Category: Michael Jackson

Whitney Houston's funeral cost Newark $187,000 for police

Whitney Houston's funeral cost the city of Newark $187,000 in police overtime.

Whitney Houston's funeral reportedly cost the singer's hometown $187,000 in police overtime, and some residents of Newark, N.J., are not pleased by the idea of taxpayers picking up the tab.

"I think it was a waste of time.... It makes you think twice saying was it worth it or not," resident Minerva DelValle told the local CBS News affiliate on Friday. Another resident said he thought the family should cover the bill.

Houston's funeral, though televised, was strictly invite-only. Newark Councilwoman Mildren Crump defended the police presence, telling WCBS that she witnessed thousands of people who were desperate to attend but were held back safely by law enforcement at barricades.

In contrast to the Newark situation, the estimated $150,000 to police Michael Jackson's private funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale in 2009 was covered by that pop star's estate up front. The overtime budget for Glendale's police department in fiscal 2009 was just under $2.8 million, with regular salaries around $35 million.

The estimated $1-million bill for Los Angeles Police Department overtime generated around the public Michael Jackson memorial service at Staples Center was the subject of a yearlong fight, however. Concert promoter AEG ultimately agreeing to pay $1 million to the city's general fund and $300,000 to the Los Angeles Police Foundation for equipment.

About 17,500 fans were able to secure free tickets to the memorial, which was also televised worldwide. In Newark, no fans were able to attend the service.

The overall budget for the LAPD in fiscal 2009 was just under $1.2 billion, with about $700 million going to the patrol and traffic control departments.

Newark's police overtime budget in fiscal 2011 is $4 million, on top of a total regular-salary budget of around $113 million — though the overall number does include $2.2 million for crossing guards.

Houston died in Beverly Hills on Feb. 11, the night before the 2012 Grammy Awards. It was revealed last week that was found face down in her hotel bathroom after accidentally drowning, with cocaine use and a heart condition contributing to her death.


Whitney Houston autopsy report paints detailed picture of scene

Whitney Houston: Death an accidental drowning; cocaine found in system

Aretha Franklin says enough talk already on why she missed Whitney Houston's funeral!

— Christie D'Zurilla
Christie D'Zurilla on Google+

Photo: Police keep spectators three blocks from the Whitney Houston funeral in Newark, N.J., on Feb. 18, 2012. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press.

Michael Jackson: His kids pay tribute at Michael Forever show

Michael Jackson's fans got a special treat on Saturday -- an appearance by his three kids, Prince, 14, Paris, 13, and Blanket, 9, at the Michael Forever concert. Taking a break from life in Los Angeles, they took a trip to Wales for a chance to pay tribute to their father. 

Paris, wearing a "Thriller" jacket no less, greeted the crowd of 50,000-plus fans Saturday, saying, "We're very happy to be here on this special night to honor our father." People reports, she went on to introduce Beyonce (performing “I Wanna Be Where You Are” via satellite): "She carries the torch lit by our father and it gives me great pleasure to introduce this woman."

Jackson brothers Marlon, Tito and Jackie, sister La Toya and mother Katherine were all in attendance and Ne-Yo, Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green and Gladys Knight were among the stars who paid tribute to the King of Pop with his legendary songs.

Photos: Ne-Yo, Christina Aguilera and more at the Michael Forever concert

Not all the Jacksons made the trip overseas, says the Associated Press. Jermaine, Randy and Janet stayed home because of the ongoing involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.

Michael Jackson's children later joined the rest of the Jackson clan onstage, according to Reuters, dancing to the hit "Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough."


Photos: Michael Jackson's life in pictures

Complete coverage: The Conrad Murray trial

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' jacket goes for $1.8 million

By Emily Christianson

Photo: From left, Prince, Blanket and Paris Jackson at the Michael Forever concert in Wales. Credit: Leon Neal / AFP/Getty Images. 

