If you were trying to pinpoint the exact moment when things started to go downhill for Michael Jackson, a possible guess would be the afternoon of January 27, 1984, when Michael (then at the height of his career, riding the Thriller wave) was severely burned while shooting the Jacksons' now-infamous Pepsi commercial.
According to an article in the new issue of Us Weekly--the magazine that just acquired and released disturbing, previously unseen footage of the Pepsi shoot accident--Michael was never quite the same after being set ablaze by pyrotechnics that day at L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium. Us reports that Michael's addiction to various medications began after he was prescribed several types of painkillers to ease the suffering from the second- and third-degree burns on his scalp and body.
It makes us wonder, sadly, how Michael's life and career might have panned out, had this horrific fireworks accident never occurred that fateful day.
Us Weekly's never-before-seen accident footage can be viewed below. Please be warned it is quite graphic: