By Jen Heger - Radar Assistant Managing Editor
Janet Jackson was accused of delaying her brother Michael's funeral three years ago because she wanted a hefty deposit of $40k returned, but RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that the actual reason the King of Pop's burial took place several months after he died was because the family couldn't agree on where he should be laid to rest.
"Janet absolutely didn't delay Michael's funeral, that just never happened," a family insider tells RadarOnline.com exclusively. "The main reason for the delay was because the family just couldn't agree on where Michael should be buried. Jermaine and Randy wanted him buried at Neverland but Katherine was absolutely steadfast against that.
"Throw in the fact that Michael's kids had their own ideas and were grieving and there was obviously a lot going on. Janet was just trying to do the right thing at the time and she was very supportive of Michael's kids and her mother during that very dark time. For anyone else to say otherwise is just categorically false. Yes, tensions have developed since then between Janet and her mom over the handling of Michael's estate, but that doesn't change what happened in the weeks after Michael died."
As previously reported, according to Vanity Fair, which obtained an excerpt of a new biography on Jackson by Randall Sullivan: "Janet put up the $40,000 deposit at Forest Lawn to secure a spot for Michael but refused to let the funeral take place until the money was repaid."
Janet's attorney, Blair Brown fired off a letter to Vanity Fair's editor, Graydon Carter, demanding a retraction of the story. In the letter, which is posted on the singer's website, her lawyer says: "The article states that according to Untouchable, Ms. Jackson put down a $40,000 deposit to secure a burial plot for Michael Jackson but refused to let the funeral take place until that money was repaid. This is untrue. Ms. Jackson never delayed the funeral in any way. In fact, she paid for the funeral and was reimbursed for some of those expenses by Michael Jackson's estate in the year after the services took place.
"In addition, there were other private costs associated with Michael Jackson's passing that Ms. Jackson incurred and for which she has never sought reimbursement. To falsely accuse Ms. Jackson of holding up her brother's funeral over money is outrageous. This story is particularly hurtful and distressing because of Ms. Jackson's strong desire to serve her brother, whom she loved dearly, and her wish to stand with and support her family...I demand that Vanity Fair retract its statement that Ms. Jackson 'refused' to let Michael Jackson's funeral take place until the money she put down as a deposit on his burial plot was repaid...The article is replete with additional false and defamatory statements regarding Ms. Jackson. All statements regarding Ms. Jackson should be retracted and all other media website notified of the retractions."
"It's just absolutely sad that there are those in the world who are still trying to exploit Michael Jackson by writing false books about his life and death," the source says. "The Jackson family has been through enough and Michael's kids should be remembered before these ridiculous and false stories are released. No, this family isn't perfect, and they have a lot of issues, make no mistake about that… It just doesn't help to rehash and rewrite history for sensational headlines and to make money."