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Anti-drugs agents raid clinic of Jackson’s doctor

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 24, 2009

NDTV

Federal drug agents searched the Houston clinic of Michael Jackson’s doctor on Wednesday, according to a news report, even as investigators in California sought more information from the man.

A television channel reported that officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration were at Dr Conrad Murray’s clinic in north Houston.

Video footage showed two Houston police officers guarding the front door.

Murray was Michael Jackson’s personal physician, and was with Jackson when he died.

Murray, who is based in Las Vegas and is licensed in California, Nevada and Texas, has been interviewed by police but he has not been considered a suspect in the singer’s death.

Meanwhile, investigators in California are also seeking more information from Murray, according to his attorney, Edward Chernoff.

The attorney posted a statement on his law firm’s website late on Tuesday saying investigators from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office have asked for medical records in addition to those already provided by Murray.

“The coroner wants to clear up the cause of death; we share that goal”, Chernoff said in his statement.

“Based on Dr Murray’s minute-by-minute and item-by-item description of Michael Jackson’s last days, he should not be a target of criminal charges.”

Murray has emerged as a central figure in the investigation into Jackson’s death.

The doctor, who had been recently hired by Jackson, was with him in his mansion and tried to revive him.

Although Chernoff has said the doctor didn’t give the pop star any drugs that contributed to his death, Murray has nonetheless received attention from those angry over the singer’s death.

Investigators found the powerful anesthetic propofol in Jackson’s home, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.

The person is not authorised to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

The officials are working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and California attorney general’s office to determine how the medications got there.

Police detectives have already spoken to Murray twice – once immediately after the singer’s death and again two days later.

Police investigators say Murray is cooperating in their investigation.

A cause of death has yet to be determined for the pop star. The coroner’s office is expecting to release autopsy results next week.

Chernoff’s spokeswoman Miranda Sevcik said the interview with coroner’s investigators might happen on Friday.

Murray is currently in Las Vegas, where he has a medical office, she said, and Chernoff would be speaking to investigators without the doctor being present.

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Portrait of Jackson’s pill consumption emerges

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 11, 2009

CNN.COM

Los Angeles detectives are waiting on the coroner's report on the death of Michael Jackson.

Los Angeles detectives are waiting on the coroner’s report on the death of Michael Jackson.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Singer Michael Jackson took more than 10 Xanax pills a night, asking his employees to get the prescription medicine under their names and also personally traveling to doctors’ offices in other states to obtain them, said a confidential document from 2004 that CNN obtained Thursday.

The document from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department contains confidential interviews conducted with two of Jackson’s former security guards as officials prepared for Jackson’s child molestation trial in 2005.

The singer was acquitted after the 14-week trial. But the information about the pills, and the lengths Jackson went to get them, adds to a growing mountain of claims tying the insomniac singer to drugs in recent days.

According to the drug’s Web site, Xanax is for the treatment of panic disorder.

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said Thursday detectives have spoken to a number of doctors who have treated Jackson over the years, and are looking into the singer’s prescription drug history.

Doctors who did not cooperate with investigators were issued subpoenas, a source told CNN Thursday. If needed, authorities will issue more, the source said.

Jackson died on June 25. Authorities are awaiting toxicology reports from the coroner’s office to determine the exact cause of death.

“And based on those, we will have an idea of what it is we are dealing (with): are we dealing with a homicide or are we dealing with an accidental overdose?” Bratton said.

The speculation that prescription drugs, particularly sedatives, could have played a role in Jackson’s death keeps coming up with each new nugget of information — and there have been many.

The Jackson family knows that the probe into his death can turn into a criminal case, a source close to the family told CNN on Thursday.

“The family is aware of a potential criminal prosecution,” said the source, who did not want to be identified.

The amount of Xanax that Jackson allegedly took surprised CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.

In addiction cases, people develop a tolerance to drugs and have to take more and more pills, Gupta said.

“No matter how you cut it, this is an extremely high dosage of Xanax,” Gupta said. “It is a huge red flag, even with the tolerance that I was talking about. This dosage is exceedingly high for any human being.”

Jackson’s attempt to battle sleep disorder

The 2004 document details a dark picture of Jackson’s attempts to battle his sleeping disorder.

One security guard that sheriff’s deputies interviewed said he expressed his concern about Jackson’s use of 10-plus pills a night to another staffer.

The second staffer replied: “Jackson was doing better because he was down from 30 to 40 Xanax pills a night,” according to the document.

One of the guards said he and three other employees would get prescriptions for Jackson under their names.