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' jacket goes for $1.8 million

Michael Jackson jacket sells for $1.8 million to Milton Verret of Austin, Texas

The jacket Michael Jackson wore in the groundbreaking "Thriller" music video sold for $1.8 million on Sunday at an auction conducted the weekend of the second anniversary of his death.

Who would buy such a thing, and pay such a price? One Milton Verret of Austin, Texas, who said he planned to send the jacket on tour to be used as a fundraising tool for children's charities.

Verret, a commodities trader and philanthropist, has a history of making pop-culture purchases to benefit the less fortunate. He paid $120,000 at auction for a $20,000 2009 motorcycle signed by Jay Leno to benefit a New York children's charity. (See Verret hanging with Leno and that bike in the video below.) He spent another $120,000 on eight "Big Guitars" during the 2009 GuitarTown charitable auction in Austin, donating the pieces to the city afterward.

A portion of the proceeds from Jackson's "Thriller" jacket, which had been expected to bring $200,000 to $400,000, will go to actress Tippi Hedren's Roar Foundation. The pop star's Bengal tigers, Thriller and Sabu, have lived at the foundation's animal sanctuary since Jackson left Neverland Ranch in 2006.

Another animal-rescue group, the Gentle Barn Foundation, benefited earlier this year when an online casino paid $40,000-plus for a signed box containing a lock of Justin Bieber's hair and added that treasure to its touring collection of oddities, which includes William Shatner's kidney stone, a plate from the Titanic and a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary. Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres had teamed up to put the item up for sale.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at age 50. His sparkling white Motown-special glove sold in 2009 for $350,000, when $50,000 had been expected, and a glove from the "Bad" tour sold in 2010 for $330,000. This weekend's auction featured other MJ items, as well as memorabilia from Bruce Springsteen, Les Paul, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain, to drop only a few names.

Even so, as thrilling as Jackson's $1.8 million may be, the King of Pop still has competition from Marilyn Monroe: Her subway dress from "The Seven-Year Itch" brought $4.6 million last week at an auction of Hollywood memorabilia collected by Debbie Reynolds.


Michael Jackson's "Thriller" jacket: The original is for sale

Marilyn Monroe dress from "The Seven-Year Itch" sells for $4.6 million

Princess Beatrice's royal wedding hat sells for more than $130,000 on EBay

-- Christie D'Zurilla

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Darren Julien, left, president and chief executive of Julien's Auctions, poses with Michael Jackson's jacket, actress Tippi Hedren and winning bidder Milton Verret of Austin, Texas, who paid $1.8 million for the "Thriller" keepsake in Beverly Hills on June 26, 2011. Credit: Reuters

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' jacket: The original is for sale

Michael Jackson "Thriller" jacket up for sale

If you wanted a Michael Jackson "Thriller" jacket in the 1980s, all it took was a trip to the mall. Now, owning the jacket Jackson wore in the groundbreaking 1983 "Thriller" music video means a trip to an auction house and a minimum bankroll in the neighborhood of $400,000.

The red-and-black calf leather "Thriller" jacket is the featured item in a music memorabilia auction to be held June 25 and 26 in Beverly Hills. It was given to Jackson by his longtime costume designers, Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, and the singer brought it back to them to be used as a costume reference for the subsequent "Thriller" concerts, according to Julien's Auction Gallery. It is inscribed on the inside lining "To Bush and Dennis, All My Love, Michael Jackson," with the sleeve also signed "Love Michael Jackson."

The auction gallery expects the jacket to go for $200,000 to $400,000, with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for the Shambala Preserve, where MJ's Bengal tigers, Thriller and Sabu, have been living since he left Neverland Ranch in 2006. 

Shambala has its own celebrity heritage: The refuge is supported by the Roar Foundation, created in 1983 by actress Tippi Hedren, star of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and mom to actress Melanie Griffith.

