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Jackson children staying out of spotlight

Grandmother Katherine Jackson is protecting her three grandchildren from the storm of media attention that blew up in the wake of singer Michael Jackson's death.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Many members of the Jackson family have been photographed in the days since the singer's June 25 death, but his three children, Michael Jr., 12; Paris, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7, have not been seen.

However, a Jackson family friend who recently spent time with them said, “the kids are doing as OK as can be expected,” adding that the children are mostly isolated from the storm of media attention surrounding the family.

“They’ve been with their grandmother (Katherine Jackson) ever since and she’s doing everything she can to protect them from all the media focus,” the friend said. “They aren’t even close to processing all of this. They are probably years away from that, really. But they’re doing OK.”

Stars stay mum on plans for memorialScores of celebrities paid tribute to Michael Jackson during the hours and days following his death. Far fewer are confirming that they’ll attend the July 7 memorial for the King of Pop.

So far, a firm “yes” from an A-list star has remained elusive. However, several top stars are said to be in talks about attending and performing, including Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Aretha Franklin. Publicists for talk-show host Oprah Winfrey couldn’t confirm whether or not she’d be attending.

Although one rumor claimed that non-disclosure agreements were stopping celebrities from discussing their attendance, an organizer says that’s not the case.

Instead, stars aren’t talking out of respect for the gravity of the event.

“Remember, it’s a memorial,” said the source. “We’re trying to get everyone to treat it that way.”

Big costs for L.A.Although the city of Los Angeles has a budget for “extraordinary events” such as the public memorial scheduled for July 8 at the Staples Center, the city is still looking at as much as $2.5 million in incidental costs associated with the memorial.

A source within the LAPD who is directly involved with the calculations of those costs, which include sanitation, IT expenses and technical support, among others, confirms that $2.5 million is the current “best calculation” for now.

The LAPD will have a final deployment review later on Monday to make sure there are “sufficient resources” for the memorial. Another estimate could be expected then.

Jan Perry, Los Angeles City Councilwoman and acting mayor, said she does not yet have an exact number for the incidental costs, but conceded they could be significant and every effort will be made to keep track of them. “I'll be proposing a motion, likely on Tuesday (July 7) that will require every department to report their costs associated with the memorial.”

Perry also clarified, “We are not paying for this memorial. Costs from Staples or AEG are not ours to cover, this is a private event. In terms of police protection, for one of the designated ‘extraordinary’ events like the memorial, it is covered by the existing police budget.”

No shortage of video from Jackson rehearsals
The video AEG released from Michael Jackson's final rehearsal, which took place 48 hours before his sudden death, is just one of many that exist.

“Practically every minute of every rehearsal, since they began in March, was videotaped,” according to a well-placed source inside the “This Is It” tour production. “After Michael died everything was turned over to AEG.”

Also, the source verifies that the tape that's already been released is indeed from Jackson's last rehearsal.

“Some people are saying that because he wasn't performing to 110 percent it must be from an old rehearsal. That's ridiculous — it's the last rehearsal. You can tell he's totally on, that is just how an artist rehearses. When it's a real show, that's when you go all out.”

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop daily for msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.