Michael Jackson’s Family Still Considering Funeral Plans

Father Joe Jackson calls press conference to announce record label; says Michael will not be buried at Neverland.

Reporters gathered outside the Jackson family compound in Encino, California, on Monday morning for a press conference from [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist]‘s father, Joseph, during which they expected to hear about plans for the singer’s funeral.

But instead, Joe Jackson deflected most of those questions and talked about a new record label he’s launching with a former member of the classic R&B group the Chi-Lites, even as he defended detractors who questioned his comments about the label on the red carpet the previous night at the BET Awards, which were a tribute to the singer.

When asked about funeral arrangements, the Jackson family patriarch said, “We don’t have the time frame yet because we want to see how … the second autopsy turns out.” He said the family was in no hurry to make plans for a memorial, and family friend the Reverend Al Sharpton said, “It is a determination of the family to be careful and deliberate on how they plan this celebration of life. … This is not something you do carelessly and spontaneously. We must also remember that they are still grieving.”

Joe Jackson, 80, said the family expects the results of the second autopsy “soon” and that they will move ahead with funeral plan at that point.

The county coroner conducted an autopsy on Friday, then deferred a decision on the cause of death pending toxicology reports, which could take four to six weeks. Though no details were forthcoming on the funeral, Joe Jackson denied reports that Michael would be buried at Neverland Ranch, the former amusement park/zoo/mansion that was the pop singer’s longtime home. “That’s not true,” Joe Jackson said.

Just hours after his wife, Katherine, was granted temporary custody of Michael’s three young children, Joe Jackson said, “This is where they belong. … We’re the parents and we’re going to take care of them and give them the education they’re supposed to have.” He said the children were happy and that they were excited to be in the company of other children their age, presumably referring to the young offspring of the Jackson’s other adult children.

Seeking to explain what some portrayed as an ill-timed plug at the BET Awards Sunday night during a CNN interview for his new musical venture just days after his son’s death, Joe Jackson explained that Michael would have wanted him to keep the family’s musical legacy alive, at which point he discussed the label again.

Speaking to CNN again after Monday’s press conference, Jackson was asked by reporter Don Lemon if he wanted to clarify his statement about the label from the night before
and Jackson again said he mentioned it because he wants to “make sure the whole world knows what a superstar he was.”

CNN also reported that Joseph and Katherine have filed petitions to administrate Jackson’s estate, while TMZ noted that the singer died “intestate,” meaning with no will, though longtime lawyer John Branca reportedly told TMZ that he recently came back on board with Jackson and that he has a signed will that he intends to file within 30 days.

For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
 
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