And everyone spanked their kids when they did wrong. But not beat," he said during a recent interview on US TV.
* Homicide? Despite recent reports that Jackson's death is being treated as a homicide, a rep for the Los Angeles Police department says no. TMZ reported earlier this week that "the evidence points to the anesthesia Propofol as the primary cause of Jackson’s death," and that "the LAPD is already treating Michael Jackson’s death as a homicide, and they are focusing on Dr. Conrad Murray." But the LAPD has a different take. They say their investigations are "ongoing", and Jackson's death is not being treated as a homicide, according to Access Hollywood
* For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, see here.
Bridget Jones strikes again
A third Bridget Jones film is in the pipeline, according to Variety.com.
Renee Zellweger will reprise her role as the hapless heroine for a third installment of the saga - based on author Helen Fielding's 2005 newspaper columns - and will see Bridget trying to have a baby and continue on her search for love.
Varitey says the flick won't go into production until late 2010, but Zellweger is on board and ready to pile on two stone to play the Chardonnay-swilling PR girl again.
Zellweger's spoken of her interest to bring Bridget out of retirement before, but said the idea of piling on the pounds put her right off the idea.
"Can I just tell you my body is whacked by the time we finish one of those. It doesn't know what has happened because it thinks there's supposed to be a baby and there's no christening," she revealed in 2007.
"Did you see that movie about fast food, Supersize Me?
"I had a panic attack with all the specialists talking about how bad this is for you, long term, putting on that much weight in short periods of time and they're all saying, 'You must stop this now or you will die'."
Tie me up
Desperate Housewives siren Eva Longoria admits she likes to be dominated in the bedroom.
Longoria plays man-eating Gabrielle Solis in the once-fresh, but now way-past-its-prime show, and is wed to NBA basketball player Tony Parker.
"I’m not averse to being tied up with silk scarves," she tell Cosmopolitan mag.
"I like a man to take charge. There’s something very sexy about being submissive."
Who wants to see...
Posh and Becks in their keks?
Talking of the plastic pair...
A new book titled The Beckham Experiment claims that Mr Becks named his son Cruz after Tiny Tom Cruise.
Becks reportedly told the book's author: “I must admit, when (Victoria and I) met Tom, I remember turning around to Victoria and saying, ‘Cruise is a great name, but we could spell it different.’ And also, living in Spain, Cruz is spelled the way it is in Spanish. So that’s why we got it.” What a clever boy.
No naughty love shame
Despite the screaming headlines proclaiming that Morgan Freeman, 72, was all set to skip down the aisle and marry his step-granddaughter, 27, (enjoy your lunch), his rep has dimissed the reports as "complete garbage." The National Enquirer (yes, we know) claimed the actor is romancing E'Dena Hines, and that the twosome will wed once his divorce from wifey Myrna Colley-Lee is final.
Mayer the Player
Is Jennifer Aniston's on/off boyfriend John Mayer to blame for Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo's love split? RadarOnLine seems to think so.
Rad reports that Romo and Simpson hooked up recently, to "make up for lost time".
“They were hanging out and he picked up her phone and she got defensive about it,” a snitch said. “Tony found messages from John and went ballistic.”
Blogger Bites Back
Pictured above: Michael Jackson performs with his brothers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as part of their Victory Tour concert in 1984. Photo / AP
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