The second guard backed up the claim, saying he had picked up medicines for the singer that were in other people’s names.

The document contains the names of five doctors — some in California, some in New York and Florida. It was not immediately clear whether police have spoken to them as part of their investigation into Jackson’s death.

After the doctor visits, Jackson would be “out of it and sedated,” one guard said.

According to the sheriff’s office document, the guard who provided the bulk of the information quit his job after Jackson “fell on his face” in a hotel room and hurt himself. The employee told Jackson he was not comfortable getting prescriptions for him and left, he later told investigators.

Years later in 2006, Jackson was in Las Vegas, Nevada, trying to jump-start his career. Deal-maker Jack Wishna, who was helping the singer land a long-running show in Vegas, told CNN the singer would appear “drugged up” and “incoherent” — often so weak and emaciated he had to use a wheelchair to get around.

The comeback shows were canceled because of Jackson’s condition, Wishna said.

Around that time, sister Janet Jackson was so worried about Jackson that she tried to stage an intervention with assistance from her other brothers, two sources close to the Jackson family told CNN Wednesday.

Jackson reportedly ordered his security guards not to let the family members in. He also refused to take calls from his mother, Katherine, CNN has learned.

At the time, the Jackson family released a statement to People magazine denying the alleged intervention. But Janet Jackson was not among the signatories.

Along with the police investigation, which is being aided by the state attorney general’s office and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office has also drawn up a list of Jackson’s doctors and is trying to talk to them to determine what drugs they may have prescribed him.

Among them are Dr. Arnold Klein, Jackson’s dermatologist, and Dr. Conrad Murray, his cardiologist.

Klein told CNN Wednesday that Jackson was addicted to drugs at one point but had kicked the habit.

Murray, who has been interviewed by police, has repeatedly said he will withhold comment until the coroner’s tests are back.

Among others who have indicated that Jackson may have been using dangerous prescription medication are a nutritionist, Cherilyn Lee, who said Jackson pleaded for Diprivan despite being told of its harmful effects.

Sources close to Jackson told CNN that the insomniac singer traveled with an anesthesiologist who would “take him down” at night and “bring him back up” during a world tour in the mid-90s.

Another source involved with the probe told CNN that investigators found numerous bottles of prescription drugs in the singer’s $100,000-a-month rented mansion in Holmby Hills.

The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources, said police found Diprivan.

Diprivan is a powerful sedative that is administered intravenously and is known by its generic name Propofol.

Bratton did not elaborate on what was discovered.

“At the time of the death with search warrants, we were able to seize a number of items from the residence where the death occurred and those will assist in the investigation,” he said.

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MICHAEL JACKSON’S MEMORIAL

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 8, 2009

CNN.COM

Paris Katherine Jackson, 11, said goodbye to her father at the close of the memorial service.

Paris Katherine Jackson, 11, said goodbye to her father at the close of the memorial service.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Katherine addressed mourners at the Staples Center on Tuesday, tearfully telling them her father was “the best father you could ever imagine.”

“Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine,” the 11-year-old said. “And I just wanted to say I love him so much.”

Jackson’s children, who often have been hidden by veils or blankets when seen with their father, were sitting in the front row at the Staples Center as their father’s life and music were remembered.

Paris’ eloquent words led some to wonder whether her tribute was planned.

“No, no not at all,” said Kenny Ortega, who directed and coordinated the service, speaking to CNN’s Campbell Brown.

“None of us were aware they were even coming,” he told CNN’s Campbell Brown. “It was a surprise they were there. All of us who know them were delighted they were strong enough to come and feel this love and great outpouring for their dad.”

“We didn’t know who was going to speak,” Ortega said. “There was an openness we offered” the family to thank the audience.

Jackson’s remains were nearby in a closed, rose-draped, bronze casket. His brothers, who served as pallbearers, wore single white sequined gloves, a tribute to their brother’s signature look of the 1980s.

“Michael, when you left us, a part of me went with you,” brother Marlon Jackson said. “And a part of you will live forever within me, but also a part of you will live forever within all of us.”

Marlon Jackson said the world could not understand what his brother endured “being judged and ridiculed.”

“How much pain can one man take,” Marlon Jackson asked. “Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone.”

Before the final words Jackson’s band members, family, children and celebrities filled the stage to sing Jackson’s “Heal the World.”

The song followed a performance of “We are the World,” the 1985 hit written by Jackson and Lionel Richie to raise money for African famine relief. Video Watch a star-studded performance of ‘We are the World’ »

“The more I think and talk about Michael Jackson, I feel the King of Pop is not big enough for him,” said Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records. “I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.”

