Although the BET Awards in Los Angeles largely stood as a tribute to Michael Jackson,
who died Thursday, not everyone was in high spirits. Joe, patriarch of the Jackson clan and the force behind Michael’s early career, told CNN that he had “a lot of concerns” over the final moments of his son’s life, especially the circumstances and people surrounding the incident. He also stressed that his and his family’s primary priority was the care of Michael’s three children.
“Our family thanks all of you around the world,” said a representative whom Jackson asked to read a statement, which was different from the statement the family issued on Saturday.
“Michael’s children are our first priority.” The statement went on to express that Michael’s parents have declared their sole legal authority and responsibility to take care of the three kids, and that only lawyer L. Londell McMillan has the authority to speak for the family.
Joe Jackson expressed remorse over Jackson’s posthumous popularity. “I wish the world had recognized him when he was living,” he said. “Right now he’s bigger than ever, but I wish he was here to see all this.”
Jackson also confirmed statements made by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson over Jackson’s final moments and the people who surrounded him at the end of his life. “I have a lot of concerns. I can’t get into that, but I don’t like what happened.”
Jackson said that funeral arrangements haven’t been made yet, though they will have to wait until the second autopsy (conducted by a private pathologist hired by the family) is completed.
In the press room at the show, Joe Jackson said, “I think if Michael was here, he would enjoy his celebration. He couldn’t be here, but it’s like he’s larger than ever before. Michael gives his love to everyone and we hope it keeps growing.
“Since this tragedy has happened,” he continued, “I would like for him to be remembered forever all throughout the world.”
Jackson also told Fox News that he does not believe stress over Michael’s 50 scheduled concerts in London contributed to his death.
MTV will be paying tribute to MJ throughout the weekend with music videos, exclusive performances and calls and tweets from celebrity admirers and friends. For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
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