Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson is still confused about how his 50-year-old son Michael died -- and he doesn't believe the coroner's report. Papa Joe tells "Nightline," "I do believe there was foul play. I do believe that."
Joe has told "Extra" he's sure Michael was dead before he was rushed to UCLA Medical Center, saying, "Michael had passed before he left the house."
The 79-year-old is sure he and reportedly estranged wife Katherine are best suited to take care of Michael's three children. "Their grandmother Katherine and I, there is no one else who can do what we can do," Jackson tells "Nightline."
A motorcade that left the Jackson compound in Encino early this morning arrived at a cemetery in the Hollywood Hills as Michael's family and friends said goodbye during a private memorial service.
A motorcade of Rolls-Royces, Escalades and Range Rovers brought the small group of loved ones to Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Authorities in Los Angeles shut down sections of the freeways during rush hour to allow the motorcade to pass during the 11-minute ride.
Jackson's family and friends were spotted walking into a hall at the cemetery -- the same spot where an intimate viewing was held last night. As soon as the private service is over, Jackson's body will be transported to the public memorial for the singer to be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Yesterday, the Jackson family announced a star-studded guest list for the event, including Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Kobe Bryant, John Mayer and others.
Michael Jackson's father has placed himself front and center in the drama surrounding his son's death -- and "Extra" is taking a closer look at their relationship throughout Michael's life.
Joe recently told "Extra" that Michael's legacy in the music world will live on, saying, "He was the greatest star in the world," but it's been a rocky journey for the father-son duo. In a 2003 documentary, Michael accused his father of beating him as a child. When asked how often Joe got violent, Michael said, "Too much."
Joe, a former boxer and patriarch of one of the most famous families in the world, was estranged from Michael for quite some time, and People magazine's Anne Marie Cruz tells "Extra" that they didn't reconcile until about ten years ago. "It wasn't until 2001 that they were able to make amends to each other, and Michael was even able to say 'I love you' to his father."
Their reconciliation lasted throughout Michael's 2005 molestation trial, when Joe told "Extra" that the family was behind the King of Pop. "The Jackson family is a strong family and they work together."
At the 2009 BET Awards, three days after Michael's death, Joe promoted his new venture -- Ranch Records -- to CNN. Jackson confidante Al Sharpton addressed Joe's plug to "Extra," saying that "maybe" Michael's dad shouldn't have said that, but added that Joe "had nothing but undying love for his son."
Joe Jackson has reportedly been left out of the King of Pop's will -- presumably due to allegations that he beat Michael when the singer was a child.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Joe is not listed as a beneficiary in Jackson's will. Michael's mother Katherine, Michael's children and several charities are reportedly named as beneficiaries.
An unconfirmed report today suggests that Michael's funeral procession will be led by a white horse-drawn carriage, which would carry his body through the streets of Los Angeles.
A public memorial for the pop icon is to be held today at Harlem's Apollo Theater in New York. The memorial was scheduled to begin at 2 PM EDT, and fans have already begun to gather to honor Jackson.
Joe Jackson, father of Michael Jackson, has opened up to "Extra" about the music legend's death.
"I was on my way to Las Vegas when I received the news," Joe says. "[The Jackson Family] they're fine. Taking it a little bit hard, but they're hard."
Joe also revealed what the family decided would be best for Michael's children. "The children are being taken care of and we're working on the situation for the children being with us. Basically, everything is fine."
Jackson also talked to "Extra" about the stars that paid tribute to Michael after his death. "This should've happened when he was living. He was that kind of star." Millions of fans have paid tribute to Jackson over the past week, and Joe tells "Extra" there is one thing he wants people to remember about his son. "I want them to remember he was the greatest star in the world."
The Jackson family issued a statement Saturday, conveyed by family patriarch Joseph Jackson. In full, it reads:
In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated to a point, where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.
We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you - who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever.
In addition, Joseph Jackson wishes to personally convey: "My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson."
Joseph Jackson & Family
The body of Michael Jackson has been released to his family for burial, a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman said on Saturday.
Members of Jackson's family have gathered at his parents home in Encino, Calif. to plan a funeral, but no plans have been disclosed to the public.
Coroner's officials have said that with no outward signs of trauma to Jackson's body or evidence of foul play, they would have to wait for the results of toxicology tests and other studies to establish a cause of death.
"That's what we're trying to find out right now," Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, told People magazine when asked about reports his son's death was tied to prescription drugs. "We're trying to find out that information. When we find it out, we'll know."
The elder Jackson hinted at troubles in the life of his son, who died Thursday at age 50 after suffering cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home. "There's a lot to be told, though, I'll tell you that right now. The truth!" he says. "The truth is still to be told."