Jermaine Jackson: "I Wish It Was Me"
In a tearful interview on NBC's Today show, Jermaine Jackson said he should have died instead of his brother, Michael, whose death last week remains under investigation.
"I wish it was me," he told Today's Matt Lauer, who sat down with Jackson on the grounds of his late brother's Neverland Ranch. "I always felt that I was his backbone, someone to be there for him."
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While the Jackson family confirmed no public memorial service would take place at Neverland this weekend, Jackson said he hoped the 2,500-acre ranch would be his brother's final resting place. "This is his home, he created this, why wouldn't he be here?" he told Lauer. Jackson's interment at Neverland would require an exception by local officials because burials are restricted to cemeteries. (Should Michael be buried at Neverland? Vote in our poll below.)
"Plans are under way regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans shortly," Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine said in a statement. Local and state officials also told CNN that while the idea of a Neverland memorial was floated, the logistics were found to be too costly.
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MSNBC reported the Staples Center offered the facility for a public memorial, but the Jackson family has not replied.
Questions surrounding the pop star's death continue, including reports of prescription drug abuse. The Los Angeles police has requested assistance from the DEA in their investigation, according the Associated Press. Typically, the federal agency joins a case to offer resources about drug use and abuse to which local law-enforcements officials might not have access.
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Lauer asked how Jackson would feel if toxicology results showed that his brother had been abusing prescription drugs. "I would be hurt, because Michael was always a person who was against that," he said.
In other updates:
-CNN has video footage of a rehearsal two days before Jackson's death.
-In separate interviews with the AP, Uri Geller said he had a falling-out with Jackson, his friend of many years, about his drug abuse, and a former bodyguard said there were times when it was difficult to wake him.
-The L.A Times says that Michael Jackson's death distracted the media from what was "a bad week" for the Obama administration.
-In an AP poll, 64 percent of Americans say there has been too much coverage.
-ABC News speculates wildly about who stands to benefit financially from Michael Jackson's death.
-The New York Times tracks Jackson's sales since his untimely death. (Hint: They've been good.)