Murray filed the document in “pro per.” That means he’s representing himself instead of using a lawyer.
Que the “broke jokes.”
*It seems the Discovery Channel is having second thoughts about its broadcasting of a show that supposedly re-enacts Michael Jackson’s autopsy. For now, at least, the program – originally scheduled to air on Jan 13 – has been postponed.
Discovery’s excuse is that the start of hearings next week in the criminal case against Jackson’s doctor affected its decision. Another more likely reason is the protestations against the show by the Jackson estate and Jackson fans.
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate, accused Discovery of insensitivity toward the singer’s family in a letter Wednesday demanding that the company cancel plans for the program, reports the AP.
Branca And McClain said they were especially outraged by an Internet ad (see below) for the show, “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy,” which they described as depicting a corpse on a steel gurney covered by a sheet with a hand sticking out wearing Jackson’s signature sequined glove.
Branca and McClain said Friday in a statement that Discovery seemed to be reacting to outrage from Jackson fans, in addition to their own criticisms:
“Discovery Channel made the correct decision in choosing to cancel this exploitative program. We are hopeful that this show will never run in any market in the future.”
Jerkins, who spoke with VladTV about the album, was a little hush hush on an official release date. “You know there is a lot of red tape, but it’s definitely going to happen,” he said.
To jog your memory, Jerkins produced the late singer’s 2001 single, “You Rock My world.”
“I worked with Michael for years,’ Jerkins continued. “It was definitely a goal of mine as a kid. When I first wanted to be producer, at 11 years old, on a Iittle piece of paper [I] was like, ‘One day I wanna work with Michael Jackson.’ I just believe that God granted my wish.”
Jerkins is still working hard and producing hits for Brittney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce.
Rodney Jerkins and Ray J on the MiJac project:
*Our good buddy from the Bay Area, George Livingston, just hipped jus to Foreverland which is a 14-piece tribute band to the mighty Michael Jackson. He says he caught them last night at the Alemeda County Fair and they were awesome.
We did some research and found out that the group is based in San Francisco and was formed in March of 2009 to honor Michael’s musical genius and legendary showmanship.
With four lead vocalists, four horns and a six-piece rhythm section, the ensemble is best described as a “Remarkable and Rocking Michael Jackson Revue.”
Rather than be limited by a MJ impersonator and pre-recorded backing tracks, the band’s unique approach is to celebrate the larger than life performances, imagination and infectious spirit of this legendary artist.
The result is a fabulous and thumping 14-piece show band that pays homage to MJ’s undeniable talent and timeless dance music.
However, before the band was Foreverland, they were known as Neverland. But it seems the MiJac estate folks didn’t like that too much and forced the band to change their name. Check out this video report for the details:
Find out more about Foreverland here: www.foreverlandsf.com
*As the June 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death approaches, Fox 411 is reporting that his three children have been spending time with Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of his two eldest kids Prince Michael, 13, and 12-year-old Paris.
The mother of the pair’s 8-year-old brother Prince Michael II (Blanket) is unknown.
Rowe, Michael’s ex-wife, had no contact with her kids since the singer’s death last June. The 51-year-old dermatology nurse and horse breeder gave full custody rights to Michael when they divorced in 1999.
In addition to getting to know her children in recent months, Debbie has reportedly been in contact with Michael’s mother Katherine, who is the legal guardian of Prince, Paris and Blanket.
In related news, Katherine has given her blessing to the “Forever Michael” tribute concert planned for Saturday despite reports of skepticism over the organizer, or that it was allegedly arranged without the family’s approval.
To set the record straight, Katherine appeared in a YouTube video with organizer Joseph Fahmy of Voice Plate Productions to thank him for putting the show together.
“I know that Michael would be very honored and very pleased that his fans all over the world are coming together to celebrate his life,” she said. [Scroll down to watch.]
TMZ.com alleged earlier this month that “Forever Michael” is not sanctioned by Jackson’s estate.
Howard Weitzman, lawyer for the estate, told the Web site: “No one ever contacted the estate to see whether or not they would approve, participate in, or allow the use of Michael’s name, likeness, image or intellectual property.”
Fahmy told The Associated Press on Monday that Katherine Jackson “just rescued me” with her show of support.
“There was some negative press, and rumors that it wasn’t authorized,” Fahmy explained. “But we know it was. … The Jacksons are so private, and, really, I was going to allow the press to just say what they were going to say, and take the beating from the press, just to give them (the Jacksons) their privacy.”
Added Fahmy: “Towards the end here, Mrs. Jackson just said, ‘I need to clear the air for you, because you’re doing such a wonderful thing.’ And she was just one of the sweetest ladies you could ever meet.”
The event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, estimated to cost $250,000, will include performances by the Chi-Lites and Genevieve Jackson, Michael Jackson’s niece and the daughter of Randy Jackson. Tickets start at $150 and go up to $500.
Part of the proceeds will go to the Jackson Family Foundation and to Michael Jackson’s favorite charities, according to the organizers.
[More Katherine news below.]
TMZ is also reporting that Weitzman has threatened legal action against the businessman who partnered with Katherine for her new coffee table book, which Fahmy plugs in the above video.
The Web site reported:
Howard Mann — whose business ventures include online nude gambling — got Katherine Jackson to agree to publish the book, “Never Can Say Goodbye,” scheduled for release this week.
Mann also told TMZ he and Katherine will make record deals for 273 unreleased Michael Jackson songs — part of an MJ treasure trove he acquired in a fire sale after Joe Jackson failed to pay a storage bill.
But estate lawyer Howard Weitzman is ticked, claiming Mann “may be using his relationship with Mrs. Jackson to infringe upon Michael Jackson’s copyrights … to the detriment of, among others, Michael’s three kids.”
Weitzman says Mann has no right “to exploit any estate assets” and he will take “whatever action is necessary to prevent him from unlawfully profiting.” TMZ translation — the estate will sue his ass if Mann goes forward.
We’re told Katherine Jackson is happy with the job the executors have done — namely filling the coffers with hundreds of millions of dollars — but sources say family members are in her ear, getting her to sign off on ventures that end up hurting the estate, MJ’s kids, and Katherine herself.
*Things could get very interesting in court today in downtown LA today because, according to TMZ, Dr. Conrad Murray and members of Michael Jackson’s immediate family could come face to face.
The site says family members, including Papa Joe, are very upset with Dr. Murray because of TMZ’s report that his defense team reportedly will argue that MiJac killed himself by self-medicating with too much Propofol.
On top of that, a Michael Jackson Facebook group has organized a protest outside the court and so far nearly 500 people are scheduled to show up for the 1:30pm Pacific (4:30pm Eastern) hearing.