In the days before Michael Jackson's star-studded funeral, the Jackson family announced they would release handout footage and photos to the media. MJ's younger brother Randy Jackson released a statement on Friday expressing his disappointment over unapproved aerial footage of the funeral used on television.
"I was dismayed last night and again today at the coverage I saw on television of our ceremony for Michael," Randy's statement said. "We had asked the media to respect the privacy and the sanctity of this event; to give us one moment of privacy to mourn as a family out of the public spotlight."
He added, "Unfortunately, despite a no-fly zone around Forest Lawn, many media organizations decided to ignore our wishes. They employed helicopters that not only surreptitiously recorded our private family ceremony, but also severely disrupted it."
Jackson is now asking for the footage to be permanently "pulled from the air."
Michael will be buried at Forest Lawn Glendale, in what will be a hidden monument in a mausoleum made of marble and mortar.
Ten Weeks Later
Michael is being laid to rest ten weeks after his death — longtime Jackson friend Rodney Jerkins told “Extra” the family wasn't prepared to say goodbye.
Jerkins says Jackson's death was completely unexpected and family members were not prepared for the amount of grief they experienced. Jerkins says he “can't imagine” the pain the Jackson family is in. “As close a friend as Michael was to me,” he says, “If it's family, it's just a whole other level.”
Celeb Friends Say Goodbye
Macaulay Culkin, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight will attend the funeral.
At Rest with Legends
Jackson will be in the Great Mausoleum, joining Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, W.C. Fields and Red Skelton. Other famous names buried at Forest Lawn include George Burns, Gracie Allen, Walt Disney and Nat King Cole.
The Last Supper
In the Mausoleum, there's a life-size stained glass recreation of Leonardo da Vinci's “The Last Supper.”
Nearby are two of the world's largest paintings, “The Crucifixion” and “Resurrection.”
Forest Lawn was founded in 1906 by a group of businessmen on 55 hillside acres in the town of Tropico (later Glendale).
AP says there was no forest and no lawn — just a traditional graveyard.
In the early 1900s, manager Hubert Eaton began convincing people to buy plots before they died, and sales began booming.
Eaton soon eliminated tombstones for grass and lawns. He changed the name “cemetery” to “memorial park,” and soon began collecting art and adding trees, florists, gift shops and chapels.
AP reports the park was divided into sections like Slumberland, Babyland, Graceland and Inspiration Slope, and patriotic sections (“Liberty” and “Victory”) were incorporated in the 1950s.
AP says Forest Lawn once had a whites-only policy, but park spokesman William Martin told AP he didn't know what year that ended.
The Jackson family has said they desire privacy, and they'll get it in the Mausoleum. It's said to be “impossible” to get in. Forest Lawn also reportedly prohibits commercial photography.
The Jackson family rented out L.A. restaurant Villa Sorriso and Bar Celona for dinner after the burial.
The event is entirely by invitation only, and all access will be closed to the public.
The cost of police services — which includes air support and other security — is reportedly $150,000. Michael's estate is paying for the services.