Michael Jackson lung illness denied

Biographer alleges singer has potentially fatal disease

NEW YORK -- Michael Jackson's spokesperson is denying a report that the artist is ill with a serious lung disease, calling the claim "a total fabrication."

In a recent interview with In Touch, author Ian Halperin said Jackson, 50, is suffering from Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, which can be fatal. Halperin is the author of a forthcoming unauthorized biography of Jackson.

"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,'" said Dr. Tohme Tohme, described in a statement as Jackson's "official and sole spokesperson."

"The writer's wild allegations concerning Mr. Jackson's health are a total fabrication," Tohme added.

The statement concludes with word that Jackson is "in fine health" and is "finalizing negotiations with a major entertainment company and television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances."

Although the artist has been seen in public in a wheelchair this year and often wears a mask over his nose and mouth, Jackson has also been working on his first new album since 2001 on and off with collaborators such as Akon and will.i.am.