June 28, 2009

Chopra: Michael Jackson had lupus

Dr. Deepak Chopra says his longtime friend Michael Jackson suffered from lupus and vitiligo and had been known to use strong pain medication, People.com reported.

Jackson, 50, died at his home in Los Angeles Thursday. The cause of death has not been determined.

Chopra told People.com children who were physically or verbally abused can develop autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, later in life.

Michael, he was never sexually abused but according to him, he was traumatized verbally and physically in his childhood, and it was a big issue with him, said Chopra, a spiritual teacher as well as medical doctor.

Lupus can cause skin discoloration, such as vitiligo, and Jackson had huge white patches all over his body, Chopra said, adding Jackson had taken Oxycontin, Vicodin and Demerol at various times in his adult life.

Chopra's son, Gotham, also a friend of Jackson's, said the pop star was disturbed by reports that he bleached his skin to appear white.

He identified as being a black person and so it was troubling to him that everyone thought that he was a hater of his own race, Gotham Chopra said. And the lupus, why he didn't just come out more clearly and say that was the problem, I'm not sure. But I know it was something that bothered him a lot.