Several of Jackson’s older brothers carried his casket — bronze with 14-karat gold-plate handles, according to the manufacturer — to the front of the stage, which resembled a church sanctuary with a stained-glass backdrop. The Andrae Crouch Choir sang the hymn “Soon and Very Soon.”

Mariah Carey was joined by Trey Lorenz singing The Jackson 5’s 1970 hit “I’ll Be there” as a montage of Jackson photographs appeared on arena screens.

Queen Latifah, saying she was on stage to represent “millions of fans inspired by Michael,” said “Michael was the biggest star on earth.” Lionel Richie then performed the song “Jesus is Love.” Video

Stevie Wonder took the stage next.

“This is a moment that I wished that I didn’t live to see come, but as much as I can say that and mean it, I do know that God is good,” Wonder said. “And I do know that as much as we may feel, and do, that we need Michael with us, God must have needed him more.”

Wonder then delivered an emotional version of his 1971 song “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.”

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who spoke along with former Lakers legend Magic Johnson, said Michael Jackson set a world record for the “most charities supported by a pop star.”

Johnson said he met Jackson when the singer was a Lakers’ season ticket holder.

“I truly believe that Michael made me a better point guard and basketball player as I watched him be so great and be the greatest entertainer ever,” Johnson said.

Singer Jennifer Hudson sang Jackson’s song “Will You Be There.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton also addressed the crowd and spoke of Jackson’s contribution to the music world.

“When Michael started, it was a different world, but because Michael kept going, because he didn’t accept limitations, because he refused to let people decide his boundaries, he opened up the whole world in the music world,” Sharpton said. “He put on one glove, pulled his pants up and broke down the color curtain.”

Sharpton then addressed Jackson’s children.

“There wasn’t nothing strange about your daddy,” he said. “It was strange what your daddy had to deal with, but he dealt with it.”

John Mayer played lead guitar on the song “Human Nature,” from Jackson’s “Thriller” album.

An emotional Brooke Shields, who was 13 when she became close friends with Jackson, said they bonded “because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a very, very young age.”

“What we did do was laugh,” she recounted. “It was always a competition to see who could make the other one laugh more or be sillier.”

The service turned to tears, though, as Jackson’s brother Jermaine sang “Smile,” a favorite song of Michael’s.

Two of Martin Luther King Jr.’s children, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, also spoke about the King of Pop.

Usher later sang “Gone Too Soon,” as he walked toward Jackson’s casket.

Smokey Robinson joked about his reaction when 10-year-old Michael recorded a song Robinson had written.

“I quickly went over to him, because I wanted to see his birth certificate,” Robinson said. “I didn’t believe that someone that young could have a lot of know. You have to have a lot of know to sing that song.”

Earlier in the memorial Robinson read personal messages from several of Jackson’s celebrity friends who did not attend.

“Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my life, part of the fabric of my life, in a way that I can’t seem to find words to express” Diana Ross said in a message read by Robinson.

Robinson also read a message from former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, saying they had grown close after trips and performances in South Africa.

“We had great admiration for his talent and that he was able to triumph over tragedy on so many occasions in his life,” Robinson said, relaying the message.

The public memorial followed an earlier gathering by Jackson’s family and closest friends at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.

Michael Jackson’s Casket Expected at Memorial Service

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 7, 2009

THE WASHINGTON POST


MICHAEL

By Lisa De Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer

Michael Jackson’s casket will be front and center during his star-studded memorial service today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the entertainment Web site TMZ reported this morning.

The news sparked a frenzy of excitement among the anchors of the morning infotainment shows, all of which were broadcasting from outside the Staples Center in the pre-dawn darkness in order to capture the magnitude of the event.

The possible physical presence of the remains of the King of Pop — who died suddenly and suspiciously last week at age 50 — raises the specter that “crowd control could become an even bigger issue,” said “Today” host Meredith Vieira.

There was no way to independently confirm whether, in fact, The Casket will be onstage with the performers as the Land of La-La says ta-ta to Jackson, one of the best-known and most controversial entertainers ever. But TMZ, you’ll recall, has been leaving the traditional media mostly in the dust since it was the first to report Jackson had collapsed at his rented Holmby Hills mansion on June 25.

Family spokesperson Ken Sunshine, interviewed by Viera, refused to confirm or deny the casket reports — as did Al Sharpton, interviewed a short time later. But Sunshine did want Meredith to know that the Jackson family “has shown extraordinary dignity in a very emotional time” and that “Michael Jackson is the biggest figure emitting love ever.”

