Return to Transcripts main page


Burying Michael Jackson

Aired September 3, 2009 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It is 7:00 p.m. in Southern California.

The breaking news: Michael Jackson's funeral is just about to start. It was supposed to start immediately at the top of the hour. Obviously, not all the seats are filled.

Two views of the affair, live pictures taken from high above Forest Lawn Glendale Memorial Park in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, the no-fly zone overhead lifted as long as choppers stay above 3,000 feet, we're told.

We're also expecting a video from inside of friends and family as they arrive, names we have all come to know, family members mostly, but also Elizabeth Taylor. There you see Macaulay Culkin, Stevie Wonder said to be there, Gladys Knight as well. There's Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

The Reverend Al Sharpton is there as well. He will be talking shortly. And we talked to him a short time ago. We will play that for you as well. We're told he may also be sending tweets from inside the cemetery. If he does, we will let you know what they say.

We will be hearing from some of them throughout the next two hours and later on a special live edition of "LARRY KING" at midnight, East Coast time, 9:00 p.m. West Coast. We will also bring you an update on the homicide investigation of -- into Michael Jackson.

First, though, as we continue to watch video from inside Forest Glen, let's check in with Randi Kaye just outside the cemetery. We will also be talking with addiction special Dr. Drew Pinsky, legal analyst Lisa Bloom, and Kelefa Sanneh, of "The New Yorker" magazine and family friend Gotham Chopra.

Randi, what's happening outside?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we really have a front- row seat here to Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where Michael Jackson will be laid to rest here shortly.

We are just outside the main gate. You can probably see those gates there behind me. Those are actually the largest wrought iron gates in the world. Michael Jackson's mausoleum is actually just over that hill behind me. That's where he will be buried. It's about a two-minute drive from the front gate.

But we have been watching a steady stream of cars come along here of many of the friends, the close friends of the Jackson family who have been showing up for this very private, very secretive burial service.

As you mentioned already, Elizabeth Taylor is there. We -- we did see her arrive. Gladys Knight, we're told, will be here. We haven't seen her yet, but she will be performing tonight. Stevie Wonder will also be here. We did see Katherine Jackson's attorney, Michael Jackson's mother's at attorney, Londell McMillan. He came by as well, and Macaulay Culkin, as you saw.

So, at this point, we are camped out along here with about 60 different media outlets. If you take a look, there is media from around the world here. We talked to some other media members from Australia, also from Japan, and it has been quite a scene here all day.

One thing we haven't seen yet so far, Anderson, is any family. We have yet to see Katherine Jackson, Joe Jackson, or any of Michael Jackson's brothers here. We do have the -- the actual invitation that went out to the close friends of the family who would be attending here tonight, inviting them to come along.

It's a beautiful invitation. It's about nine pages long. And if you take a look just on the inside, you can see that there's some pictures of -- of Michael Jackson from his earlier days at Neverland Ranch, and some -- also, some beautiful pictures of him when he was just a young boy as well.

So, that is what's happening out here on the street. The roads are all closed off along here for at least two or three blocks, so you're not really seeing any members of the public. There's a few people who have come out of their homes. But, other than that, they are being kept back.

And, right now, it is just the media camped out waiting for the family to arrive and this very long-awaited service to begin -- Anderson.

COOPER: Randi, approximately where are you? I mean, where is the entrance in relation to what we're seeing on the left-hand side of our screen, which is this aerial shot of -- of all the seats in the facility?

KAYE: The best thing that I can do, really, is to step out of the screen here and show you. If you take a look, you're looking probably at the -- at the main gate there, which is those -- those wrought iron gates.

And then there's a drive, there's a big building, and then up beyond that big hill is where -- if you -- if you get a shot of the hill, up beyond that is where the Great Mausoleum is. And that is where Michael Jackson will be laid to rest. That is where that service will be.

He will be laid to rest at Holly Terrace. But the Great Mausoleum is one of the many beautiful places just beyond that hill where -- where they do hold services like this. This is one of the most -- most exquisite, most majestic cemeteries, really, that you have ever seen.

And, certainly, that place is very secure. That mausoleum is -- is very secure, which may be one of the reasons why the family chose to bury Michael Jackson there, and certainly a -- a good place for all of these people to be gathering, all of these celebrities, and as well as the Jackson family -- Anderson.

But that is -- that is the place. As I said, it's just a two- minute drive just inside the main gate here at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

COOPER: And we're seeing a number of seats unfilled. We're told the family is running late. So, we're just going to continue to -- to follow this and see who arrives.

KAYE: Yes. And...

COOPER: Randi?

KAYE: And, Anderson, one thing I can add is that, as you look at all these people arriving and all of these people waiting, we still, of course, do see a lot of empty chairs, so it could be a while.

But one thing I can tell you is that I'm told that anyone is welcome to come in and speak tonight, get up and say a few words. So, it's not just the people who may have been invited to speak. They are leaving it open to anyone who would like to say a few words about Michael Jackson.

They're still planning on keeping it to an hour, of course, but they have said anyone can get up and say a few kind words about the king of pop and how they remember him.

COOPER: We talked to Reverend Al Sharpton shortly before he went -- he's there now -- about what he was going to be speaking -- he said -- also, he told us that people would be able to get up and give their remembrances.

And he told us a little bit about what he would talk about. And we will play you that interview shortly.

