July 2, 2009 11:31
Michael Jackson's death – what the papers are saying today (July 2)
Promoter denies misleading Jackson, Bubbles not invited to funeral, secret long-term girlfriend, ABBA for O2 shows? - read a round-up of what is being reported about the singer
There are various claims, rumours, gossip and stories about the singer, his death, his life and the aftermath filling the tabloids. Here is a round-up of what is being said about Jackson.
London O2 Arena residency promoter denies misleading Jackson
AEG Live promoter Randy Phillips, who spearheaded Jackson's 'This Is It' residency shows at London's O2 Arena, has denied he misled the singer into announcing more shows than he was happy with.
Responding to criticism from Jackson's friends - including David Gest - that the stress of the 50-show residency had had a negative impact on his health, Phillips explained that Jackson agreed to doing all 50 shows because he wanted to enter the Guinness Book Of World Records.
"I like the way David claims to be a pal – but I've certainly never met him. Listen, we were always going to put on 10 shows first," Phillips said. "Neither Michael nor I knew how it would go. But pre-sales went mad and I remember picking up the phone to his manager and saying whether we could add more London shows as demand was so great.
"He got off the phone, asked Michael and called me back and said 'Yes'. Michael then called me and said "Randy, how long am I going to stay in London?" And I said "Long enough to qualify for a British passport."
"And his big concern was not doing 50 shows but that the Guinness Book Of Records knew he'd break the record."
Pet chimp Bubbles not invited to funeral
Jackson's pet chimp Bubbles has not received an invitation to the singer's funeral. The 26-year-old chimp, who Jackson rescued from a cancer research centre in 1985, lived with the star until he started becoming aggressive. Bubbles, who now stays in Florida, will apparently spend the day of Jackson's funeral listening to "calming flute music", a spokesperson for the Center For Great Apes
said. These days, his time is mostly taken up by painting, listening to music and playing with another chimp called Sam.
Ex-wife addresses maternity rumours
Debbie Rowe's lawyer Marta Almli categorically denies reports that Rowe is not the biological mother to Jackson's two eldest children, Prince Michael I and Paris. "We refuse to be drawn into addressing the various rumours and speculation swirling in the media. The vast majority of what is out there is untrue," Almli declared.
"Particularly hurtful and insidious is the most recent rumour, which is entirely false, concerning the maternity of the children. Ms Rowe is the biological mother of the two eldest children."
Quincy Jones: 'I won't go to funeral'
Jackson's friend and producer Quincy Jones says he won't be attending the star's funeral because it's too upsetting. "I won't go to any more funerals as long as I live," the 'Thriller', 'Bad' and 'Off The Wall' producer said. "After Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye, I've had enough of funerals."
Jackson begged nurse to help him four days before his death
Nurse and nutritionist Cherilyn Lee says she received a frantic call from one of Jackson's aides on June 21 (four days before his death), begging her to see the star, saying he was concerned for his health.
"I said "What's wrong?" I could hear Michael in the background and he said "Tell her one side of my body is hot and one side is cold. Very cold,"" she explained. "I said, 'Tell him he needs to go to the hospital. I don't know what is going on with him right now but I'm in Florida and I cannot come.' I told him I wasn't comfortable with it and please go to the hospital and check that out right away.
"I said it was maybe his heart – maybe his central nervous system. I knew someone had given him something that hit the central nervous system. Because he wanted to sleep. He was in trouble that Sunday."
Lee explained that she had only met the singer three months earlier, when he begged her to obtain and inject him with the drug Propofol – known as the 'milk of amnesia'. She refused, saying that the drug, which is used to anaesthetise hospital patients before operations, was too lethal. "I said 'You're so concerned with wanting to sleep and sleep well – but my concern is, if you have something like this, will you wake up?'." She added that Jackson told her he had had the drug before, though he refused to name the doctor who had administered it.
Singer to be buried twice
The singer will reportedly be buried in a temporary grave in Los Angeles this Sunday (July 5), and then dug up again and moved to his Neverland ranch once a burial there is given the go-ahead by authorities. The re-burial bears similarities with Elvis Presley, who was moved from a Hollywood Hills cemetery to Gracelands after his death in 1977.
ABBA to replace Jackson at O2 Arena?
Promoters AEG Live are reportedly trying to get ABBA to reform and play a series of Jackson-replacing dates at London's O2 Arena. "There's a little foursome out in Sweden we keep talking to," the firm's David Campbell said.
'Jackson had secret long-term girlfriend,' says bodyguard
Jackson's one-time bodyguard Matt Fiddes says the singer had a long-term girlfriend he kept secret from the public. "She wasn't a celebrity figure – absolutely not," he said, adding "I imagine she is absolutely distraught right now."
Fiddes, who was at the centre of the recent Channel 4 programme 'The Jacksons Are Coming', about the Jackson family (minus Michael) visiting Devon, also described how he and spoonbender Uri Geller found the singer comatose in a London hotel in 2003.
"Michael had been sedated the night before and just wouldn't wake up," he explained. "Uri went into his room, and was screaming at Michael. We were worried. We were shaking him, saying 'Come on – wake up.' Uri was saying 'What are you doing? Have you taken something?' Then he came round drowsy – and said he was jetlagged."
Geller himself says he was left distraught by the condition he found the star in. "I didn't live with Michael, but like Matt, the things I did witness were simply horrifying – and destroyed my hope for his future."
Tomb to be encased in layers of concrete to deter looters
Family members are so worried that thieves will target Jackson's body that they are set to encase his lead-lined tomb with concrete.
Poll - vote for the greatest Michael Jackson track
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