“Has anybody been to a wedding or family event when a Michael Jackson or Jackson Five song came on it wasn’t the highlight of the event?” Sunshine asked rhetorically.

Activity was spotted late Monday at the Forest Lawn Cemetery involving the Jackson family, the Associated Press reported. Jackson’s family was expected to hold a private funeral there. Los Angeles TV station KCAL-TV showed helicopter footage of a hearse backing up to the Hall of Liberty — a circular building at the cemetery that contains a 1,200 seat auditorium — to deliver a casket, the AP added. And, a few hours later, the casket was reloaded into the hearse and delivered to another nearby building, this time covered in a blue cloth.michael2

Fox News Channel showed aerial shots of a hearse at Forest Lawn where, the channel reported, a private family ceremony was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. local time. After that, Fox said, the family would “make the 13-mile journey” to Staples Center.

To help viewers understand how rich the soil is at Forest Lawn, the channel broadcast images of the faux headstones in which the names of other celebrities buried there had been “engraved” — names like Bette Davis, Buster Keaton, Liberace and Andy Gibb.

“You would think that the family wants to end this with a bang,” “Today” show correspondent Michael Owku, stationed at Forest Lawn, told Meredith Vieira. “They want to have a great big surprise for all the fans and all the friends that will be gathering there at Staples Center, and what bigger surprise than to suddenly have the casket of Michael Jackson up on stage for the last time?”

There is also no way to really fathom how many of the devoutly adoring and the simply curious will watch the service, which will be broadcast around the globe. But that didn’t stop the industry of celebrity navel gazers from forecasting the audience at an estimated 1 billion — more than one out of every seven people on earth.

Mariah Carey, Usher, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, and Jennifer Hudson are among those confirmed to participate in the service, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. in Washington). Sean “P Puff Diddy Daddy” Combs and Brooke Shields also said they would attend.

But Jackson’s BFF Elizabeth Taylor announced to the world she’s staying away today, because her grief is not a public event.

At least 16 domestic TV networks plan to cover the Jackson memorial live. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Fox News Channel, CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, TV One, MTV, VH1, VH1 Classic, TV Guide Channel, E!, Univision and Telemundo blew out their schedules in hopes that live coverage of the biggest celebrity ever would bring boffo ratings. (When the verdict was read on the Jackson child-abuse trial back in June of 2005, about 31 million tuned in domestically — nearly matching the 33 million who watched Princess’s Di’s funeral in this country in September of ’97.)

michael 1Los Angeles police are steeled for a mob scene even after warning that fans would not be able to get within blocks of the arena, where oversize murals and enormous screens have been set up outside as part of the mega-tribute. Authorities were urging people to stay away from the venue and watch the memorial on TV.

CNN’s Kara Finnstrom, deployed to check out the John Does who’d spend the night on the streets in order to be near the memorial, reported that 300 police officers were on the scene by 5 a.m. Pacific time. LAPD told her that number would increase to around 3,000 by the time the memorial kicked off five hours later — the biggest police presence downtown since Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics.

Vendors arrived early to stake out the best spots to sell hot dogs, bottled water and all manner of Jackson memorabilia.

Nearly 2 million people had registered in hopes of snagging some of the precious 20,000 seats at the Staples Center, of whom under 9,000 were picked to get two tickets each. About 9,000 seats in the arena have been set aside for Jackson family and friends.

Television’s morning news shows — in addition to “Today,” there was ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS’s “The Early Show” and CNN’s “American Morning” — anchored their entire broadcasts from outside the Staples Center, even though it was still the middle of the night — and quite dark — on the West coast.

And about 50 movie theaters nationwide, owned by Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp, planned to carry the memorial live and offer free admission.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s Facebook page was clocking up to around 20 new fans per second, and was hovering around the 7 million mark — making it the most popular page on the social media outlet.

Michael Jackson’s unreleased song his ‘greatest ever work’

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 4, 2009

THE TELEGRAPH UK

An unreleased song by Michael Jackson in which he plays the piano could rank as his greatest ever work, according to his former record producer.


jackson-fans_1436724c

Fans at a press conference in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles Photo: AFP

Bruce Swedien revealed the singer had completed a powerful track entitled Don’t Be Messin’ Around.

Featuring what was described as a mesmerising solo performance, it is expected to be available to millions of fans once the terms of Jackson’s estate are settled.

