"Just before we went on tour for "Dangerous," he had an operation, in order to help the scarring. But he didn't have enough time to heal," said Faye. "So in order to keep going, he started using painkillers, because it is very painful when nerve endings are severed."
Faye said she has no idea what drugs Jackson was taking.
Bush and Faye were with the star in Bangkok when Jackson's world exploded: California authorities announced they were investigating the singer for allegedly sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.
"The day that came out, he was stepping onstage in front of 80,000 people," recalled Bush.
"It was devastating," said Faye, "because he had to go out every day in front of a world and the media that was [saying] he was pedophile."
Faye said painkillers "gave [Jackson] the ability to get through" the combination of the emotional pain brought about by the allegations and his already existing physical pain.
A few months after the allegations came to light, Jackson settled out of court with his accuser for a reported $20 million.
Then, nearly a decade later, another boy came forward, also claiming that Jackson had sexually abused him. The boy was seen in a British documentary holding hands with the musician, and Jackson spoke of their sharing a bed. The remark fueled Jackson's prosecution.
"He said the word 'bed,'" recalled Bush. "A lot of people think sexual, and that is the farthest thing from Michael's mind."
Jackson's inner circle is adamant that the star was not a pedophile or homosexual, as many have speculated. According to his friends, Jackson constantly checked out the "hot girls" who appeared in his videos.
Jackson was acquitted on all charges after a three-and-a-half month trial. The taint of the accusation, however, lingered. The trial on the second round of allegations was devastating for Jackson.
Karen Faye and Michael Bush were at Neverland early every morning to get their friend and boss ready for court.
"Before I washed his hair, we knelt down on the ground and [Jackson] put his arms around me and wept. We would pray for God to help us and for people to know the truth," said Faye, adding that situation was just "vicious" and tore Jackson up inside.
Each day when he walked into the courtroom, running the gauntlet of cameras, he wore a new outfit designed by the stylists who became his friends -- a small morale booster.
In his art, Michael Jackson played repeatedly with the idea of metamorphosis. Many of his music videos, including "Thriller," "Black or White" and "Remember the Time" feature him morphing into someone or something else.
Nowhere was the theme more prominent than in the little-known mini-movie "Ghosts," in which Jackson becomes a middle-aged white man.
As his makeup artist for more than 25 years, Karen Faye knew Jackson's face almost as well as he did. She said one thing is certain: Jackson had vitiligo, a skin condition producing white blotches.
As for the eyeliner and lipstick Jackson preferred, Faye said: "He didn't like the line that was drawn between what's allowed for men and what's allowed for women."
Faye acknowledged that Jackson had plastic surgery. "He was always trying to perfect everything," she said. Faye denied, however, rumors that the star had a prosthetic nose.