Page last updated at 20:49 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 21:49 UK

No Jackson Neverland body viewing


Wreaths laid at the gates of Neverland

The family of Michael Jackson have confirmed that there will be no "public or private" viewing of the singer's body at his Neverland ranch.

The confirmation ends speculation that his body would lie in state for fans to view at the ranch 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Fans had gathered outside Neverland amid reports there would be a viewing.

The family said plans were under way regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, due to be announced shortly.

"Contrary to previous news reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland," a family statement said.

According to the Associated Press news agency, Jackson's will has now been filed in a Los Angeles court.

Dated 7 July 2002, the document reveals that the star chose not to provide for his former wife, Debbie Rowe, and gives his entire estate to the "Michael Jackson Family Trust", AP said.

The documents estimated his estate at that time at more than $500m (£303m).

Tourist shrine

Members of Jackson's family have met police and the California Highway Patrol to discuss funeral arrangements.

Earlier unconfirmed reports suggested that Jackson's body may be placed in a glass coffin and be transported from Los Angeles to Neverland in a "fairytale carriage".

According to a California Highway Patrol spokesman, however, "details are still pending".

Jackson cannot be legally buried at the 2,500-acre property, which he bought in 1987 but had not lived at since 2005.

TV vans outside Jackson's Neverland ranch
A host of television satelilte trucks are already in situ outside the property

The site could reportedly be turned into a permanent tourist shrine to the singer, akin to Elvis Presley's Graceland home in Memphis.

Meanwhile, Jackson's tour promoter has said the star's ill-fated London show could be turned into a tribute gig featuring his family.

Randy Phillips, president of AEG Live, told Sky News he was "discussing with the family" the possibility of mounting the show in some form.

"I would imagine it could be done as a tribute with the family, with the brothers performing, some sisters, and the stars that were influenced by him," he said.

"The world needs to see this production. It would have been, which is the tragedy here, one of the most amazing shows ever."


Mr Phillips denied claims that Jackson had been daunted by the upcoming concerts and was too frail to perform.

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According to a nutritionist who was working with the singer, however, he had been battling persistent insomnia.

In an interview with CNN, registered nurse Cherilyn Lee said she had repeatedly rejected his demands for the drug Diprivan, a powerful sedative which is given intravenously.

"This was a person who was seeking help, desperately, to get some sleep, to get some rest," she told the US news network.

It has been alleged that Jackson had been consuming painkillers, sedatives and antidepressants at the time of his death.

According to actor Lou Ferrigno, however, the 50-year-old singer had been entirely focused on his health in the run-up to his 50 London concerts.

"I've never seen him take drugs," said the Incredible Hulk star, who Jackson had been working out with.

"He was always talking about nutrition.

"When he was with me, he wasn't different. He wasn't stoned. He wasn't high. He wasn't being aloof or speedy."

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