- The Washington Times - Friday, June 26, 2009

Although deemed the greatest entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records, a series of problems and scandals tarnished Michael Jackson’s King of Pop crown, earned by his raging popularity.

As early as the 1980s, the public noticed his skin lightening as well as his nose changing in appearance. In the mid-80s, he was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus, for which the treatments further lightened his skin. Mr. Jackson also had multiple nasal surgeries - his first rhinoplasty was in 1979 - a forehead lift, thinned lips and cheekbone surgery.

But Mr. Jackson faced bigger troubles than being questioned for his strangely altered appearance in September 1993, when he was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.

A year later, in 1994, Mr. Jackson and his first wife, Lisa Marie Presley, shared a forced, awkward kiss onstage at the MTV Music Awards, raising further questions about the legitimacy of their relationship. The pair divorced in 1996, and he married Debbie Rowe later the same year.

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Mr. Jackson and Ms. Rowe divorced after four years of marriage, during which they never lived together.

The negative press continued when Mr. Jackson dangled his 9-month-old son Prince Michael II, nicknamed “Blanket,” from a balcony of a hotel in Germany.

Ten years after the original accusations of child molestation, Mr. Jackson was arrested and charged with molesting a 12-year-old cancer patient in 2003. He went on trial in 2005, showing up one hour and 40 minutes late and in pajamas on March 10, but won acquittal.

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