On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson’s family and friends gathered at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California, to lay the King of Pop to rest in the Grand Mausoleum. Almost one year later, shortly before the actual anniversary of his death, MJ’s brother Jermaine returned to the site to tape an interview with Larry King.
“It’s been tough,” Jermaine told the talk-show host. “It went so fast. We’ve been just putting the pieces together and the family’s been having a lot of meetings and we’re just trying to hold on. We haven’t come to terms. It’s something we’re learning to live with. We will never accept it.”
Speaking softly and quietly, Jackson said the inside of the mausoleum is dark and cold. “To walk this corridor, and all you hear is your footsteps. Michael shouldn’t be here. I always felt that,” he said, adding that MJ should have been buried at his Neverland Ranch estate.
A year later, Jackson said Michael’s three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, are enjoying as normal a life as possible. They love movies, Jermaine said, though he is not sure if they’ve seen “This Is It,” the documentary about Michael’s final months as he prepared for what were to be his comeback shows in London. Jermaine also revealed that they do not visit their father’s gravesite at Forest Lawn.
Each of the family members, Jackson said, continues to grieve in their own ways. And they continue to raise questions about the circumstances surrounding MJ’s death. Jermaine acknowledged that numerous interventions had been made concerning Michael’s use of various prescription medications but denied any suggestion that his brother did not want to live. Rather, Jermaine said the family believes Michael was murdered and that Dr. Conrad Murray , the singer’s personal physician who was charged with involuntary manslaughter as a result of MJ’s propofol overdose, is not the sole person responsible for the death.
“All of us feel that he’s the fall guy,” Jermaine said. “It’s higher up than just the doctor.
“He did say on numerous occasions, at times to my mother, that he felt that he was being threatened, someone was trying to kill him,” Jermaine added about his brother.
While the Jackson family awaits the start of Murray’s trial , which they plan to attend, they lament the way the pop singer has been treated by the media, the public and prosecutors in the years before his death.
“If you listen to the content of his lyrics and his music, that’s what he is, that’s what he wrote from his heart, from his soul,” Jackson said. “And it’s sad, because now people realize what kind of person he was all along. But he’s not here to see that. He got a bum rap because he was so misunderstand. He was trying to take the world on his shoulders and to bring an awareness to the world of what we need to do as people.”