Jacksons divided over Paris' speech
Jul 8, 2009, 9:21 GMT
The children of Michael Jackson, at right, Paris and Prince Michael Jackson II (also known as Blanket) (at front) are comforted by their aunts Janet Jackson (L) and LaToya Jackson (2R) during the public memorial service for Michael Jackson held at Staples Center on 07 July 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Jackson, 50, the iconic pop star, died at UCLA Medical Center after going into cardiac arrest at his rented home on June 25 in Los Angeles, California. EPA/GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP POOL
Michael Jackson's siblings reportedly argued about his daughter speaking at his memorial service.
Yesterday's (07.07.09) tribute to the late 'Heal The World' singer ended after his family took to the stage to address the assembled crowd at Los Angeles' Staples Center, with 11-year-old Paris speaking about how much she loved her father.
However, sources claim that not everyone in the family approved of her public address.
An insider said: ''It obviously wasn't a good idea to end that way. The good Reverend Lucious Smith tied up the loose ends nicely. Gave the service the proper coda.''
The Chicago Sun Times newspaper reported: "At the end of the service, there was a bit of a disagreement within the assembled Jackson siblings on stage. While Janet, LaToya and Marlon felt it important for Michael's only daughter, Paris Katherine Jackson, to say a few words, some of the others - including Randy and Jermaine - weren't so sure."
Despite the reservations, a close family friend believes the youngster's 26-word speech helped remind people it was a somber occasion.
The friend said: ''I think it made everyone else cry, too, but that was OK. It made people realise this was a grief-stricken daughter pouring out her heart. I'll never forget that moment.''
The two-and-a-half hour service - which featured a mix of performances, tributes and recollections from those who knew the pop icon - was dominated by the presence of the star's coffin in the centre of the stage, reportedly due to Michael's parents Joe and Katherine Jackson's wish to have an occasion similar to the funeral of the late Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in 1997.
A source explained: "Despite the performances and the celebration of Michael's work and life, the family were keen to make the event seem more like a public funeral than a party. They thought Michael's presence would set the tone.
"They wanted the motorcade and the service to have a thoughtful and sombre feel, reminiscent of Princess Diana's funeral."
Prior to the memorial service - which was watched by billions on TV and the internet around the world - 100 of the singer's close friends and family had gathered at the Hall of Liberty in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park for a private funeral service.
The 18-car motorcade accompanying the coffin from Joe and Katherine's house to the cemetery was given a police escort and forced major Los Angeles roads to shut.
Police roadblocks around the resting place prevented fans from approaching the private service.
Although the singer's body was expected to return to the cemetery after the memorial service, Michael's death certificate - with information provided by his sister LaToya - says his final resting place is currently unknown.
It also lists his cause of death as unknown, as toxicology tests are still being conducted.
Michael passed away from a suspected cardiac arrest on June 25 aged 50.