Michael Jackson’s pet chimp Bubbles reportedly tried to kill himself in 2003 after his master was charged with child-molestation.
The chimpanzee had been moved out of Jacko’s Neverland ranch earlier that year amid fears he could harm his children Prince, Paris and Michael Jr.
And according to The Times of India, after the King of Pop was charged, “his favorite pet, a chimpanzee named Bubbles tried to commit suicide.”
Bubbles – who is now 35 and lives at the Centre for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida – was thankfully saved by medics that December, and no further details about the incident have been made available.
Jacko bought Bubbles from an animal trainer for $65,000 in the 1980s, and they lived side-by-side at Neverland, where Bubbles slept in a crib and ate sweets in the cinema.
However, as he grew to 12st he’s said to have become more aggressive, prompting the move to a California trainer in 2003.
It comes after the world’s top primatologist, Jane Goodall, said she believed Bubbles had been punched in the face and kicked in the stomach whilst living with Jackson.
Furthermore, she claimed that when she tried to talk to the star about it, he flew off the handle.
Speaking in 2014, the expert told
“Bubbles is still alive and he’s beautiful. But when he was with Michael he was being beaten.”
She didn’t name Michael as Bubbles’ alleged abuser, but Jack Gordon, the ex-husband of the star’s sister La Toya once claimed he saw Michael attack the defenceless creature.
He said: “I saw Michael punch Bubbles in the face, kick him in the stomach.”
The Jackson family has denied the claims that Michael was abusive towards Bubbles.
It was also claimed the chimp self-harmed after learning of Jackson’s death from a prescription drug-induced overdose in 2009.
However, the Centre For Great Apes founder, Patti Ragan, denied the claims, insisting Bubbles has never been told about Michael’s death and wouldn’t understand anyway.
The claims have resurfaced in the run-up to the release of new documentary Leaving Neverland, which features interviews with two men who claim they were repeatedly abused by the singer over a number of years.
In 2005, Michael was acquitted at a very public trial after being charged with seven counts of child molestation.