Gotham Chopra, as you watched these images, you knew Michael Jackson for 20 years, probably almost as long as you have been alive. It's got to be kind of surreal to see this. I mean, to know he's gone is one thing. A funeral -- you know, there was a memorial service already, but a funeral is sort of, obviously, the -- the final goodbye.


Well, first of all, I'm very flattered that you would think I'm close to 20 years.

(LAUGHTER) CHOPRA: But, yes, I think it is.

But I think this has been such an unusual process. I mean, we're talking about a burial that's now two-and-a-half -- coming about two- and-a-half months after his death. So, I think, you know, hopefully, this brings for his family, who is really putting this event on, some closure for them.

And I think, you know, these types of ceremonies are important ones for people to go through. And I think it's a nice ceremony, too. It looks beautiful. And it would be something he would appreciate.

COOPER: Kelefa Sanneh is with us from "The New Yorker" magazine.

You write about music. It's interesting. You know, when people, particularly in the African-American tradition, refer to a funeral as a home-going, or a homecoming, you have said that, in some ways, Michael Jackson's death was a homecoming for him to the United States. How so?

KELEFA SANNEH, "THE NEW YORKER": Well, you know, after -- in the aftermath of "Thriller," he really became a worldwide star. And, as the '80s progressed, sometimes, that seemed to be kind of a blessing and a curse, in the sense that it sometimes seemed he was more celebrated in other parts of the world than he was here.

He didn't -- by the '90s, you didn't necessarily hear his new songs on heavy rotation. And, you know, often when you saw video of him appearing and someone fainting, it was often in Eastern Europe somewhere, or he would pop up in Bahrain.

And, so, I think -- I think it was easy to start to think of him as someone who sort of belonged to the world, as opposed to belonging to America.

COOPER: And, in his personal life, he seemed something of nomad...


COOPER: ... a man without a country almost.

SANNEH: Absolutely.

And I think one of the -- one of the amazing things to watch in the 70 days since he died is the way that it's almost patriotic the way that -- the way that America has kind of reclaimed him. You haven't seen an outpouring like this for him. You haven't seen huge concerts in America. You haven't seen huge hit singles. But, somehow, his passing has given people, Americans -- fans in America chance to say, we love this guy, and he's ours.

COOPER: It's interesting you say that. I passed by today a vendor on the street in New York today who was selling Barack Obama T- shirts and Michael Jackson T-shirts.

SANNEH: Right. Right.

COOPER: Those were the two.

SANNEH: Right.

And, often -- again, often, he's had a kind of conflicted place. Even in the '80s when -- when "Thriller" came out, he was at the center of this conversation about R&B and what does it mean to cross over, and what does it mean to go pop?

And if you go back and you read a lot of what was written about him, especially from African-American music critics in the 1980s, there were a lot of mixed feelings about him. And, so, in a way, in a way, you see him coming full circle. And that weekend when he died, when you heard his music on every radio station, it felt kind of cathartic in a way and kind of moving to see him being really reclaimed by the American music establishment.

COOPER: Our -- our guests are going to stay with us throughout these two hours.

You can join the live chat now under way at I will log on in a moment myself. We will have more of tonight's ceremony, as we watch more people arriving at Forest Lawn in Glendale, the legal case almost certainly just ahead -- as our special 360 coverage continues.


COOPER: We're back with special live coverage, two hours tonight, as Michael Jackson is laid to rest.

He died more than two months ago, his body loaded with a deadly mix of sedatives and the powerful hospital anesthetic propofol, brand name Diprivan -- in plain English, death by lethal injection. The coroner calls it homicide. Whether it's by negligence or something else to be determine.

Expect plenty of litigation, no matter what, plenty of noise, in contrast to the tone this evening in Glendale.

And you're watching live pictures, family members arriving on the left-hand side of your screen. Family is running late. A number of guests has already assembled. On the right-hand side, you see more guests arriving.

We're told Lisa Marie Presley is there.

Randi Kaye is standing outside the gate.

Randi, you -- you saw Lisa Marie Presley arrive?

KAYE: We're told, Anderson, that she did arrive. She is -- she is inside. We're also told, along with her -- they didn't arrive together, but along with her is Miko Brando. And he, as you know, is a -- is a very old friend of the family. He actually married his wife at Neverland Ranch, and has been speaking out quite a bit since Michael Jackson died.

Also do want to mention, you know, there's been -- there was so much talk, as you know, and so much delay in this burial and in this service because the family just couldn't seem to agree, as you probably recall, about where to lay Michael Jackson to rest.

There was a lot of talk about maybe he should be laid to rest at Neverland. But some of the family members said that, after the -- after the child molestation trials and all the accusations that went along with Neverland, Michael Jackson had said he never wanted to return to Neverland.

So, there was a lot of discussion. His body was -- was kept cold, actually, at Forest Lawn Hollywood, which is another cemetery not too far from here, about 15 minutes. But this, Forest Lawn Memorial Park here in Glendale, is -- is about 15 minutes or so from the family's house, from Katherine Jackson's house in Encino.

So, this seemed to be an appropriate place. And, really, it was Katherine Jackson's decision, Anderson, in the end as to where to lay her son to rest. So, this seemed to be the place that she wanted. And that is why everybody is gathering here tonight for this service.

COOPER: Randi Kaye, I'm told that the hearse has -- has arrived at -- at the facility. Can you see that from where you are?

KAYE: We have not seen that yet. We are at the main entrance. I'm not sure if there's another way for them to get inside. So, we have not seen the hearse come through this way, at least.

