Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Jackson 'transplant' claim denied

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is in "fine health" according to his spokesman

A spokesman for Michael Jackson has denied reports the singer is suffering from a rare respiratory disease and needs a lung transplant.

Dr Tohme Tohme said in a statement issued to Reuters that stories claiming the singer was unwell were not true.

He added that author Ian Halperin made the claims to promote his unauthorised biography of the 50-year-old singer.

"The writer's wild allegations concerning Mr Jackson's health are a total fabrication," he said.

Halperin claimed in the Sunday Express that Jackson was suffering from an illness that affected the blood and lungs.

He told the newspaper the singer could barely speak, suffers from emphysema, internal bleeding, and has lost 95% of the vision in his left eye.

'Fine health'

Dr Tohme told Reuters: "Concerning this author's allegations, we would hope in the future that legitimate media will not continue to be exploited by such an obvious attempt to promote this unauthorised biography.

"Mr Jackson is in fine health and finalising negotiations with a major entertainment company and television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances."

Jackson recently settled a legal dispute over a music contract between himself and an Arab sheik.

The King of Bahrain's son, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, was suing Jackson for 4.7m, claiming he reneged on a music contract.

In November, Jackson's lawyer told the High Court the singer was unable to travel to London to give evidence because he was unwell.

But medical experts said Jackson was fit enough to travel, and the case was settled just before he was due to travel to the UK.

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