BBC News | Thursday, 24 June 2010 | 08:58 GMT
LaToya Jackson has claimed her brother Michael was murdered because he was "worth so much more dead than alive". Speaking during a TV interview, the singer demanded what she called "the truth" surrounding the star’s death in June 2009. She said: "He was murdered for his catalogue and they knew that." Tomorrow (25 June) marks the one year anniversary of the Thriller singer’s death with fans organising tributes around the globe.
Earlier this week music trade magazine Billboard reported that the royalties accumulated since the star’s death had earned the Jackson estate $1 billion (£677 million). In an interview with GMTV she said: "Personally I think it is a slap in the face, not just to Michael but to the entire family. It’s totally unfair, it’s wrong and it was not an accident." Asked whether she believed the star was murdered, she added: "I never had a doubt. You must remember from the day that I found out that Michael was no longer with us, when my mother screamed ‘he’s dead’ on the phone, I just went into this, ‘who did it?"’
Michael Jackson’s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and is currently awaiting trial. LaToya’s not the only member of the Jackson family talking ahead of the first anniversary of Michael’s death. His brother Jermaine’s claiming converting to Islam might have saved his life. "I felt that if Michael would have embraced Islam he would still be here today," the former Jackson 5 member
told the BBC World Service. Jermaine said life had been "tough" on his family since his brother’s passing. "We’ll never get over it," he said. "There aren’t any words to describe the feeling; we are just learning to live with it." Jermaine went on to question why Michael is getting so much positive attention now, when before his death many saw him as a bit of a joke. "The love that they are giving my brother now he is dead is the love they should have shown him when he was alive."
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Forest Lawn cemetery have confirmed fans will be allowed to leave flowers on an outdoor terrace near the singer’s burial site to mark the anniversary but that balloons, candles and doves will not be permitted. Reverend Al Sharpton, who presided over Jackson’s memorial service last year said: "I don’t think the world has been able to mourn him properly because there’s too many unanswered questions. Speaking in New York regarding the anniversary, he added: "I don’t think we can heal until we look at the wounds. Who inflicted the wound and why. "I think we can celebrate his life, but we can’t be settled with his death until we know, who, what, when and why. And we still don’t know."