Jackson Neverland funeral ruled out as will surfaces
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The family of Michael Jackson ruled out holding a poignant funeral at the stars
Neverland estate on Wednesday as the details of the tragic pop icons will were made public for the first time.
An army of journalists and crowds of fans had flocked to Jacksons sprawling Neverland Ranch estate on
Tuesday after reports the King of Pops body would be placed on display for a public viewing before a private
service on Sunday.
However the Jackson family dispelled frenzied speculation that the funeral could see Neverland evolve into a
permanent resting place for the singer similar to Elvis Presleys Graceland in Memphis.
Contrary to previous news reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private
viewing at Neverland, a statement released by the familys public relations firm said.
Plans are underway regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans
Local media reported a public memorial for Jackson may now be held at the Staples Center or the bigger Los
Angeles Coliseum, venue for the 1984 Olympic Games. Reports suggested a ceremony could be held Tuesday.
The Jackson familys representatives declined to comment.
The confusion over Jacksons funeral arrangements came as the picture surrounding the stars estate appeared
to clear with the emergence of a 2002 will filed at Los Angeles Superior Court.
In yet another surprising twist to the aftermath of Jacksons death, it was revealed that soul legend Diana Ross
had been named as a back-up guardian to the singers children in the event of his mother Katherines death.
The five-page document also revealed the singers assets were to be left in the Michael Jackson Family Trust
but the terms of the trust were not disclosed.
Documents filed in addition to the will valued Jacksons estate at more than 500 million dollars, although it was
not clear how that figure had been reached. Jackson was believed to be heavily in debt at the time of his death.
While Katherine Jackson was named as carer for her sons children, the 65-year-old Ross was named as
guardian if the singers mother died before him.
Three associates for Jackson attorney John Branca, music executive John McClain and accountant Barry
Siegel were named co-executors of the will.
There was no mention anywhere of Jacksons father Joe in the will while the document also confirmed no
provisions had been made for ex-wife Debbie Rowe.
On Monday a court granted Katherine Jackson temporary guardianship of the singers children, Prince Michael,
12, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II, 7, and appointed her as temporary administrator of her sons estate.
A judge rejected a move by Branca and McClain to have Katherine Jackson removed as administrator of the
estate. A hearing has been set for July 6.
Jackson died from an apparent cardiac arrest on Thursday aged 50. A cause of death has not yet been
determined pending the results of toxicology tests.
However there was renewed speculation linking the singer to powerful prescription drugs Wednesday amid
reports that the sedative Propofol often used as an anesthetic in hospitals was found at his home.
There is no conceivable way this drug can be properly prescribed for home use, a source told, which
described the drug as an extremely dangerous and potent substance only available to medical personnel.
Earlier, a former nurse who cared for Jackson told CNN the star pleaded with her to provide him with Diprivan
the brand name for Propofol in the last months of his life.
Police detectives are reportedly seeking to identify and interview multiple doctors who treated Jackson in the
years before his death.
Later Wednesday, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declined to confirm reports it had joined
the probe as investigators sought help in pinning down the source of prescription medications.
We routinely offer assistance to any agency regarding the Federal Controlled Substance Act, however, at this
time we have nothing further to comment about the death of Michael Jackson, a DEA statement said.
Meanwhile Jackson had shot to the top of the charts in the United States on Wednesday with Billboard revealing
that the singers music occupied nine of the top 10 spots on the Top Pop Catalog Album chart.
on epaper page 11
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