The private service for Michael Jackson has now ended at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles and Jackson’s body will now be transported in a $25,000 gold casket to the Staples Center where it will take center stage at a massive public memorial for the King Of Pop.
The ceremony was attended by Michael’s parents, siblings and members of the extended Jackson family.
The family – in a 30 car motorcade – will now head under heavy police escort to the Staples Center to take part in the star-studded public memorial for Michael. The memorial is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PDT and is expected to last 90-minutes. It will be televised live worldwide.
There is word that the memorial could begin late due to the private service running a little behind schedule.
Some 18,000 people are attending that memorial after winning free tickets to the event via a lottery over the internet.
6,500 other people will be able to watch the memorial on giant television screens nearby in the Nokia Theatre.
Earlier, a source told RadarOnline.com that if traffic is determined to be too bad near and around the Staples Center, the body could possibly be transported – not by limo – but by helicopter to the memorial.
A slew of stars will also be there including Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Usher, Brooke Shields, John Mayer, Queen Latifah and Stevie Wonder, among many others.
Jackson’s good friend Elizabeth Taylor has said she will not attend the memorial, preferring instead to grieve in private.
Debbie Rowe — Jackson’s ex-wife and mother of his two children – also says she will not attend, saying her presence there would only cause a distraction.
Earlier, it was believed that Michael would be buried Tuesday at Forest Lawn, but as RadarOnline.com reported earlier, that will likely not happen.
A source tells RadarOnline.com that Jackson will not be buried Tuesday at Forest Lawn because, at this time, arrangements have not been made for the singer to be buried there. Instead, the source says several different scenarios could play out. The body could be kept at Forest Lawn until it is eventually buried there. Another possibility: Jackson’s body could be cremated and his remains laid to rest at his beloved NeverLand Ranch near Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County.
At noon PDT, the body will be brought back to Forest Lawn for the time being.
Ironically, on this date back in 1988, Jackson was at the top of his game. He had the number one song in the country, Dirty Diana.