Star Jackson vanishes in the Luton triangle

MICHAEL JACKSON was at the centre of a classic showbiz mystery last night after he admitted being addicted to painkillers and called off his world tour. Following a midnight flight across the Atlantic with his friend Elizabeth Taylor, the entertainer disappeared after his privately chartered jet landed at Luton airport.

Jackson, in a tape released by his publicity agent in Los Angeles, had said he could not bear the stress of performances while fighting addiction and facing allegations that he sexually abused a boy in California.

He was then flown on a Boeing 727 from a remote airfield in Mexico - the latest stage of the 'Dangerous' tour - to Luton, via Canada and Iceland. There is confusion about his next move, but there are reports that he was then secretly taken to a private psychiatric hospital in London.

Other rumours had him leaving Luton in the early hours of yesterday morning and travelling to Switzerland with Ms Taylor. She has a luxury villa at Gstaad but there were no signs of the couple there. When the 727 landed in Geneva, only Taylor left the plane, speeding away in a limousine.

In his message yesterday, Jackson, 35, said it was impossible for him to continue performing because of his addiction and the stress of accusations - which police are investigating - that last year he sexually abused a 13-year-boy in California. Police have recently made a number of searches at several of Jackson's Southern California homes and taken away boxes of material.

The singer said the painkillers were prescribed after he recently underwent reconstructive scalp surgery. His scalp was badly burned by an explosion during the filming of a Pepsi- Cola commercial several years ago.

He said: 'It is time for me to acknowledge my need for treatment in order to regain my health. I became increasingly more dependent on the painkillers to get me through the days of my tour.' He described charges of sexual molestation as 'an extortion attempt' by the father of the child. There have been growing fears about Jackson's health after he repeatedly postponed concerts on his current tour.

In his statement, the reclusive entertainer credited Taylor with advising him to cancel the remaining dates on his tour and repair his health. Taylor, a reformed alcoholic, visited Jackson on Thursday in Mexico City, where he was said to be bedridden with a severe cold. She is reported to have arranged for him to go to a clinic in Gstaad, where she has a chalet with an antique horsedrawn sleigh on the lawn and uninterrupted views of the Alps. The area between Gstaad and Lake Geneva is dotted with private clinics specialising in the treatment of addictions.

Dr Michael Farrell, a consultant psychiatrist at the National Addiction Centre, London, said painkiller addiction was often linked to depression: 'People who are depressed have a lower pain threshold.'

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam