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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pop legend Michael Jackson buried

Michael Jackson died in June at his home - a death now classed as homicide
Michael Jackson died in June at his home - a death now classed as homicide

Friends and family of Michael Jackson have paid their last respects to the man known as the King of Pop at a funeral ceremony outside Los Angeles.

The late pop star's casket was driven to the ceremony shortly after his family arrived for the private event.

His mother Katherine, sister Janet, his children and other relatives arrived in a motorcade of 31 vehicles.

The service was due to begin at 0200 GMT at Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park but began more than an hour late.

Michael Jackson's father Joe was among those present, along with his ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, comedian Chris Tucker, civil rights campaigner Reverend Al Sharpton and actor Macaulay Culkin were also in attendance.

Some 200 guests were at the funeral service, which took place outside Forest Lawn's Great Mausoleum.

Few details are known about the ceremony itself, which came more than two months after Jackson died of a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs at the age of 50.

Jackson is to be interred at Forest Lawn's Great Mausoleum, a neo-classical building inspired by the Campo Santo in Genoa.


"Extraordinary" funeral costs will be covered by Jackson's estate after lawyers for his mother Katherine asked a judge to sign off on the expenses.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff authorised the estate to pay for the burial.

Attorney Jeryll Cohen said: "The expenses are extraordinary. However, Michael Jackson was extraordinary."

Mr Cohen said one of the reasons that costs were so high is because 12 burial plots have been bought, though it has not been revealed what purpose they will serve.

Last week Jackson's death was ruled to be a homicide by the Los Angeles coroner.

The verdict increases the chances of criminal charges being brought, although no one has been named a suspect.

Jackson, known for such hits as Bad, Thriller and Smooth Criminal, was originally due to be buried on 29 August - which would have been his 51st birthday.

However, the date was pushed back to allow more time for the planning of the ceremony.

Jackson joins a long list of famous stars who have also been buried in the Forest Lawn cemetery.

Screen stars Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Clark Gable have all been laid to rest there.

Source: BBC

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