This -- all of the -- the streets around here have been -- have been roped off. There's police at every corner. So, we're told that everybody would be entering through this main gate, which is why we're set up here. But we haven't seen a hearse come through here.

COOPER: OK. And is Debbie Rowe invited tonight? Do we know?

KAYE: Was Debbie Rowe invited? She was invited. We have yet to see her. She -- she has certainly had a lot of contact with the family, being Michael Jackson's first wife -- second wife, I should say, and -- and the mother of his two oldest children, Prince Michael Jackson Jr. and Paris.

So, we are told she was invited. Whether or not she shows up, along with all of these people, we're not sure. But, of course, she seems to be on good terms with the family. She has agreed to give Katherine Jackson custody of those two children, plus, of course, the third child. So, Katherine Jackson will raise those children.

But she will have some visitation as well, some monitored visitation. And, of course, the timing will still need to be worked out. But we haven't seen her yet here -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right.

Let's talk a little bit about the legal case, where it now stands. Let's dig deeper with addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky. He joins us. Legal analyst Lisa Bloom is also standing by, as we continue to watch these images.

Lisa, in terms of the investigation, where do things stand?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the LAPD is continuing to investigate, Anderson, and we understand there is only one doctor that they are continuing to focus on. And that is Dr. Conrad Murray, who is accused of giving him the propofol that ultimately resulted in his death.

As you know, the coroner did rule that it was a homicide, but no one has been charged as of this date. The state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has also opened up an investigation into the other doctors, not a homicide investigation, but an investigation into fraudulent prescriptions, excessive prescriptions, and whether or not doctors gave these prescriptions to Michael Jackson knowing that he was an addict.

And I would like to add, Anderson, that I notice there at the funeral is Tom Mesereau. Tom Mesereau, of course, is the criminal defense attorney who represented Michael Jackson successfully in 2005 in his child molestation case. He became very close to Michael Jackson, was a good friend of his. And he is the gentleman with shoulder-length white hair sitting towards the front. When you pan over the crowd, you can see him.

COOPER: Dr. Drew, I mean, we talk a lot about Dr. Murray, but police are investigating at least a dozen other doctors. I mean, do you think this goes far beyond Dr. Murray?


In fact, I'm hearing that Dr. Murray actually wasn't the prescribing doctor for these chemicals. There are at least several other doctors involved with that. There are pharmacies, no doubt, that are going to be on the line responsible for this. And there may be even nonprofessionals that were involved in accessing some of these substances.

So, in my mind, Dr. Murray is certainly the one that administered the thing. He's the one that sort of was over his head and is a fall guy for this, but I think there are going to be many other people named in this process.

COOPER: Where do you see the investigation going now?

PINSKY: Well, I think it has to broaden out.

I mean, I have got to tell you something. There's a lot of talk in this town, much more buzz about overprescribing, problems with doctors and pharmacies not following up or not having unified sources of information on patients.

I have noticed that my patients that were accessing some of these doctors that were overprescribing have suddenly moved out of town. New York looked like a better place for them all of a sudden, as though they found some other source, and that the sources are drying up. So, this has had a dramatic impact and really caused a big conversation in medicine about the epistemology prescribing.

COOPER: Dr. Drew, let's take a look at the drugs that Michael Jackson was taking on the day he died, Valium, Ativan, Versed, Ativan again, Versed again. Then you have propofol.

Does any of that make sense to you? I mean, is there any medical reason why he would need all of these?

PINSKY: Well, no. There is no reason that he would need it. There's no way to justify it to you.

It makes sense to me. I can imagine how that happened. It's not as though it just happened all of a sudden that night. That is somebody who was clearly tolerant of these substances. All of the descriptions I have heard about the state he was in, about feeling hot, and cold, and agitated, that was probably some form of a drug withdrawal.

And when people are in withdrawal, and particularly I have noticed when you give medicines like lorazepam, sometimes, that increases their desperation and it certainly doesn't sedate them very well, when they're so highly tolerant to it.

Then he gets more, more, higher routes of administration, higher doses, and finally the propofol is added, and that's what does it. And I'm not even sure -- I'm not quite clear yet that we have heard all the substances that he had been taking recently. We may have heard the toxicology that led to the affidavits, but I -- we haven't heard anything about any opioid or any pain medication.

And, yet, they're -- all indications are that he had been taking some pain medication as well.

COOPER: You know, you look at these pictures, and the finality is obvious to anyone.

Do you think, Dr. Drew, this is going to change anything in terms of, you know, the kind of loose doctor -- the doctor relationship with celebrities in -- in a place like Los Angeles...


COOPER: ... where celebrities can kind of get whatever they want under different names, and...


PINSKY: There's -- yes. Yes, Anderson, there's no doubt in my mind that it is.

The solemnity to that is being struck this afternoon, this evening is really quite appropriate. And I think finally people are kind of really grieving and coming to terms with the fact that a human, a very talented and important human to all of us, has died.

The outrage around the fact that this person could be mistreated as a patient and "mistreated" -- used with quotes -- and treated in such a way that it could lead to his demise, that is where the conversation is rolling right now.

And, indeed as I mentioned a few minutes ago, my patients that do access those sorts of physicians have suddenly started moving out of town. And within days of this having happened to Michael Jackson, I was getting requests from professional newspapers, internal professional sort of publications, to talk about this -- this specific topic of what happens when the physician-patient relationship is adulterated by power, celebrity, or money.

