Michael Sued over Alleged Detox

Jackson's reputed herbal guru files $1 million suit accusing pop star of failing to pay for detox treatment

By Joal Ryan Oct 14, 2004 1:20 AMTags

Michael Jackson's reputed herbal guru has a bitter pill for the popster: a nearly $1 million lawsuit.

The self-educated "intracellular therapist, biochemist and naturalist" known as Dr. Sebi filed suit against Jackson Tuesday in Los Angeles, City News Service reported.

The complaint alleges the embattled entertainer stiffed Sebi for treatment that helped Jackson kick a painkiller addiction.

Sebi (real name: Alfredo Bowman) wants Jackson to cough up $380,000 for the allegedly unpaid bill, and $600,000 to cover the business he claims he lost while catering to the superstar, the wire service reported.

Jackson publicist Raymone Bain said she was unaware of the Sebi lawsuit. She was aware, however, of the herbalist's allegations.

"We have always maintained that Mr. Sebi was a friend of Mr. Jackson and that he has not performed any professional services for him," Bain said Wednesday.

As to Sebi's claims that Jackson sought him out to get off painkillers? "That is untrue," Bain said.

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Sebi could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

In March, Us Weekly reported Jackson had summoned Sebi to the celebrity haven of Aspen, Colorado, to "detoxify" him. The magazine said the singer was addicted to alcohol and painkillers.

Earlier this month, Sebi told TV's Celebrity Justice that a regimen of "African bio-mineral cell food" put the step back in Jackson's Moonwalk.

Sebi said the pay dispute caused him to part ways with Jackson, 46, during the summer. He said he worried the star, currently facing trial on child-molestation charges, would suffer without his cell food.

"I feel very, very, very, very, very sad because I know...what we offered him he will not find anywhere else," Sebi told Celebrity Justice.

When not claiming to have cured Jackson, Sebi, with offices in Beverly Hills and Honduras, claims to have cured "arthritis, asthma, cancer, AIDS, diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, epilepsy, herpes, heart and vital organ dysfunctions, leukemia, mental disorder, obesity, tumors."

Oh, and also "a variety of female and male problems." (This exhaustive list was compiled from a biographical sketch of Sebi on the Website for African-Americans for Balanced Health.)

The late TLC singer Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, killed in a car crash in Honduras in 2002, was a celeb client of Sebi.

In March, FoxNews.com reported that Sebi's Website, now inaccessible, boasted that the formal-education-lacking good doctor had not attended so much as even kindergarten.

While Celebrity Justice reported that Sebi "still loves" Jackson, Bain doubted the feeling was mutual.

Said Bain: "I know if someone who was a friend of mine sued me for $380,000, I wouldn't be a friend of his."