Mr Swedien said of the ballad: “Michael plays piano on it, and it’s just beautiful.” He added: “Oh my God, there’s nothing like it.” The possibility of new Jackson music has been one of the most hotly-debated topics since his death.

It has been reported that hundreds of tracks could be available to fans, including lyrics Jackson wrote during the build-up to his planned European tour.

But there has been no substantiation to the rumours until now.

Swedian added: “There might be one or two songs that didn’t make it from each album. But they’re not finished. There aren’t vocals for everything.”

The producer, who worked alongside Jackson and Quincy Jones on such successful solo albums as Bad, Thriller, Off the Wall and Dangerous, is publishing a book based on his experiences with the singer.

In the Studio with Michael Jackson, published in the US on July 27, is expected to be a bestseller and is the first on the shelves since his death.

It will take an overwhelmingly positive tone towards Jackson, despite the fact he died owing the author half a million dollars.

Swedian told US journalist Roger Friedman: “I don’t say anything bad about Michael in my book; it’s nothing but good stuff.”

Los Angeles officials brace for Michael Jackson memorial

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 4, 2009

Reuters

By Bob Tourtellotte

MICHAEL

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles city officials are planning a massive security operation for Michael Jackson’s public memorial service next week, and on Friday urged fans who do not win a ticket in a random drawing to stay away from the basketball arena where the singer will be memorialized.

Organizers have set aside a total of 17,500 tickets through an Internet-based lottery for the televised service at the Staples Center, and for a closed-circuit screening at the nearby Nokia Theater.

Within minutes of the system being announced at a news conference, the computer system crashed. Officials warned additional disruptions were likely as fans from around the world applied for tickets.

“You might want to consider watching this from the comfort of your own home,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who is doubling as the city’s acting mayor.

A wide area around the venues in downtown Los Angeles will be blocked off for the 10 a.m. (1 p.m. EDT) event. Both local and state law-enforcement agencies have been marshaled for duty.

A local news-radio station reported that more than 1,400 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department alone have been asked to volunteer for duty on Monday and Tuesday. The LAPD, which has about 9,000 officers in total, declined to comment on the report or to reveal a staffing number.

Jackson seen active in video clip of rehearsal

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 3, 2009

art.staples.center.gi

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Michael Jackson appeared healthy in a video clip — obtained by CNN — of his rehearsal two nights before he died.

AEG, promoter of Jackson’s planned London shows, released the short video of Jackson rehearsing on a stage in the Staples Center arena on June 23, 2009.

Jackson sang “They Don’t Care About Us” — a song from Jackson’s “HIStory” album — as he danced along with eight male dancers.

The Staples Center will also be the site of Jackson’s memorial service, which is scheduled for Tuesday at the 20,000-seat Los Angeles coliseum, according to a person briefed by a family representative.

No other details have been revealed about the service.

The memorial is set to begin at 10 a.m. PT Tuesday

Jackson did not specify where he wished to be buried in a 2002 will, which was filed in court Wednesday.

More information emerged Thursday about how Jackson’s estate will be shared, which his will estimated in 2002 as being worth $500 million.

The family trust created by Jackson to receive all of his assets includes his mother, his children and a list of charities, according to a person with direct knowledge of the contents of the trust.

Mother Katherine Jackson’s 40 percent share would go to Michael Jackson‘s three children after her death, the source said.

The children — ages 7, 11 and 12 — also will share 40 percent of the estate’s assets, and the remaining 20 percent will benefit charities designated by the executors of the will, the source said.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will consider who will control the estate and who has guardianship of the children at a hearing Monday.

Judge Mitchell Beckloff decided Wednesday to wait until next week to rule on when the will’s executors should take over control of the late entertainer’s assets, which he temporarily placed under Katherine Jackson’s control.

Monday’s hearing also could give an indication if Debbie Rowe, the singer’s ex-wife who was left out of the will, is considering a challenge for custody of the two oldest Jackson children born to her. Beckloff ordered that Rowe be notified that she could appear.

The will nominated Jackson’s mother, now 79, as the guardian of his children.

If she were to die, “I nominate Diana Ross as guardian,” Jackson said in the will, written on July 7, 2002.

Singer Ross, 65, was a lifelong friend of Jackson’s.MIKE 1

The two men whom the will named as executors include John Branca, who represented Jackson from 1980 until 2006 and was hired again before the singer’s death. He helped acquire Jackson’s music catalog, which is worth millions.

The other is music industry executive John McClain, a longtime Jackson friend who has worked with him and his sister Janet.

DEA reportedly joins investigation

The Drug Enforcement Administration has joined the investigation into Jackson’s death, a federal law enforcement official said Wednesday night.