COOPER: Again, we're looking at part of a motorcade, I believe, coming up to cemetery.

We're going to take a short break. Our coverage continues throughout these next two hours.

We will be right back.


COOPER: We're beak with special live coverage, two hours tonight, as Michael Jackson is laid to rest.

Our panel is with us, addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky, legal analyst Lisa Bloom, Kelefa Sanneh of "The New Yorker" magazine, and family friend Gotham Chopra.

Gotham, as you watch these pictures, what goes through your mind?

CHOPRA: I think it's good closure. I think it's important for the family and a lot of the friends.

I mean, you know, I was friends with Michael, and not so much, not so close with the family. And I think this is an important ritual, an important ceremony for them to go through. I think a lot of people who are close to Michael have been remembering him in their own ways, their own quiet ways for the last few months.

And that, too, will come to some closure today, as we celebrate his life, rather than just commemorate his death.

COOPER: Kelefa, how do you think he will be remembered? I mean, there is so much focus now on the homicide, on the investigation.

SANNEH: Right. Right.

COOPER: How much of that 10 years from now will be part of Michael Jackson's story?

SANNEH: Well, I think one thing that we have learned in the last 70 days is that nothing is louder than "Thriller." Nothing he ever did was louder than "Thriller." Even no matter how much turbulence there was in his life, it was never louder than "Thriller."

Even -- no matter what, he's not like one of these celebrities who becomes more known for their troubled personal life than for their music. No matter what you know about Michael Jackson, you know "Thriller." You know "Beat It." You know "Billie Jean." And I think -- I think his big records, his big songs will always -- will always reverberate more loudly than anything having to do with how he lived or how he died.

COOPER: And we are slowly watching more people arrive. There you see Kenny Ortega, the -- and I believe Travis -- I forget his last name -- choreographer to Michael Jackson over many years. Kenny Ortega, of course, was a co-creator of the final show that Michael Jackson was involved with.

Do you think -- I mean, we have only seen a small clip of his final rehearsal, dress rehearsal, two nights before he died. There had been, of course, a lot of talk whether or not he was up to 50 shows in London.

SANNEH: Right.

COOPER: Now they're going to be, I guess, releasing a movie. They paid $50 million or $60 million to...

SANNEH: Right.

COOPER: ... for the rights to the behind-the-scenes footage.

Do you think he was up for it -- up to it?

SANNEH: It's hard to know, because 50 shows is a lot of shows.

One of the interesting things about Michael Jackson's career is that, unlike some artists, he never -- he wasn't trying to run away from his greatest hits. This is an artist who in 1995, when he released the "HIStory" album, packaged his new album with his greatest hits.

So, he was always very comfortable kind of celebrating the fact that he had made these classic songs that he was going to be remembered for. And the question of whether he was going to be up to it, I think, if we're being honest, he would have been graded on a scale, on a curve.

You're not expecting him to move the exact same way he would have moved in 1982. But from what everyone says about him, it seems like he was a perfectionist. So, it seems like, if the shows happened, they were going to be good.

COOPER: I should point out the choreographer was Travis Payne, who we interviewed in -- in the days following his death.

Travis Payne and Kenny Ortega both among the last people to see Michael Jackson alive at 12:30, when he left on, I think it was the Wednesday, Wednesday night from his final rehearsal that he had. They all said he was excited about what lay ahead.

Gotham, were you planning on going to see any of those shows in London?

CHOPRA: Yes. No, we had talked about it, and I was certainly planning.

I mean, I had my doubts whether or not he was going to be able to do the full 50, but I was excited to see at least one of them. And it was something he was excited about. And like Kelefa was saying, he very much was the perfectionist. And he was putting his heart and soul into getting ready for those shows.

I think he knew that it may be, you know, his last performances for his fans, and he really was committed to showing them a good time.

COOPER: The picture on the right-hand side of your screen is taken from more than 3,000 feet above the cemetery, so as not to disturb the actual service. You see a number of seats still empty, people still slowly arriving.

On the left is actually a feed provided by the cemetery, by the family that -- it's not live pictures. So, we are reshowing you these pictures. These are other people arriving at the service. The feed on the right is a live picture. And there you see the difference in light conditions.

And, for some viewers who have wondered, that is a large light, sort of the capsule looking object above the area where people are seated on the right. That's a light to illuminate the scene for all those participants. We expect Gladys Knight to perform and the service to be left open at a certain point for just people to stand up and give testimony as they wish.

We talked to the Reverend Al Sharpton about what he is going to say. We will play that for you shortly.

Dr. Drew, you know, there is this sort of contradiction in -- in -- we hear it from family members that Michael Jackson was a present and loving parent. And we hear from people who he was rehearsing with and performing with who said he was not necessarily at the top of his game, but he was improving and getting better, and was there and present.

And then you see that list of medications that he was allegedly on, and you hear past testimony from people, past affidavits from people who were saying he was taking, you know, up to dozens of Xanax at a time at a certain point in his life. How can those two things be true?

PINSKY: Well, I have really kind of three comments.

One is that it appears to me that he was probably trying to reduce these medications at the time in which he died. And that was probably a waxing and waning process that was obviously unsuccessful. So, it's something he may have been on more or less at different points in time.

