Scoop: Finally, Jackson’s Post-death Victory Lap Ending

Also in the Scoop: Jeremy Piven's mercury poisoning and People's Jaycee Dugard's coverage

By Courtney Hazlett
|  Thursday, Sep 3, 2009  |  Updated 6:56 AM CDT
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Life and Times: Michael Jackson

AP

Jackson's children might speak at his burial.

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More than two months after his death, Michael Jackson’s burial will finally take place at Glendale Forest Lawn Park on Thursday. He’ll be laid to rest near many of his longtime heroes, such as Walt Disney and Nat King Cole.

Aside from immediate family, expect Jackson family confidantes, such as Rev. Al Sharpton, to attend the 7 p.m. (PDT) burial . A family source confirms that Debbie Rowe, Prince and Paris Jackson’s mother, was invited to attend, but at press time she hadn’t confirmed whether she’d be there.

As for the ceremony itself, “it won’t be a religious one,” according to the family source. “The kids (Paris, Prince and Blanket) might say something, too, but the plan is to have (Jackson’s brother) Randy deliver the eulogy.”

The family has said that they want this to be a private event; however, sources close to the clan say to expect to see “private” portions surface on the A&E reality show about the Jackson brothers that is currently being taped.

Something that might never make it to film, however, is the infighting that still exists in the Jackson family. “There is such a lack of natural affection toward Michael,” said the source. “It’s like they’re fans, not family, and they’re just idolizing him instead of burying him in a timely way, which is how they’d bury any other Jackson. And when they aren’t idolizing him, they’re worrying about his money. Michael supported almost the whole family, and now there’s panic.”

Jeremy Piven’s mercurial victory lap
Like sushi on sticky rice, Jeremy Piven is not letting go of his brush with mercury poisoning. Piven was recently cleared of leaving his “Speed-the-Plow” production in the lurch when mercury poisoning caused him to have to exit the Broadway show abruptly.

The “Entourage” star further explained his departure on “The Late Show With David Letterman” Sept. 1. He said the ailment might seem like “a rich man’s disease ... like something you might get from the leather seats in your Lamborghini.”

If that isn’t something you can relate to, there is this: “A cardiologist of almost 30 years said, ‘Here’s the deal. You can’t go back and do eight shows a week, you simply can’t ... unless you want to have a heart attack.’” 

Keeping tabs: It’s People’s week
Without a doubt, Jaycee Dugard’s kidnapping and reunion with her family 18 years later is among the most captivating stories in recent memory. And, among the celeb weeklies, only People is capable of handling such news. That they excel at doing it deftly, combining the real-crime element with the appropriate amount of human interest detail, means that People will do quite well against the competition this week. Other mags of note: Interesting that Life & Style does “Inside Shiloh’s World,” while sister pub In Touch runs with an exclusive of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, “Separated!” You’d think that a separation would make L&S’s short list of bullet points on Shiloh’s life, instead of say, “private flying lessons.”

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.

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