LOS ANGELES – In his new book “Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson,” author Randall Sullivan reveals new insights into the dysfunction and greed ingrained in the Jackson family, and the ugliness that ensued after Michael’s death in 2009.
Sullivan’s book reveals that Michael’s burial was delayed for nearly three months due to arguments between his estate and his sister Janet Jackson, 46. Sullivan writes that Janet put down a $40,000 deposit to secure her deceased brother a spot at Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries in Glendale, Calif., but refused to allow the funeral to take place until the money was repaid to her.
More stories of greed emerge, as Sullivan writes that when a private security company was dispatched to Michael’s home on the night he died, La Toya and her boyfriend, Jeffre Phillips showed up hours later demanding they be allowed inside. The pop star’s mother, Katherine, also arrived that night and was admitted to the home, where she called Grace Rwaramba, the recently terminated longtime nanny to Michael’s children, and asked her if she knew where her son used to hide his money.
Rwaramba said the singer typically hid cash in black plastic garbage bags and under the carpets, and according to security staff member Ronald Williams, he recalls seeing La Toya and Phillips loading black plastic garbage bags into duffel bags and placing them in the garage — though La Toya claims that all of her brother’s money was gone by the time she arrived at his home.
Sullivan’s book also details Katherine Jackson’s “abduction” this past July, with her rep telling the author that it was Janet who arranged for Dr. Allen Metzger to go to her mother’s home where she had been living with Michael’s three children, Paris, Prince and Blanket. Metzger allegedly advised Katherine not to make a trip to New Mexico by car, as she planned, because of her elevated blood pressure. Katherine was escorted to the airport by her daughter Rebbie and her granddaughter Stacee Brown, and it was then that she realized she had instead been booked on a flight to Tuscon, and was booked Miraval Resort & Spa, where Janet was waiting upon arrival.
Katherine’s reps claim it was at this time that her children and grandchildren wrote a letter to the executors of Michael’s estate asking them to resign and claimed their mother suffered a mini-stroke. Her reps say they conspired against her to attempt to gain a conservatorship over her possibly by demonstrating her incompetence to serve as guardian of Michael’s children, in an attempt to gain control of the late singer’s fortune.
What followed was a bitter and public custody dispute over the singer’s three children, and a judge ultimately ended up appointing Katherine and her grandson T.J Jackson as co-guardians.
By Jason Lewis
Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), known as the Black Press of America, is the federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers in the United States.