Jackson family divided
- Bang Showbiz
- 5 July 2009
Katherine Jackson is reportedly insisting on having sole responsibility for arranging son Michael Jackson's funeral, vetoing plans for his body to be buried at his former Neverland home
Michael Jackson's family are "divided" over his funeral arrangements.
The late singer's adviser Dr. Tohme Tohme has revealed that although his father Joe and brothers wanted the 'Thriller' star to be buried at his former Neverland home in California, his sisters and mother Katherine have overruled the idea, as well as vetoing plans for an open coffin.
Dr. Tohme said: "His brothers wanted the final resting place to be Neverland but the rest of the family didn't want him there for some reason that's not known to me.
"I tried with some members of the family to provide Neverland as his resting place and to turn it into something. I believe Michael Jackson deserved to be in Neverland - a grand place like Neverland."
However, Dr. Tohme said fans wanting to pay tribute to their idol at his famous ranch may not be disappointed as he hopes to stage an exhibition of the singer's possessions there.
He added to Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper: "He is the King of Pop and I think we will not see anyone like him in our lifetime.
"But all his stuff is in storage and I am in control of it. It is Michael Jackson's items and memorabilia and awards and hopefully we will put it on display in Neverland or whatever the family decide to do with it."
Katherine is believed to have told Michael's long-term manager Frank DiLeo that she wanted sole responsibility for the funeral arrangements for the star, who died of a suspected cardiac arrest.
Mr DiLeo is said to have told a friend: "The brothers wanted Michael to be driven through the streets so fans could line up and throw flowers like they did with Princess Diana, but Katherine has ruled that out.
"She is the one who is pushing for a spiritual element to the funeral. If the brothers had their way, it would be the Jackson Five's greatest performance. Or rather, the Jackson Four's greatest performance."
Lebanese-born Dr. Tohme - who met the family two years ago when he helped Michael save Neverland from repossession - also claimed the singer did not die of natural causes and said he was "invigorated" from rehearing for his 50 comeback concerts.
He added: "He didn't have a heart problem. A guy who dances for four hours a day has a heart attack? I will have a heart attack before him. "The trip to London changed him, gave him so much confidence. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Never seen anyone mobbed like that. He was full of hope."