So, will the "Thriller" jacket actually sell for $400,000? That price might be a bargain, given that Jackson's sparking white Motown-special glove sold in 2009 for $350,000 when $50,000 had been expected, and a glove from the "Bad" tour sold in 2010 for $330,000.

Other MJ memorabilia up for sale includes the wig he wore at his "This Is It" London news conference on March 5, 2009, expected to go for $4,000 to $6,000. Jackson died on June 25, 2009, of acute propofol intoxication. He was 50.

Other items hitting the Julien's block: a denim jacket worn by Bruce Springsteen onstage during his Born to Run tour and on the December 1984 cover of Rolling Stone (estimated to sell for $2,000 to $4,000), a broken guitar neck and smashed guitar stand styled that way in concert by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain (estimate $2,000-$3,000), a contract rider signed by Janis Joplin (estimate $200-$300), a harmonica signed by Steven Tyler (estimate $300-$500) and a Les Paul guitar signed by none other than inventor Les Paul (estimate $5,000-$7,000).

MJ's video has been re-created many times since its debut, by inmates in the Philippines, in movies including "13 Going on 30" and recently by the gang at "Glee." In the latter part of "Boogie Nights," fashions inspired by the jacket and its many knockoffs practically screamed "We're in the '80s now." A memory booster, for readers who may not have been born in 1983, as to why "Thriller" was such a big deal: Back then, music videos barely had story lines, much less screenplays.

So will you be bidding on the MJ jacket or -- your secret is safe with us -- do you have one already, something evil lurking in the dark at the back of your closet?


Michael Jackson's white Motown glove brings in $350,000 at auction

Princess Beatrice's royal wedding hat sells for more than $130,000 on EBay

Michael Jackson glove sells for $330,000; Johnny Cash jumpsuit goes for $50,000 [poll]

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Michael Jackson's "Thriller" jacket at Julien's Auction Gallery, left, and in the "Thriller" music video, right. Credits: Matt Sayles / Associated Press, left; MJJ Productions, right

Elizabeth Taylor remembered: La Toya Jackson

La Toya Jackson remembers Elizabeth Taylor Michael Jackson's sister La Toya Jackson offered her condolences to Elizabeth Taylor's family Wednesday after the iconic Hollywood actress died at age 79 from congestive heart failure.

Elizabeth Taylor at Michael Jackson's funeral




"Liz Taylor was an amazing woman and screen legend. She was an incredible friend to my brother, at his side through some of his most difficult times and of course loved by his children and our family," Jackson said in a statement.

"She will live on in our hearts forever, my prayers go out to her family."

Taylor had been exceptionally close to Michael Jackson and his family, attending his funeral in Glendale after the King of Pop died in 2009.


Elizabeth Taylor: An appreciation

Elizabeth Taylor obituary: Legendary actress dies at 79

Photo Gallery: Highlights from Elizabeth Taylor's career

-- Nardine Saad

Photos: La Toya Jackson in October 2009, left, and Elizabeth Taylor at Michael Jackson's funeral service earlier that year. Credits: Virginia Farneti / Associated Press; Harrison Funk

Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter

Katherine Jackson at Conrad Murray trial

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician who was attending to Michael Jackson on the day of the pop star's death, entered a plea of not guilty to involuntary manslaughter Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, L.A. Now reports.

Conrad Murray pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson "Your honor, I am an innocent man," Murray said, adding, "Therefore, I plead not guilty," after being interrupted by Judge Michael Pastor.

Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, was among those in court for Murray's arraignment. Jackson died June 25, 2009, of acute propofol intoxication. 

At a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Dr. Christopher Rogers, a pathologist with the county coroner's office, stated, "I would still call this a homicide even if the doctor did not administer the propofol to Mr. Jackson." Murray's attorneys have suggested that the doctor's defense would include the notion that Jackson self-injected the fatal dose of medication.

