The latest Michael Jackson rumour to hit the tabloids has the star fighting off a potentially "flesh-eating" superbug.
The 50-year-old singer is said to have contracted the skin infection, which is resistant to traditional antibiotics, while having surgery to reconstruct his nose.
"The infection has spread throughout his face and body and is being aggressively treated by doctors," Britain's The Sun quoted a source as saying.
"There's a chance it could turn into a flesh-eating disorder where it begins to kill off his skin, so he’s being very carefully monitored."
Jackson is reportedly receiving treatment for the bug via an intravenous drip and was pictured leaving an LA clinic with inflamed and blotchy skin partly concealed beneath a surgical mask.
"It is possible that Mr Jackson has a staph infection," celebrity plastic surgeon Dr Anthony Youn said.
"In some worse cases surgeons will have to remove the infected tissue if it dies - leaving the patient needing major reconstructive surgery. It is particularly worrying if it’s on the face.”
In December, author and celebrity commentator Ian Halperin claimed Jackson had a potentially fatal lung disease.
However the singer’s spokesman dismissed the claims.
"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," he said.