Prince Jackson Says Dad Michael Jackson 'Had a Lot of Insecurity' Around His 'Blotchy' Skin from Vitiligo

Prince Jackson is opening up about his father, Michael Jackson, and the skin condition that rocked his confidence.

Prince Jackson Says Dad Michael Jackson 'Had a Lot of Insecurity' Around His 'Blotchy' Skin from Vitiligo
Life Style

During an appearance on Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast, the King of Pop's eldest child, 26, spoke to host Mike Tyson about his father's experience with vitiligo — a chronic disorder that, often due to genetics or a change in the immune system, causes patches of skin to lose its pigmentation, giving these areas a milky white appearance.

“When I was younger, he was always explaining to me, speaking about that," said Prince. "I think it was even in the autopsy report. I think the cause of it is up for speculation, but it’s either vitiligo or some form of lupus contributed to the vitiligo."

Prince went on to say that the condition cause his father anxiety. "He had a lot of insecurity around, kind of looking blotchy in his appearance," said Prince. "So he wanted to see if he could smooth out his appearance, to help with his security on his physical appearance.”

Michael Jackson had addressed the condition himself in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993. At the time, his changing appearance and extensive cosmetic surgery had garnered widespread speculation that he was trying to change the color of his skin.

"I have a skin disorder the pigmentation of my skin. It is something I cannot help,” the singer, who died in 2009, said at the time. “When people make up stories that I don't want to be who I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me. I can't control it. But what about all the millions of people who sit in the sun to become darker, to become other than what they are? Nobody says nothing about that."

"It's in my family, I can't control it. It makes me very sad," he added, denying that he was bleaching his skin. "I try to control it, and using makeup evens it out because I have blotches on my skin and I have to even it out. But you know what's funny? Why is that so important? That's not important to me."

Prince is one of Michael Jackson’s three children along with sister Paris, 25, and brother Bigi, 21, who was previously known as Blanket. 

The three rarely give interviews, but on Tyson's podcast, Prince got particularly candid about his childhood, acknowledging that he's had an interesting life. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to appreciate how unique and interesting it was,” he said.  

Part of that was life in Neverland, Michael’s California compound which Prince described as his home growing up. “That’s pretty crazy,” he said, recalling the animals that were at the ranch including “elephants, tigers, lions, a lot of primates like monkeys, gorillas, orangutans."

"[My dad] loved animals when he was a kid," said Prince. "As he was making more money and more music, he was able to buy more animals."

Elsewhere on Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, Prince candidly spoke about his father's legacy and the generations of artists who have taken inspiration from him.

“I think The Weeknd is a really good comparison,” Prince said. “I think it’s apparent he was inspired by my dad, the way he sings [and] a lot of his music videos. But I think overall artistry, Beyoncé has really been able to stay relevant and adapt with it and still performs at the peak of her career like every time she performs.”

“He was very interesting,” said Prince. “Personally, I’m doing a lot of research on him and learning a lot about his story. And there’s so much to cover….when you see the performances from the Bad tour, the Dangerous tour, you see it from his perspective when he’s looking out and it’s just a sea of people watching him.”

He continued: “I always wondered doing that night after night, month after month, What impact does that have on you? To see a sea of people just singing your lyrics back to you and wanting to reach out and touch you. The impact of that has got to be very profound.”