LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Since Michael Jackson’s sudden death on June 25, the rumor mill over details of his bizarre personal life has ground away nearly non-stop, and on Friday, one company said it was turning his hair into diamonds. That one is true.
The claims this week included a report in Rolling Stone magazine that a prosthetic nose he wore apparently went missing when he was taken to the morgue, and a British tabloid trumpeted a headline that he fathered a secret love-child.
In one by-product of the “Thriller” singer’s death, a Chicago company said on Friday it had obtained some of the hair Jackson burned while filming a 1984 Pepsi commercial and planned to create a limited edition of diamonds from it.
“Absolutely this is for real,” said Dean VandenBiesen, founder of LifeGem, which has a patent on a process that extracts carbon from hair, turns it into crystals and then into high-quality laboratory diamonds.
VandenBiesen told Reuters he thought the company could make about 10 diamonds. No sale price has been set but VandenBiesen said LifeGem created three diamonds from locks of Beethoven’s hair in 2007, and sold one of them for around $200,000.
Separately, the August 6 issue of Rolling Stone magazine reported that not only was the left arm of Jackson’s dead body “scored with needle marks” -- claims that have arisen before -- but he wore an artificial nose that was missing when he was taken to the Los Angeles county morgue.
“The prosthesis that he normally attached to his damaged nose was missing, revealing bits of cartilage surrounding a small dark hole,” the magazine said in an unsourced report.
While that report could not be confirmed, Los Angeles coroner’s officials did say earlier this week they were probing security breaches in their offices.
The coroner’s office is expected to release an official cause of death next week which could shed light on some of the reports, including Jackson’s possible use of powerful drugs.
And even as custody of Jackson’s three children is set to be decided in court on August 3, The Sun newspaper speculated the singer may have had a love-child raised in Norway.
Omer Bhatti, 25, sparked interest when he was spotted sitting with the singer’s immediate family at Jackson’s public memorial earlier this month. Bhatti reportedly spent time with Jackson at his Neverland Valley Ranch in the 1990s and was known as “Little Michael”.
But another of Jackson’s former proteges, singer Ricky Harlow, told celebrity website People.com on Friday that although they were close he doubted Bhatti was Jackson’s son.
“They had a father-and-son type of connection,” Harlow, 26, told People, “but I never thought he (Jackson) was his biological father.”
In Jackson’s 2002 will, the singer listed only three children now living: Prince Michael Jackson, Jr, Paris Michael Kathering Jackson and Prince Michael Joseph Jackson II.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte