Jackson: A tribute from fans, a lawsuit from dad
| June 28, 2010 9:00 PM
LOS ANGELES — On the day Michael Jackson’s fans paid their respects with tears, tributes, songs and dance, Jackson’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor charged with giving his son a lethal dose of drugs.
Joe Jackson’s visit to a federal courtroom in Los Angeles, while thousands of people were filing through the gates of a nearby cemetery to mourn the man they call the King of Pop, punctuated once again just how brilliantly the star that was Michael Jackson’s life had burned, and how suddenly it had been extinguished.
“The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Gone Too Soon,” proclaimed a 100-foot banner spread out near the entrance to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale on Friday to mark the first anniversary of Jackson’s death.
“He’s been my idol all my life since I can remember. I feel like I haven’t had closure,” said Erick Dominguez, who traveled more than 80 miles from his home in Victorville to the Los Angeles suburb to pay his respects. As he spoke, the 37-year-old sales representative, his eyes hidden by sunglasses, began to weep. He was joined by mourners from Italy, France, Spain, Norway and numerous other parts of the world.
Several of Jackson’s relatives also visited the cemetery, going to its mausoleum, where Jackson’s body is entombed and which is off limits to the public. Brother Tito shook hands with fans as he arrived, and brother Jermaine rolled down a window and waved as the family left in a fleet of luxury vehicles. As they departed, fans released a flock of white doves.
“It was a beautiful sight,” said one of the mourners, Courtland Llauger.
In Jackson’s hometown of Gary, Ind., hundreds cheered as the entertainer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, unveiled a memorial to her son in the front yard of the modest home where he grew up.
“This past year has been very hard on the family,” she told the crowd. “If it wasn’t for the help of all of you, we wouldn’t have made it through.”
Jackson died June 25, 2009, at age 50, just before he was to begin a comeback tour. Dr. Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter. Authorities say Murray provided the entertainer with a mix of sedatives — including the powerful anesthetic propofol — that killed him.
Jackson’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the physician Friday, seeking more than $75,000. The complaint accuses Murray of professional negligence and contends he tried to conceal his administration of propofol after Jackson’s death. Propofol is normally administered only in hospital settings.