Yes, it is difficult to be an effective parent when you are on substances. It really is. However, having said that, the one thing that keeps coming through very clearly -- and Deepak Chopra confirms this every time I talk to him -- is that he was exquisitely careful with whom he kept around the children.

In other words, the caretakers that he selected to be with him -- and I believe Deepak assisted with this -- were people who were exceedingly talented, and they were in those children's lives from the beginning.

Now, my hope is , so that they not feel the abandonment, in addition to the loss of their father, that they have the opportunity to maintain those relationships. I think that will be very important for those children as well.

COOPER: And, Lisa Bloom, in terms of the -- the custody of the kids, that now has all been settled?

BLOOM: It has been settled, Anderson.

Katherine Jackson is the primary custodian of the children. Debbie Rowe is going to visit them, is going to establish a relationship with them. Of course, we don't know, because this has been done behind closed doors, the extent to which that has already happened.

As you say, we know that Debbie Rowe was invited tonight, along with the family, which is a very good sign. So, for all -- as far as we know, the children are doing well with their grandmother and with their extended family. And there have been no further discussions of any kind of a custody dispute. That has all been put to rest.

COOPER: We're going to take a short break.

A quick reminder: You can get news alerts from us on this and other stories on your cell phone. If you want to sign up, text the word alert to AC360, or 22360. Standard rates apply.

Our coverage continues. We will have more live coverage of Michael Jackson's final farewell. As we mentioned, we will hear from the Reverend Al Sharpton -- coming up.


COOPER: We're showing you arrivals at Forest Lawn throughout the hour. We're told Gladys Knight will sing during the ceremony and that the Reverend Al Sharpton, a family friend, will speak. Reverend Sharpton joined us earlier.


COOPER: Do you know what the program is going to be, who's performing, how it's going to play out tonight? REV. AL SHARPTON, JACKSON FAMILY FRIEND: The family's done it. I know that Gladys Knight will be there and Stevie Wonder and others. But it's a very private thing. The family has done it. It will not be long. Only very close friends and family members.

And I think it's appropriate because that's really what this was. This was a close-knit family. Every one of them are playing a role. Every one of them bleeding. And who would have ever thought they would have been able to do what they've done. With all of the controversy and vilifying, no one can deny what Michael Jackson did. And he did it from a family unit that really stayed together.

COOPER: You said there will be a time when people can -- can stand up and give remembrances. You say you will. Are you going to be speaking more as a reverend or as an admirer of Michael Jackson, or what's the tone of what you're saying?

SHARPTON: I think the tone of what I would say is that I will talk about how we all have a debt to Michael and a debt to that family for making the world a better place. And that I would hope now that, as his body is laid to rest, that he finds that physical peace, but that all of us are committed to the legacy of keeping his music and his message alive.

I think past all the controversies, the joy Michael brought the world, we have to have it extended. And I think one of the great things, I spent some time at the house yesterday with his mother and father. I think one of the great things was to see Saturday on his 51st birthday people celebrating it all over the world.

So after all the headlines and all the controversies and all the investigations, the music and the joy will remain. And that's what Michael Jackson was about.

COOPER: I remember in -- in those days immediately after his death you were on the program. And you were saying about, you know, people coming forward and saying these great things about Michael Jackson. That's a wonderful thing. But where were they at the end of his, you know, toward the end of his life in the latter years? And he would have loved to have heard that.

Do you think he -- I mean, he knew he had fans around the world. Do you think he would have been surprised by the outpouring that we have seen over the last couple months? I mean, you know, selling tens of millions of albums since his death? The kind of, you know, outpouring we've heard around the world?

SHARPTON: I think he'd be humbled by it. I think Michael always understood the fans never left him. The times that I was around him and we would talk, I think he understood the fans never left him. He's been disappointed in some of those that he had helped in Hollywood and other places, but he knew the fans never left him.

But I don't think that anyone could have expected the outpouring we've seen. We've never seen that for any other artist or any other icon. So I think even Michael I think might have been slightly surprised at the level of intensity but I think he knew the fans loved him.

COOPER: How -- do you know, how have the kids been doing these last couple months? You said you were out at the house just this weekend.

SHARPTON: Well, as far as I know, talking to family members I talked to, some of the brothers and all, they're doing as well as can be expected. But I think that people need to understand this is their father. And I think when Paris spoke at the memorial service, it came home for the first time to a lot of people.

So how are they doing? They're doing like anyone would when you're getting ready to bury your father.

How does Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Jackson feel? I was there with them yesterday at the house. This is their son. Do you know how difficult it is for parents to bury their child? It's usually the other way around.

So I don't care how we project this, for parents to have to bury one of their offspring, the trauma and the pain -- and I've told Mrs. Jackson that I think that she could not even imagine how I've been since the memorial service around this country. And everywhere I go people talk about how they admire her bearing, her regal kind of persona that she's had to hold up with all of this pain in her heart and all of this responsibility. And she's borne it, I think, unlike many, if any, in history.

And I really, really admire the strength of this family, what they've had to endure after the shock of their child -- this is their child they're burying tonight. This is not their superstar. It's not their icon. This is their child.

COOPER: And compounded to that, the coroner now says this was a homicide. I want to show you something Joe Jackson said the other day. I think it was -- play that.

JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Someone should pay. Not just someone, but all of them should pay that's involved.

COOPER: Do you have confidence in the investigation as you've seen it thus far?

SHARPTON: It appears so far that it has been thorough. It appears so far, despite first impression, they have not tried to expedite it. I hope they continue to do that. I hope that they leave no stone unturned.

