Katherine Jackson apparently was the source of the delay of the start of Michael Jackson's burial service on Thursday night. A source in direct contact with the family said Katherine didn’t begin getting ready at her Encino home until 6:45 p.m., just 15 minutes before the scheduled start.
“She actually had to be coerced into going in the end,” said the source. “It was like the reality of what this had turned into — an event and not anything remotely private — hit her all at once.”
Katherine and the rest of the Jacksons ultimately made it to the Glendale Forest Lawn cemetery, where guests such as Elizabeth Taylor had been waiting for nearly two hours in some cases.
Taylor’s appearance was a surprise to many — though she was one of Jackson’s closest confidantes, she was not at the public memorial in July. The source says Taylor was actually not invited to the July 7 private ceremony that took place just before the public event at the Staples Center, and this invite was extended at the last minute.
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“She didn’t go to Staples because she didn’t want to be part of the spotlight. When she accepted a rather last minute invite to this memorial, she thought it was really going to be private. She had no idea that she’d be on camera so much. She definitely didn’t expect to wait outside for hours,” said the source.
Debbie Rowe to help with kids?
Michael Jackson’s entombment comes as a great relief to the entire Jackson family, but no one is more relieved to have this closure than Katherine.
“Everyone’s been telling her how strong she is, but even she said, ‘It’s not always easy to be this strong,’” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a Jackson family friend.
Katherine was involved in the decision-making process for all aspects of the entombment, and she has also been influential in which money-making deals some of her other children do — or don’t — accept.
Video: Michael Jackson laid to rest “She’s put a stop to a lot of arrangements that could have resulted in some of Michael’s brothers getting a paycheck,” said a family friend. “There have been huge fights over it; she’s stood her ground.”
Much has been made about Katherine’s age, 79, and whether she was up to caring for Michael’s kids, Paris, Prince and Blanket. One person in direct contact with Katherine says she’s feeling the stress of having the kids on a daily basis, and she might reach out for help.
She won’t turn to Diana Ross, though. “There have been conversations about Debbie Rowe spending more time with the kids,” said the source. “There’s nothing set yet, but there are conversations within the family about Debbie being more involved. It’s hard on Katherine.”
After Oprah comments, Chris Brown is ‘done’
In the new issue of People magazine, Chris Brown says he felt like Oprah Winfrey’s show about domestic violence, which was dedicated to “all the Rihannas of the world,” and aired after he assaulted ex-girlfriend Rihanna, was a “slap in the face.”
“I commend Oprah on being like, ‘This is a problem,’ but it was a slap in my face,” Brown told People. “I did a lot of stuff for her, like going to Africa and performing for her school. She could’ve been more helpful, like, ‘OK, I’m going to help both of these people out.’”
Slideshow: Rihanna and Chris Brown Brown might come to regret speaking out on the issue. “He’s done,” said one well-placed source with direct connections to some of Brown’s endorsement opportunities. “Whatever goodwill he had, he’s totally ruined it by saying that. What was he thinking? And who the hell goes up against Oprah? It just shows he doesn’t think. No one is going to want him as the face of their brand.”
Brown’s rep didn’t return a call for comment. Winfrey had this to say about Brown’s quotes to People: “Oprah is very appreciative that Chris Brown performed at her school, but she takes domestic abuse very seriously. She hopes he gets the counseling he needs.”
Weekend box office
Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings If “All About Steve” is going to dominate movie theaters this weekend, then it needs to be all about ignoring all the bad buzz surrounding the Bradley Cooper/Sandra Bullock rom-com. Its main competition is “Gamer,” which is going to appeal to everyone in the mood to go to a movie on Saturday who’s heard they should wait for DVD to see “All About Steve.” It should also draw the date night crowd. Even though “Gamer” is an action flick aimed at men, it stars Gerard Butler… enough said. Expect “Gamer” to win.
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