Two law enforcement officials separately confirmed the DEA probe, saying agents would look at doctors involved with Jackson, their practices and their possible sources of medicine supply.

Neither official wanted to be identified because they could not comment publicly on the matter.

Officially, a DEA spokeswoman referred questions to the Los Angeles Police Department, which would not confirm the involvement.

“We routinely offer assistance to any agency regarding the Federal Controlled Substance Act,” said Sarah Pullen of the DEA. “However, at this time, we have nothing further to comment about the death of Michael Jackson.”

Speculation about the role of drugs has been swirling since Jackson died June 25 at his rented estate in Holmby Hills. The cause of his death, at age 50, was pending toxicology results.

On Wednesday, police released a car belonging to Jackson’s cardiologist, Dr. Conrad Murray. They had impounded the vehicle Friday, saying it might contain evidence — possibly prescription medications.

Police did not say whether they found anything.

Murray’s attorneys issued a statement, asking the public to reserve judgment about the cause of death until the coroner’s tests are complete.

“Based on our agreement with Los Angeles investigators, we are waiting on real information to come from viable sources like the Los Angeles medical examiner’s office about the death of Michael Jackson,” the statement said. “We will not be responding to rumors and innuendo.”

No public showing planned for Neverland

Logistical and financial challenges derailed earlier plans for a public viewing and private memorial atNeverland Ranch.

Planning had been under way for a motorcade to carry Jackson’s body from Los Angeles to the Santa Barbara County ranch, which state and local officials suggested would be difficult and costly.

Law enforcement sources had said a public viewing at the ranch was under consideration for Friday, but a spokesman for the family said that it would not happen.

“Plans are under way regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans shortly,” said Ken Sunshine, whose public relations firm had been hired by the Jackson family

Despite the announcement, more than two dozen TV satellite trucks lined the narrow two-lane road leading to the ranch.

For a time, the California Highway Patrol closed the road to clear up a small bottleneck of cars created by Jackson fans and the media.

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Michael Jackson: Fact or Fiction?

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 1, 2009

PEOPLE.COM

By Eunice Oh

Michael Jackson: Fact or Fiction? | Michael Jackson

Wild speculation about Michael Jackson has been making the rounds since before the late pop star was even pronounced dead at a Los Angeles hospital on June 25. What’s true? What’s false? PEOPLE.com puts the rumors to the test. 

Rumor: Jackson’s nanny regularly pumped his stomach 
First printed in a British newspaper, this account of events in the Jackson household described a star who mixed so many drugs that his trusted nanny had to mechanically empty the contents of his stomach to prevent an overdose. The nanny, Grace Rwaramba, recently posted the truth on the blog of her friend, Mallika Chopra, who also knew Jackson. “I am shocked, hurt and deeply saddened by recent statements the press has attributed to me,” Rwaramba wrote. “I don’t even know how to pump a stomach!!” False 

Rumor: Michael Jackson isn’t the biological father of his three children
The blogs lit up after a story printed in a British newspaper June 28 quoted Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe – the mother of his two older children, Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11 – saying she had been artificially inseminated by an anonymous donor. One problem: The story is a “complete fabrication,” says Rowe’s attorney, Marta Albli. “The interview did not occur.” Since then, another report has surfaced that Jackson’s dermatologist, Arnold Klein – who was Rowe’s boss at the time she met Jackson – is the biological father of the two children in question. “Dr Klein will make no statement on any reports or allegations,” said his attorney. Jury’s Out 

Rumor: Janet Jackson is the executor of Michael’s will 
Though Jackson’s lawyers have not yet shared the singer’s will with the world – let alone his own parents and siblings – his former publicist, Stuart Backerman, says a will was drawn up in 2002 and that the executor is a Jackson lawyer named John Branca (who has not returned calls for comment). Another lawyer claims a will was filed in 2004. One reason Janet’s name might have come up? As one of the most successful family members, “she’s independently wealthy herself and has no ulterior motives,” says a source. False

Rumor: Jackson’s doctor injected him with the powerful painkiller Demerol the day he died 
Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, emphatically denies it: “Not at any time did he inject or prescribe it,” says Murray’s attorney, Ed Chernoff. As for reports Jackson was also taking another strong painkiller, OxyContin, Chernoff says Murray never prescribed that either. Did another doctor give Jackson a shot? A full toxicology report could take weeks. In the meantime, the Los Angeles Police Department told the Los Angeles Times that stories about the Demerol shot “are coming from outside the investigation.” False

