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Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest in June 2009© Getty

Michael Jackson's chimpanzee Bubbles bit this young celebrity: 'I have a scar'

The late King of Pop's pet chimpanzee is now living a peaceful life in Florida

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
3 days ago
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Over 15 years since King of Pop Michael Jackson's passing, his legacy still lives on through his music, his three children, and of course, his pet chimpanzee Bubbles.

While the now 41-year-old ape is living a peaceful life at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida, it turns out he left a few impressions along the way.

In a new conversation with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on the Third Hour of Today, Rashida Jones revealed that she was in fact bitten by Bubbles when she was just a kid.

"I have a scar," she even told them, showing the hosts the area on her wrist where the chimp had left a mark. When asked whether she'd go visit him in Florida for some closure, Rashida, 48, simply replied: "No, I think we're good."

As the daughter of Quincy Jones, a close collaborator and friend of the late Michael's, Rashida recalled in a previous interview with The New Yorker what it was like to have him around the house often.

"He was really young. My dad met him on The Wiz. He was maybe nineteen. He was like a big kid with lots of animals," she recalled, before revealing how the incident with Bubbles actually happened."

Bubbles when he lived with Michael© Getty Images
Bubbles when he lived with Michael

"It was my fault," she admitted, before backtracking: "Well, no, it's not my fault. I am not the one who put a chimpanzee in overalls and a diaper. But I did antagonize him. I was nine. He was in a cage, and he took my hairband out of my hand." 

Rashida continued: "Everybody else had left the room, and I was, like, 'Give it back!' He was playing with it and wouldn't give it back to me. So I opened the cage, and he came out." 

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At this point, she added that Bubbles started to get more rambunctious and caused a bit more mayhem than she'd expected or hoped for. "Then he started running around the room and throwing books. A bit of a nightmare, now that I think about it." 

Rashida Jones and Quincy Jones attend the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.© Getty Images
Rashida Jones revealed that Bubbles bit her when she was just nine years old

"I went up to him and was, like, 'No! No!'— because I'd seen Michael say 'No!' to him. And I slapped him on the head, just a light, little slap. And he took my hand like a sandwich and bit into it."

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The star deemed the incident "traumatic" and remembered that he was retired and in Florida, and when asked retired from what, she joked: "Biting children? I saw that he's the alpha male of his group, in whatever chimp retirement home he's at."

Michael Jackson 1994 Grammy awards with Quincy Jones© Getty Images
Michael and Quincy were very close as both friends and collaborators

The actress, who is promoting her new series Sunny, also remembered being around to see the release of Thriller, Michael and Quincy's seminal 1982 collaboration that won eight Grammys, became the best-selling album of all time, and spawned iconic hits and music videos like "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and the title track.

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"I remember we went to the set of the ["Thriller"] video, in Griffith Park," Rashida shared. "We were reading the storyboards, and right when we got to the part where he turns around and he's a werewolf, Michael walked into the trailer with those crazy yellow eyes. Very scary!" 

Rashida Jones as Suzie in Sunny © Apple TV+
The actress currently stars in the new Apple TV+ series "Sunny"

"It changed everything for my dad. I remember watching the Grammys at home, and he won every single Grammy. I had so many 'Thriller' T-shirts and memorabilia. I don't think I have any of that anymore. That's really sad."

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