Is Sammy Sosa the New Michael Jackson?

Baseball slugger Sammy Sosa is sporting a much lighter skin tone these days.

But he insists he is not trying to look like the late Michael Jackson, nor is he suffering from a skin disease such as vitiligo (the skin pigmentation condition from which Michael Jackson allegedly suffered), reported.

Instead, Sosa said that his lighter skin is from using a facial cosmetic cream.

"It's a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin some," he said during the "Primer Impacto" program at the Univision Spanish network.

"It's a cream that I have, that I use to soften (my skin), but has bleached me some. I'm not a racist, I live my life happily," he said.

Sosa's much lighter look was photographed at last week's Grammy Latino Awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

The photo of Sosa and his wife spread quickly throughout Spanish and English Web sites and has been the subject of much speculation including that Sosa had undergone some sort of surgery to lighten his skin.

"What happened was that I had been using the cream for a long time and that, combined with the bright TV lights, made my face look whiter than it really is. I don't think I look like Michael Jackson," Sosa added.

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