Super-producer Quincy Jones, one of Michael Jackson's most successful musical partners -- they combined on the "Thriller" album and "We Are The World" -- tells the latest issue of Details that the King of Pop "didn't want to be black."
When asked if he believed Jackson's story about having a skin-lightening disease, Jones told the magazine:
"I don't believe in any of that bullsh-t, no. No. Never. I've been around junkies and stuff all my life. I've heard every excuse. It's like smokers -- 'I only smoke when I drink' and all that stuff. But it's bullsh-t. You're justifying something that's destructive to your existence. It's crazy.
"I mean, I came up with Ray Charles, man. You know, nobody gonna pull no wool over my eyes. He did heroin 20 years! Come on. And black coffee and gin for 40 years. But when he called me to come over to see him when he was in the hospital on his way out, man, he had emphysema, hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver, and five malignant tumors. Please, man! I've been around this all my life. So it's hard for somebody to pull the wool over my eyes. But when somebody's hell-bent on it, you can't stop 'em."
Jones called the chemical peels and other cosmetic surgery that Jackson went through "ridiculous."
"And I don't understand it," he said. "But he obviously didn't want to be black."
Jones said he tried to talk Jackson out of making the dramatic changes to his appearance but it was hard because "Michael' s a Virgo, man -- he's very set in his ways. You can talk him out of it. Chemical peels and all that stuff."
On the issue of the deep emotional scars Jackson may have been compensating for, Jones scoffed.
"I'm just a musician and a record producer," he said. "I'm not a psychiatrist. I don't understand all that stuff. We all got problems. But there's a great book out called 'Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart.' Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man. Stop whinin' about what's wrong, because everybody's had a rough time, in one way or another."