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Michael Jackson's memorial to be held

music Updated: Jul 04, 2009 10:53 IST
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A massive public memorial for Michael Jackson is to take place in downtown Los Angeles, his concert promoter Randy Phillips said.

Phillips, the president and CEO of AEG, said the service will begin at 10 a.m. (1700 GMT) at the 20,000-capacity Staples Centre with live images screened on widescreen televisions for an overflow crowd expected to gather in the plaza outside the huge basketball stadium and convention centre.

"Details are still to be finalized when I meet with the Jackson family this afternoon," Philips said on local TV station KNBC. "Everything is in preliminary stages except the place and time."

The station also reported that Jackson's former wife Debbie Rowe, who is the mother of his two older children, would seek custody. "I want my children," she said.

Rowe also said that she would seek a restraining order to keep Jackson's father Joe, whom the pop star claimed had abused him as a child, away from her children.

In Jackson's will, he appointed his mother Katherine, 79, as the guardian of his children, with soul diva Diana Ross tapped as an alternate.

Plans to hold the memorial at Jackson's home in Neverland had to be cancelled because of the difficulties expected in dealing with thousands of fans in the remote region. But Jackson's brother Jermaine told the Today Show that the family still hoped to make the fantasy-like refuge his final resting place once permits were obtained.

Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) joined the investigation into Jackson's death following evidence that the singer had desperately sought the powerful sedative Diprivan days before his death from cardiac arrest. The drug is used in hospitals as an anaesthetic.

Jermaine said the family has been deeply hurt by speculation that an overdose of prescription drugs may have caused Jackson's death. "For people to come forward to say things they don't have the facts (to back up) is very damaging for the family, to me, to us. Because we don't know," he said in the interview, conducted at Neverland.