Michael Jackson may not be biological father of kids: report; public viewing planned at Neverland
The body of the late pop icon reportedly will be driven Thursday to his fantasy ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif., paving the way for a massive viewing Friday. A 30-car motorcade is set to carry Jackson’s remains from an undisclosed location in the Los Angeles area to the rolling hills surrounding Neverland, where thousands of fans are expected to converge. The over-the-top farewell will be capped off by a private memorial Sunday at the 2,800-acre ranch – named for the mythical island in “Peter Pan” – law enforcement sources told CNN. Jackson once lived at Neverland, which boasted an amusement park and a menagerie, but abandoned it after county officials charged him with molesting a child there. Officials said they could not confirm numerous reports about the funeral plans, and Jackson’s family had no comment. The details emerged on a day of fast-moving developments: – Jackson’s will was found, a day after his family said he didn’t leave one. It gives his mother, Katherine, custody of his three children and orders that his assets be placed in trust, a source told The Associated Press. The will, drafted in July 2002, names as executors Jackson’s longtime lawyer John Branca and music executive John McClain. Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that Jackson cut his father, Joe, out of the will and divided his estate among his mother, children and charity. – Financial documents surfaced showing Jackson left plenty to fight over – he was worth $236 million a couple of years before his death. He had a staggering $331 million in debt, but listed $567.6 million in assets, including Neverland, his share of the music catalogue that includes Beatles song rights, and an assortment of cars, antiques and memorabilia. The five-page financial report says Jackson, known for his extravagant shopping sprees and lawsuits that called him a deadbeat, had just $668,215 in cash. – Questions emerged over whether Jackson fathered his three children. TMZ.com reported yesterday Jackson was not the biological father of the kids, while Us Weekly claimed his dermatologist, Arnold Klein, donated the sperm for the eldest two. – TMZ also reported that ex-wife Debbie Rowe was not the biological mother but a surrogate who carried fetuses conceived in vitro to term. – Rowe’s lawyer Marta Almli fired back, telling Radar Online the report was “entirely false” and hurtful. “Ms. Rowe is the biological mother of the two oldest children,” Almli said. – With the cause of Jackson’s death still unknown, a nurse revealed that the King of Pop had been clamoring for the powerful sedative Diprivan. Cherilyn Lee said she believed Jackson might have gotten his hands on some because four days before his death, she got a frantic phone from staffers. “I could hear Michael in the background. … ‘One side of my body is hot, it’s hot, and one side of my body is cold. It’s very cold,”‘ Lee recalled. “I said, ‘Tell him he needs to go the hospital. I don’t know what’s going on, but he needs to go to the hospital … right away.’” “At that point I knew that somebody had given him something that hit the central nervous system,” she said. – The concert promoter behind Jackson’s planned 50 comeback concerts in London announced it would give full refunds, starting Wednesday, to fans who bought tickets through authorized agents. AEG Live says Jackson fans can also opt for a paper souvenir ticket in place of a full refund. A star-studded tribute show, including routines and sets created for Jackson’s canceled concerts, is likely to get the go-ahead. Members of the Jackson family and other world music stars could take to the stage because the “world needs to see” what the singer had been working on, AEG Live promoter Randy Phillips said Tuesday.