Clearly, many of us in the civil rights community will be monitoring this, because whoever is responsible for whatever, either by intent or negligence, should pay to the full degree of the law.

To try and act like someone that does not have a license for medicine or anything should know and be responsible for what those that are licensed to do, that kind of service, and paid for it, is absurd. And immediately after Michael's death, there was some elements trying to act like Michael did something to himself.

Clearly, this has been ruled a homicide, which meant Michael was the victim and all the victimizers should face the full wrath of the law.

COOPER: Reverend Al Sharpton, appreciate you talking with us tonight. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: And you're looking at a live picture as it is getting dark in Los Angeles. The top of the screen you see blinking lights on an SUV. That is Joe Jackson's car. He arrived just a few moments ago.

Our coverage continues as more people continue to arrive. The service clearly delayed. It was supposed to begin about 37 minutes ago. Our coverage continues on this and other stories.

We'll have the latest on the investigation into the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard. The latest on the case there. And with new details on the reunion, Jaycee's reunion with her mom and new allegations about the alleged captor, Phillip Garrido. We'll be right back.


COOPER: And again, you're looking at the live picture of the people waiting for more members of the Jackson family to arrive. The funeral of Michael Jackson. We'll continue to cover this throughout the next two hours.

We're following a number of other stories, as well. In a moment we'll have some of the controversy about President Obama, who's supposed to speak to the nation's school kids on Tuesday when schools reopen across the country. Some conservatives are saying, however, that he's going to be spreading propaganda, and they don't want their kids to hear the president speaking. We'll talk about that.

Also, tonight, the latest on Jaycee Dugard, who was held captive for 18 years. Tonight there are new details of her homecoming. Jaycee and her mom were reunited, the first time they've seen each other since she was abducted. Jaycee's two daughters also got to meet their grandmother. Just an extraordinary moment for a family that was torn apart, allegedly, by convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy.

We have some new details tonight on the reunion, as well as disturbing new information about Garrido's past. Dan Simon has the latest in tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It happened 37 years ago at this Antioch motel. It's where police say Phillip Garrido drugged and repeatedly raped another young girl. Authorities say the victim, 14 at the time, is now coming forward after seeing Garrido's image splashed on television, essentially saying there's more you need to know about this guy's past.

LT. LEONARD ORMAN, ANTIOCH POLICE DEPARTMENT: Mr. Garrido was charged in the matter. The details of that are very slim at this point with respect for records to rely on. But at some point the prosecution was dropped.

SIMON: That's because the victim declined to testify against Garrido. It's not clear whether he ever entered a plea in the case.

(on camera) According to police, the girl and a friend met Garrido, then 21, and another man near the public library. They got in a car and were given drugs. Later, they wound up at this motel, where the alleged rape occurred.

Eventually, the girl's parents came to pick her up and called police.

(voice-over) Word of the old arrest came on the same day we learned how the now 29-year-old Jaycee Dugard is coping since reuniting with her family. Dugard allegedly spent 18 years in captivity in Garrido's back yard.

Tina Dugard is Jaycee's aunt.

TINA DUGARD, JAYCEE'S AUNT: Jaycee and her daughters are with her mom and younger sister in a secluded place, reconnecting. I was with them until recently. We spent time sharing memories and stories and getting to know each other again. Jaycee remembers all of us. She is especially enjoying getting to know her little sister, who was just a baby when Jaycee was taken.

SIMON: Tina Dugard describes Jaycee as a remarkably resourceful mother.

DUGARD: Although they have no formal education, they are certainly educated. Jaycee did a truly amazing job with the limited resources and education that she, herself, had. And we are so proud of her.

SIMON: This is how Tina would have remembered Jaycee, more as a child than the 29-year-old woman she is today.

DUGARD: Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we've spent time sitting quietly, taking pleasure in each other's company. We are so very grateful to have her home.

SIMON: Jaycee Dugard was abducted outside her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991. The suspects, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, have been charged with 29 counts including rape and kidnapping. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Today her aunt describing the bond that never ended between a mother and daughter, apart for nearly two decades.

DUGARD: The smile on my sister's face is as wide as the sea. Her oldest daughter is finally home. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON: As for the 1972 case the victim is not interested in pressing the case, plus the statute of limitations has already run out. She just thought it would be helpful for investigators looking into the Dugard case to know that Garrido had done this to somebody else -- Anderson.

COOPER: Unbelievable. This thing just gets stranger and stranger. Dan, appreciate that.

We're going to have more on Michael Jackson's funeral coming up. First, let's get caught up on some of the other stories tonight. Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, swine flu is now responsible for 556 U.S. deaths. The Centers for Disease Control reporting that tally for the H1N1 virus as of late August. Now 42 of those deaths were children under the age of 18. More than half of them had underlying disabilities or high-risk medical conditions.

Gunmen in Mexico killing 17 in a brutal massacre at a drug rehab center. Authorities say the attackers broke into the center in Juarez, Mexico, lined their victims up against a wall, and opened fire.

Stocks making modest gains today as cautious investigators brace for a disappointing jobs report tomorrow. The Dow gained 64 points. The NASDAQ added 16, and the S&P picked up eight.

But as for those jobs numbers, employers are expected to have cut 225,000 jobs in August, which would push the unemployment rate to 9.5 percent. That's up slightly from July. That report is due tomorrow morning just before the opening bell.

