Janet Jackson's Lawyer Responds to Vanity Fair Claims She Delayed Brother's Funeral
UPDATED: A book excerpt that suggests she held up the burial until she received her $40,000 deposit back is called "false and defamatory."
A lawyer for Janet Jackson has responded to a new story in the November issue of Vanity Fair claiming the singer refused to let her superstar brother Michael Jackson's funeral take place until her $40,000 deposit to secure a plot for him at Forest Lawn Memorial Park was repaid.
[UPDATE: Vanity Fair has issued their response. See below.]
The story was an excerpt from Randall Sullivan's upcoming book, Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson.
Read the letter here.
In a letter dated Oct. 5 and addressed to Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter, Jackson attorney Blair G. Brown calls the article "false and defamatory."
Brown says Jackson "never delayed the funeral in any way," and in fact "paid for the funeral and was reimbursed for some of those expenses by Michael Jackson's estate in the year after the sevices took place."
"I demand that Vanity Fair retract its statement," Brown writes. "I also demand that Vanity Fair contact all other media and websites that have re-published Vanity Fair's false statement and inform them of its retraction and its corrective statement."
Among the outlets cited by Brown as having repeated the claims are The Huffington Post, the New York Daily News and the Daily Mail website.
The letter was posted in full to Janet Jackson's official website.
The singer has been under the unflattering glare of the media spotlight lately, amid ongoing family infighting over the fate of her brother's will and guardianship of his three surviving children.
Vanity Fair responds:
"Vanity Fair stands by Randall Sullivan’s assertion that Janet Jackson’s demand to be reimbursed for her deposit on her brother’s burial plot was one of the reasons Michael Jackson’s funeral was delayed. Sullivan's sources told him that the amount of the deposit was $40,000, but records released last week indicate that the amount of the deposit was $49,000. Vanity Fair will make that correction on VF.com."