Rumor: Jackson will be buried at Neverland 
If that is the family’s wish, they should be prepared to go through some legal hoops. Laws vary by jurisdiction, but private citizens who want to bury relatives on private land often face a sea of regulation. Brian Oxman, Randy Jackson’s attorney, tells PEOPLE that the family would like to have a funeral for his sibling at Neverland but “logistical problems are enormous.” Stay Tuned

• With reporting by LORENZO BENET, JOHNNY DODD, ANNE LANG and LESLEY MESSER

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Michael Jackson public viewing set for Friday

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 1, 2009

CNN NEWS

Michael Jackson’s body will be taken to his Neverland Ranch on Thursday morning for a public viewing Friday, a law enforcement source said Tuesday.

 MICHAEL

A private memorial service is scheduled for Sunday at Neverland.

Also, a Jackson will written in 2002 has been found, according to family lawyer Londell McMillan.

Planning is under way for a 30-car motorcade carrying Jackson’s remains to leave the Los Angeles area at 10 a.m. for Santa Barbara County, California, on Thursday, a source said.

Another state law enforcement source said the California Highway Patrol had not been formally requested to escort the motorcade.

The question of where Jackson will be buried remains unanswered.  The singer’s hometown of Gary, Indiana, is asking the family to send him there, according to the mayor’s spokeswoman.

Gary Mayor Rudy Clay has been in contact with the Jackson family, hoping to make that happen, spokeswoman Lalosa Burns said Tuesday.

Clay told Chicago radio station WGN that he expects that Jackson’s body will, at the least, be taken to Gary for a memorial service he is planning next week.

“I believe that his body will lie in state in Gary, Indiana,” Clay said Tuesday. “Now, it may not happen, but I believe it will.”

The Jackson memorial service is set for July 10 at U.S. Steel Works ballpark in Gary, Burns said.

It would be “a memorial that’s fit for the prince of peace and a memorial that’s fit for Gary, Indiana’s favorite son, the greatest entertainer that ever lived,” Clay said.

A burial site for the singer could be near a proposed Jackson family museum and a performing arts center, Burns said.

“The mayor had spoken with a contact of the Jackson family and expressed our interest in having that to be a part of the history of this great family,” Burns said. “We have not received confirmation on that.”

Jackson’s father, Joe, visited the city last year and talked with Clay about a Jackson museum, Burns said.

Michael Jackson purchased the Neverland Ranch, north of Santa Barbara, in 1987 and filled it with animals and amusement rides. He ran into financial problems with the property but retained a stake in it at the time of his death June 25.

The ranch is named for the fictional world in J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan.”

The newly discovered will may be one of several, lawyer McMillan said.

“We need a certain amount of time to look at that,” he said of whether other wills exist. “I don’t personally know, but it’s possible.”

Until now, the Jackson family has said it has not seen a will for the singer.

Without a legal will, the division of his estate would be decided in court.

The 2002 will surfaced Monday after a Los Angeles judge gave the singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, temporary control of her son’s “tangible personal property.”

The pop icon’s three children — ages 7, 11 and 12 — were also placed under the temporary guardianship of Katherine Jackson.

McMillan said he has seen the will but would not disclose its details.

“There is a process called ‘probating the will’ that will validate any will in due course,” he said.

Probate is the legal process to prove whether a will is authentic and valid. The process is used to pass on items in the will from the deceased to the beneficiaries.

The biological mother of Jackson’s two oldest children, Debbie Rowe, will be invited to a hearing Monday in which the judge will consider who should have custody of them. She has not publicly indicated whether she will challenge the Jacksons for custody. 

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I had to pump MJ’s stomach to wash out drugs: Ex-nanny

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 29, 2009

THE  TIMES OF INDIA

LONDON: The former nanny of Michael Jackson’s three children said she regularly had to pump his stomach to remove cocktails of painkillers, British newspapers reported on sunday.

Katherine Jackson

Grace Rwaramba, who was abruptly sacked by Jackson in December, also spoke of her fears for the future of the children following his death and has flown to Los Angeles from Europe hoping to be reunited with them.

The Jackson family are angry at the unanswered questions surrounding the star’s final hours, amid reports that the singer’s doctor Conrad Murray injected him with the painkiller Demerol shortly before his death.

Rwaramba, 42, said in comments reported by The Sunday Times that the star was addicted to narcotic painkillers. “I had to pump his stomach many times. He always mixed so much of it.”

“There was one period that it was so bad that I didn’t let the children see him… He always ate too little and mixed too much.”