And get ready to dance with a new apple this fall. Oh, yes. Billed as a successor to the wildly popular honey crisp apple, the sweet tango is reportedly just as crisp but with even more of that famous sweet tart flavor. In fact, they say it's got an intriguing note of spice. The new apple hits select cities this weekend and should be available nationwide in 2011.

COOPER: I thought this was a joke. This is real?

HILL: No, it's real. It was developed at the University of Minnesota, where the honey crisp apple was also developed and brings in a fair amount of royalties for them.

COOPER: I had no idea. I thought this -- that was actually an ad for Apple, like the computer company, like it was like a new iPod coming out or something.

HILL: I did, too, when I saw this stuff in the rundown. I thought how did I miss this announcement?

COOPER: As soon as I saw the guy eat it, though, then I realized, "OK. You're actually talking about apples."

HILL: Yes, yes.

COOPER: Next on the program, President Obama's message to America's kids. Is it a lesson or a -- or political propaganda? Some conservatives are saying. We'll take a closer look at this. Also tonight Michael Jackson, the funeral service, well awaiting the funeral service in Los Angeles. The moon is up.

Clearly not what it was planned to be. It's been about 45 minutes overdue. We're waiting for the ceremony to begin. We'll be back with a live report in a moment.


COOPER: You're looking at a live picture of the cemetery where Michael Jackson is to be laid to rest. Again, awaiting more members of the Jackson family. You see a number of seats there that are empty. Those would most likely be filled by members of the Jackson family. Joe Jackson has arrived. Other members of the family have not though.

We have seen dame Elizabeth Taylor, actor McCauley Culkin, Reverend Al Sharpton who we spoke to a little earlier. We'll continue to follow this and bring you developments throughout the next hour, as well.

We're going live to midnight, East Coast time and then a special additional "LARRY KING LIVE" continues live at -- from midnight to 1 a.m.

A number of other stories to tell you about, though.

Next Tuesday President Obama will speak live to the nation's school children. His remarks will be televised to classrooms across the country. That's the idea anyway.

The Department of Education says, and I quote, "The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning."

Some lawmakers and parents think the president's message is really going to be about propaganda. Jim Greer is the chairman of the Republican party of Florida. He joins us now along with Roland Martin, a political analyst for CNN.

Thanks for being with us, both of you.

Jim, let me start with you. You had this to say about the president's planned address. You said, and I quote, "The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs and racking up more debt than any other president, is not only infuriating but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power." What actual evidence do you have that the president even plans to mention: health care, jobs, banks, automobile companies and taxes?

JIM GREER, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA: Well, first of all, Anderson, I think the speech Tuesday will be significantly different than the one he was going to give 48 hours ago. The lesson plans he sent out...

COOPER: Whoa. We'll talk about the lesson plan in a second, but the actual speech. You have no evidence of what he was actually going to talk about.

GREER: Well, I will tell you and it does tie in with the lesson plans because that's what started everything. When the lessons plans talk about writing about how we can help President Obama, talk about his new ideas, talk about what he's done since he has become president and what makes you admire him and the initiatives he's put forth, that, to me, is an indication that his speech Tuesday was going to somehow talk about public policy issues. When you ask students to talk about how they can help him versus how he can help them.

COOPER: But before making this announcement in which you basically say that he's going to speak about all these things, I mean, just factually speaking, you had no facts to make that statement.

GREER: Well, I believe the facts were in the lesson plans that as a parent I should be concerned about what he's going to say. He's been very vocal, very aggressive about what his vision of America is not only today but in the future.

And based on these lesson plans I wanted to make sure that my children, as I believe most parents around this country would believe, should not be exposed to his vision without their consent.


GREER: And their ability to take a look at what he's going to say.

COOPER: Just so I'm accurate, though, you did not see an advance copy of the speech, did you?

GREER: No, until just...

COOPER: Did you try to talk to the -- did you ask the White House about what was in the speech?

GREER: Yes, actually the White House has been telling people until just a few hours ago that they were not going to release the text of the speech. But late this afternoon, they've indicated they will release the text of the speech. I think 24 hours before he gives it. And last night they revised all the lesson plans and took out all of that language.

COOPER: Roland, clearly, the Department of Education made this all the worse by sending out these classroom suggestions for teachers and kids to, quote, "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president." That does sound like something -- you know, a little cult of personality.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Not necessarily. Every day, Anderson, all across this country you have children who in classrooms write letters to the president, to the first lady, and it all goes to the White House. If you call the switch board they'll tell you the information that they get.

Look, this is all about politics. What you have is a bunch of folks who are on the right who are right wingers, radio talk show hosts, bloggers, they want to find politics in everything. Presidents go to schools all the time. I don't recall parents saying when President George W. Bush went to read to school children, I want to know what book he's reading and I want to know what he's saying. This is ridiculous. These parents should grow up.

COOPER: Jim, did you object -- President Bush -- I want to play our viewers what President Bush said in front of school children when he talked to kids about No Child Left Behind. Let's play that.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Any attempt to roll back the accountability in Washington, D.C., will be- -- I'll fight any attempt to do that. Just not going to let it happen.


COOPER: So that's in front of the kids. Did you -- did you object to that at the time, Mr. Greer?


COOPER: And we'll have the answer to that question next as the debate continues with Jim Greer and Roland Martin. And it's home to Hollywood greats like Walt Disney, Jimmy Stewart, Sammy David Jr., and now the King of Pop.