Rogers testified that Murray had endangered Jackson by using the powerful surgical anesthetic as a sleep aid in a home setting without proper monitoring, regardless of who gave the final dose.

Prosecutors said there was evidence Murray was on the phone and texting in the hours before he realized Jackson was in cardiac arrest.

Murray invoked his right to a speedy trial, so look for the action to begin by March 2, with jury selection set for March 28. The doctor — whose medical license was stripped Jan. 11, the day the judge decided there was enough evidence for him to stand trial — faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

[For the record, 3:10 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said Jackson died on June 29, 2009. He in fact died on June 25, 2009. Thanks to commenter @HAP for flagging the mistake.]


Michael Jackson autopsy special pulled by Discovery [poll]

Michael Jackson: Scenes from the anniversary of the pop star's death

Michael Jackson glove sells for $330,000; Johnny Cash jumpsuit goes for $50,000 [poll]

— Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: (Top) Katherine Jackson, mother of singer Michael Jackson, arrives for the arraignment of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, at Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday. (Middle) Murray, with lawyer Edward Chernoff, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Credits: Reed Saxon / Associated Press; Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times.

Justin Bieber tells all: 'I'm not normal'


Justin Bieber news comes forth to please the rabid masses in the form of a dishy interview with Vanity Fair -- in which the Biebs discusses his signature hairdo, Will Smith's reading recommendations and Justin's own hero, Michael Jackson

Justin Bieber But first things first: He's nuts.

"Just the way my brain works. I'm not normal. I think differently -- my mind is always racing. I'm just … nuts. But I think the best [musicians] probably are," he tells the mag.

"Music is music, and I'm definitely influenced by Michael Jackson and Boyz II Men," Bieber said, adding that Tupac Shakur is among his faves. Though we'd pay to see him rock out to some "California Love," we'll focus on those Jackson aspirations.

"He was so broad, everybody loved him, and that's what my goal is -- to basically make people happy, to inspire them, and to have everyone root for me," Bieber said.

Bieber was photographed at a private residence in Beverly Hills, where a handful of lucky fans got to participate in the VF goodness (watch a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot, above). While these gals were invited to the party, it's often difficult for Bieber to find any privacy from his fan legion.

That's why when Justin's female "friends" -- like, we don't know, Selena Gomez -- want some alone time with the idol, his personal bodyguard makes it happen.

"I feel like I've become an expert at covert operations,” security head Kenny Hamilton said of the lady visits that occur on Bieber's mandatory days off (up to three per week). 

Other gems from Justin's world include his on-the-road tutoring (he hates school), during which he doesn't read much aside from Will Smith's recommendations, including "Rich Dad Poor Dad." Also, Justin's mother, Pattie Mallette, is super convinced that her son is here for a reason.

Mallette says that "after a personal encounter with God, she believes that she and Justin have been put on earth to bring light and inspiration to the world," the article says.

We'd like her to elaborate on that one. See for yourself when the issue hits stands Thursday.


Justin Bieber off the hook in alleged laser-tag scuffle

Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Oprah top charitable celebs of 2010

Justin Bieber outed as little drummer boy in 'Never Say Never' sneak peek

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Justin Bieber, kisses and all. Credit: Art Streiber / Vanity Fair  

Michael Jackson autopsy special pulled by Discovery [poll]

Michael Jackson autopsy re-enactment pulled Michael Jackson can rest a little more peacefully -- a fictionalized reenactment of the pop singer's autopsy, scheduled to run in January on Discovery Channel in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, has been yanked.

"Given the commencement of legal proceedings beginning next week, and at the request of Michael Jackson's estate, the scheduled broadcast of the medical documentary related to Michael Jackson's official autopsy has been postponed indefinitely," Discovery Networks International said in a statement Friday.

"Legal proceedings" refers to the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's physician at the time of his June 25, 2009, death. Murray's defense team plans to argue that Jackson killed himself with an overdose of propofol, a prosecutor said Wednesday after hearing the defense intended to focus on a second syringe found on the scene.