She said she once appealed to Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and sister, Janet, to intervene and persuade him to seek treatment for his addiction, but Michael turned on her and accused her of betrayal.

“He didn’t want to listen; that was one of the times he let me go,” she said.

Rwandan-born Rwaramba worked for Jackson for more than a decade, first as an office assistant before becoming nanny to his children, 12-year-old Michael Jr., known as Prince, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II, 7, nicknamed Blanket.

She was finally dismissed in December last year, but claims she returned several times to see the children, making her most recent trip in April.

Tabloid newspaper News of the World – which is owned by the same company as The Sunday Times – said she had screamed with shock when she heard of the star’s death, while she was at the Swiss home of TV interviewer Daphne Barak.

Rwaramba told Barak in an interview quoted by the tabloid that her first thought was for the children. “I’m really distraught for them. Michael hadn’t been eating and the kids have been so scared for him.”

“Now the youngest has been saying,’Why Daddy? God should have taken me not him.”

“I took these babies in my arms on the first day of each of their lives. They are my babies.”

She claimed the children had an uneasy relationship with their father, recalling a recent incident when Blanket performed a mini-concert for her of his father’s songs. “I was laughing so hard. Prince and Paris were playing around,” she said. “It was such a happy moment. Then suddenly Michael walked in and the kids just looked frightened. Michael was so angry.”

The fate of Jackson’s children is unclear with reports raising the possibility of a custody battle involving Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of his two eldest offspring.

“There was one period that it was so bad that I didn’t let the children see him… He always ate too little and mixed too much.”

She said she once appealed to Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and sister, Janet, to intervene and persuade him to seek treatment for his addiction, but Michael turned on her and accused her of betrayal.

“He didn’t want to listen; that was one of the times he let me go,” she said.

Rwandan-born Rwaramba worked for Jackson for more than a decade, first as an office assistant before becoming nanny to his children, 12-year-old Michael Jr., known as Prince, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II, 7, nicknamed Blanket.

She was finally dismissed in December last year, but claims she returned several times to see the children, making her most recent trip in April.

Tabloid newspaper News of the World – which is owned by the same company as The Sunday Times – said she had screamed with shock when she heard of the star’s death, while she was at the Swiss home of TV interviewer Daphne Barak.

Rwaramba told Barak in an interview quoted by the tabloid that her first thought was for the children. “I’m really distraught for them. Michael hadn’t been eating and the kids have been so scared for him.”

“Now the youngest has been saying,’Why Daddy? God should have taken me not him.”

“I took these babies in my arms on the first day of each of their lives. They are my babies.”

She claimed the children had an uneasy relationship with their father, recalling a recent incident when Blanket performed a mini-concert for her of his father’s songs. “I was laughing so hard. Prince and Paris were playing around,” she said. “It was such a happy moment. Then suddenly Michael walked in and the kids just looked frightened. Michael was so angry.”

The fate of Jackson’s children is unclear with reports raising the possibility of a custody battle involving Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of his two eldest offspring.

“There was one period that it was so bad that I didn’t let the children see him… He always ate too little and mixed too much.”

She said she once appealed to Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and sister, Janet, to intervene and persuade him to seek treatment for his addiction, but Michael turned on her and accused her of betrayal.

“He didn’t want to listen; that was one of the times he let me go,” she said.

Rwandan-born Rwaramba worked for Jackson for more than a decade, first as an office assistant before becoming nanny to his children, 12-year-old Michael Jr., known as Prince, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II, 7, nicknamed Blanket.

She was finally dismissed in December last year, but claims she returned several times to see the children, making her most recent trip in April.

Tabloid newspaper News of the World – which is owned by the same company as The Sunday Times – said she had screamed with shock when she heard of the star’s death, while she was at the Swiss home of TV interviewer Daphne Barak.

Rwaramba told Barak in an interview quoted by the tabloid that her first thought was for the children. “I’m really distraught for them. Michael hadn’t been eating and the kids have been so scared for him.”

“Now the youngest has been saying,’Why Daddy? God should have taken me not him.”

“I took these babies in my arms on the first day of each of their lives. They are my babies.”

She claimed the children had an uneasy relationship with their father, recalling a recent incident when Blanket performed a mini-concert for her of his father’s songs. “I was laughing so hard. Prince and Paris were playing around,” she said. “It was such a happy moment. Then suddenly Michael walked in and the kids just looked frightened. Michael was so angry.”

The fate of Jackson’s children is unclear with reports raising the possibility of a custody battle involving Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of his two eldest offspring.

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