We'll have the latest from the funeral of Michael Jackson. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Before the break we told you -- we're looking at live pictures. The funeral for Michael Jackson has not gotten under way. The guests have been there for quite a long time. They were told it was to begin 55 minutes ago.

Members of the Jackson family not yet seated. Joe Jackson has arrived. That's the only member of the Jackson family we've seen thus far.

Before the break, we told you about President Obama's speech to the nation's school children next week. And some Republicans say it's not a speech but a sermon designed to sell his political agenda, though they haven't seen or heard the text of the speech.

Let's get back to our discussion about the controversy with Jim Greer, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and political analyst Roland Martin.


BUSH: Any attempt to roll back the accountability in Washington, D.C., will be -- I'll fight any attempt to do that. Just not going to let it happen.

COOPER: So that's in front of the kids. Did you -- did you object to that at the time Mr. Greer?

GREER: Well, I will tell you. I think that question was in response to accountability of the educational system. I don't think whether it's a Democrat or Republican...

COOPER: But he's talking policy. And all your problems with Obama, with the president is him talking about his policies in front of the kids, which he's apparently not even going to do, nor did he intend to do.

GREER: Anderson, as you said to me, that I may not know the facts, how do you know that he didn't intend to do that?

COOPER: Right. But I'm not -- I don't know what he intended. But I'm also not making accusations based on what I think he intended. You were making accusations based on no knowledge on what you think he is going to say without any facts to back it up.

Did you object when President Bush was speaking about a policy, No Child Left Behind, to school kids? I'm guessing you didn't.

GREER: President -- president Bush didn't send out lesson plans preempting the speech.

MARTIN: Jim, stop dancing.

GREER: ... do that. No, let me tell you, Roland. You have made this a partisan issue. This is a parent-governing issue. Parents have a right to decide what their children are exposed to in school. I went to an open house of one of my kids.

COOPER: You don't want them exposed to the president of the United States?

GREER: No. That's not true. I have no objection to the president of the United States talking to students on the first day of school about staying in school and education. I do object to a lesson plan that's sent around to every teacher in the country that leads the children in a direction such as write a letter to the president about how you can help him.

COOPER: Regardless of what the president was going to talk about or not, what the Department of Education did was clearly kind of heavy-handed or ham-fisted, and the White House even said that by the fact that they've rewritten the language now.

MARTIN: Right. Look, they've rewritten the language. They could have done without that, but they chose to do so. OK.

So you know what? If you want to tell kids -- first of all, I have a problem with telling kids to write the president. We have kids in the United States today who are, frankly, illiterate when it comes to civics, who know nothing about politics. I have no issue with that.

But the reason this is -- it has grown to what it is, is because you have people with an ideology who are driving the agenda.

Jim couldn't even have the decency to answer your question. He had no problem with Bush making a statement about his policies, because he supports him.

And Anderson, I'll ask Jim this question again. Is he willing to fight every time any politician -- local school board, judge, state representative, city councilman, governor -- any politician in the state of Florida goes to any school are you going to tell parents you should be willing to opt your kid out of that classroom? Are you going to do that, Jim?

GREER: Roland, I'll tell you this. Any politician that sends out a lesson plan...

MARTIN: No, it's not about a lesson plan.

GREER: No, see you're not -- wait a minute. That's where the problem is. Any politician that sends a lesson plan out to the teachers, instructing them how they should lead the students in a direction of conversation, and I don't know what the politician is going to say, particularly when they're very energized...

MARTIN: So you don't know.

COOPER: So Jim, why didn't you, then, make a statement saying, about these lesson plans, and say, you know, "It's great the president is going to go to schools and talk, not sure what he's going to say. He's the president of the United States. That's great that he's going to do it. I think the lesson plans stink. I think it sounds cultish. Cult of personality and is a bad idea." That's not what you said.

MARTIN: You criticized the speech, Jim.

GREER: let me tell you, when the president and these lesson plans talk about new ideas, new ideas are what the vision of this, the president's future is of this country: health care run by government, auto industry run by government.

MARTIN: You're dancing, Jim. You're dancing.

GREER: I'm not dancing.

MARTIN: Jim, you're dancing. GREER: And before anyone exposes my children to their vision of America, I want to say, yes, and give my consent. This is a parent issue. This is not a political issue.


GREER: You're trying to make it a political issue. But before any politicians, Barack Obama included, talks to my children about public policy, I want to know and say yes or no.

MARTIN: You're dancing. You're dancing.

If Governor Charlie Crist -- if Governor Charlie Crist went to schools in Florida, Jim, you are not going to protest anything he says. And you know it, because he's a Republican, so go ahead and admit it.

GREER: First of all, Charlie Crist is a great leader and is working hard for the people of Florida.

MARTIN: OK, OK, but you're not going to oppose...


COOPER: We're going to -- by the way, Jim, when you use the term "great leader," given that you're basically accusing Obama of being sort of cult your personality. We're going to have to leave it there. We'll leave our viewers make up their own minds. Jim Greer, appreciate your time and being on the program. And Roland Martin as well, thanks.

GREER: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: At the top of the hour, next, live coverage, the funeral for Michael Jackson. Elizabeth Taylor, McCauley Culkin and Rev. Al Sharpton, they're all there. Some of the mourners at the service. We're back in just a moment with the latest. We'll be right back.