A print advertisement for the fictional, unauthorized program -- which wouldn't be shown in the U.S. -- shows a body covered by a sheet, with one hand poking out wearing the singer's well-known sequined glove.  "Michael Jackson's Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson," was to have aired on Jan. 13.

An online fan petition against the program was started in early December, and co-executors of Jackson's estate contacted David Zaslov, president and chief exec of Discovery, in a letter Wednesday that called the ad "debased, sick, and insensitive."

"Your decision to even schedule this program is in shockingly bad taste, insensitive to Michael's family and appears motivated solely by your blind desire to exploit Michael's death, while cynically attempting to dupe the public into believing this show will have serious medical value," said the letter, posted by TMZ.


Lisa Marie Presley on Michael Jackson: 'Really in love'

Michael Jackson: Scenes from the anniversary of his death

Michael Jackson glove sells for $330,000; Johnny Cash jumpsuit goes for $50,000 [poll]

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Reuters contributed to this report.

Photo: Michael Jackson in June 2005. Credit: Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images

Michael Jackson glove sells for $330,000; Johnny Cash jumpsuit goes for $50,000 [poll]

Mj-glove If there is such a thing as a money tree, it's probably covered in sequined Michael Jackson gloves -- this observation coming after another single glove worn by the pop star sold for $330,000 at the "Icons and Idols" auction Saturday in Beverly Hills.

The glove worn during the "Bad" tour was a relative bargain compared to the Motown-special glove that went for $350,000 at a New York auction in November 2009.

If you were looking to harvest from a money shrub, however, there you might find something from the Johnny Cash collection. An embroidered blue jumpsuit worn by Cash when he was rehearsing for a 1969 concert at San Quentin prison was also auctioned off Saturday for $50,000, which was 10 times the expected sale price. It was picked up by a fan from Belgium -- just in time for gift giving on the feast of St. Nicholas.

Cash had been snapped in the suit giving the finger to a concert photographer. The image was later used in a "thank you" ad in 1998 after the singer finally won a best country album Grammy, for his 1997 recording "Unchained."

A jacket worn by John Lennon in a Life photo shoot, a guitar used by Jimi Hendrix and black shoes worn and signed by Jackson were among the items up for bid Friday and Saturday.


Lisa Marie Presley on Michael Jackson: 'Really in love'

Corey Feldman covers Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' [video]

Michael Jackson's white glove brings in $350,000 at auction

-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: A Michael Jackson glove from his "Bad" tour is seen during the preview day of the "Icons and Idols" and "Property From the Life and Career of Johnny Cash" auctions at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills on Nov. 19. The auctions were held in Beverly Hills on Friday and Saturday. Credit: Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images



Lisa Marie Presley on Michael Jackson: 'Really in love'

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson in 1994 When Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson were together, they were "really in love," Presley told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired Thursday, "and then we had the rough patches. And I had to make a decision to walk because I saw the drugs and the doctors coming in, and they scared me. They put me right back into what I went through with my father. That ended it."

In what was billed as "her one and only television interview," Presley talked about her marriage to the King of Pop and her reaction to his death.

After crying all day for no reason on June 25, 2009, her tears stopped, she said, when she got a text from friend John Travolta saying that Jackson had died.

"I was floored. Honestly floored."

In 2005, when Presley last spoke to Jackson -- whom she'd married in 1994 and divorced two years later -- she said he had asked her if she still loved him. "I told him I was indifferent," she said. "He didn't like that word. He cried."

Winfrey seemed surprised to hear that the couple had spent four years reconciling and breaking up again after their split. Other tidbits: Jackson at one point told her he feared for his life; he also told her that if she didn't want to have a child with him, Debbie Rowe would do it -- and Presley said she considered it "retaliatory" when Rowe's pregnancy was announced shortly after their divorce.

Continue reading »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Hot Property


Recent Posts



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...