Yellow Press

Enquirer: Michael Jackson Near Death

In yet another celebrity illness scoop, sources are telling the National Enquirer that Michael Jackson has only a few months left to live. An addiction to painkillers and alcohol is to blame, it says, and one source close to the star adds, "It's tragic. His condition is just so far gone, I'd be surprised if he lasts six months.” According to Ian Halperin, author of a new biography of the star, Jackson has been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which causes lung and liver disease. "His muscles and lungs are deteriorating, and he's bedridden much of the time. He can walk, but not for very long,” says a family friend. Meanwhile, Jackson’s spokesman denies the reports: "Mr. Jackson is in fine health.” Normally it would be easy to dismiss pretty much any claim made by the Enquirer, but given its recent scoops on Paul Newman’s affliction with lung cancer and Patrick Swayze’s bout with pancreatic cancer, the Enquirer just might be transforming into a reputable—or at the least, semi-accurate—rag.