On January 27th 1984, Michal Jackson was at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, filming the Pepsi spot in front of fans. A pyrotechnic malfunction ignited the singer's hair, and handlers rushed to his aid. The incident left Michael with second-degree burns on his scalp.
KING: That was the Pepsi fire, right?
KLEIN: Yes. But then what happened is he used a great deal of what are called tissue expanders in his scalp, which are balloons that grow up — blow up the scalp. And then what they do is they try to cut out the scar.
Well, because he had lupus, what happened is every time they would do it, the bald spot would keep enlarging.
So, I mean, he went through a lot of painful procedures with these tissue expanders until I put a stop to it. I said no more tissue expanders, because he had to wear a hat all the time and it was really painful for him.
KING: So what would his — without the hat, what would he look like?
KLEIN: Well, he had a big raised ball on the top of his head because of this device. It would expand the tissue, which you cut out.
But (INAUDIBLE) would you — (INAUDIBLE) too much stretch back in the scar, you understand?
KING: Did you see him one other time?
KLEIN: Of course I did. But he would have a stretch back on the scar.
I mean the scar would get worse after they removed it.
And I had to put a stop to it. So I told Michael, we have to stop this. And that’s when I fired this plastic surgeon altogether.
And I said I can’t deal with this anymore. We’re going to deal with me as your doctor or you’re going to have to find another doctor if you want to work with him.
"When they were trying to repair that burned spot, he had a balloon under his scalp that was inflated..He let me feel it. It was a huge mound. As the skin got stretched, they cut it out and stitched the scalp. He was in excruciating pain."