Yesterday, it was alleged that Michael Jackson was seriously ill and in desperate need of a lung transplant - but the rumours have been dispelled by the singer's spokesman as a 'total fabrication'.

They were made by Jackson biographer Ian Halperin, who claimed that he was suffering from emphysema, chronic gastrointestinal bleeding, and alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency, and had lost 95% of the vision in one eye as a result of the illness. His brother Jermaine had also reportedly confirmed that he was in ill health.

However, Dr Thome, his spokesman, released a statement today denying the allegations and claiming that Halperin was merely seeking publicity for his book.

It said: "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 unauthorized 'biography.' The writer's wild allegations concerning Mr. Jackson's health are a total fabrication. Mr. Jackson is in fine health, and finalizing negotiations with a major entertainment company and television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances."