GLENDALE, Calif.–Michael Jackson was entombed last night with the likes of Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and W.C. Fields, in a grand marble mausoleum that will be all but off-limits to adoring fans who might otherwise turn the pop star’s grave into a shrine.
The funeral began about an hour and a half late because of the tardy arrival of his parents, Joe and Katherine, and other family members. They included the singer’s three children, Prince Michael, 12, Paris Michael, 10, and Prince Michael II, 7, known as Blanket.
Police had escorted the family’s motorcade of 31 cars, including Rolls-Royces and Cadillacs, from Encino to Forest Lawn Glendale cemetery, with the hearse bearing Jackson’s body at the end.The service was held one month after a lavish public memorial that displayed the King of Pop’s gleaming golden casket to millions on TV.
Among those in attendance were Jackson’s close friend actress Elizabeth Taylor, controversial former baseball star Barry Bonds and Macaulay Culkin. The 77-year-old Taylor and about 200 other mourners were left waiting in the late summer heat, with the temperature stuck at 32 Celsius just before sunset.
Lisa Burk, who blogs about celebrity graves at www.gravehunting.com, said the Jackson family chose well for his final resting place if it was privacy they were after.
“It’s impossible to get in there,” Burk said. “It was before, and it will be worse now.”
In court on Wednesday, it was disclosed that 12 burial spaces were being purchased by Jackson’s estate at Forest Lawn Glendale, north of downtown Los Angeles, but no details were offered on how they would be used.
The King of Pop died a drug-induced death June 25 at age 50. The coroner’s office has labelled the death a homicide.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal physician, told detectives he gave the singer a series of sedatives and the powerful anesthetic propofol to help him sleep.
But prosecutors are still investigating, and no charges have been filed.