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Countdown to Michael Jackson Memorial Service

Aired July 6, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, it's countdown to Michael Jackson memorial madness -- the formal good-bye just hours away. Crowds gathering now to say farewell. There's room for thousands.

Will millions descend on downtown LA for an all star service?

And the private plans -- something's happening early tomorrow morning.

But what?

Will Michael Jackson finally be laid to rest?


Good evening.

Big news regarding control of Michael Jackson's estate tonight and the memorial service just hours away.

Plus, there may be a funeral tomorrow morning at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles.

Susan Roesgen is there with the latest on that.

First, we go to Ted Rowlands, who is at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Are people gathering already -- Ted?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Larry. People have been gathering here throughout the day outside Staples Center. After midnight tonight, this area is going to be cordoned off. But right now, they are letting the public come down here. They put up some murals here and hundreds have been coming here waiting for upwards of one to two hours for a chance just to walk into this gated off area and sign one of these three panels that's been put up, which has Michael Jackson pictures on it.

And people are just basically writing little notes to -- to add to it. And then, like I said, they've been waiting literally hours to do that.

KING: How are they going to handle, Ted -- now the circus comes in right after that, right?

ROWLANDS: Yes. And they're really concerned about bringing people down here -- having people come down that don't have tickets. The problem is you have people that have literally come here from across the country hoping they could get tickets and now they don't have tickets.

And where, of course, do they go?

Well, they come down here.

Here's a case right here. Linda and Jenny came down -- they've come out from Baltimore.

First of all, quickly, why did you -- why come all the way out here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we were hoping we would get tickets. And we had already booked our flight and everything before we knew and before we knew that they were going to block it off and that they weren't going to allow fans to come down.

ROWLANDS: You don't have tickets?

Will you come down here tomorrow just to be close?


ROWLANDS: That's exactly what the LAPD doesn't want you to do.

Again, what did you write on the wall?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That I -- I loved Michael Jackson. He's -- he's been in our family for 26 years. We've been big fans for a long time.

ROWLANDS: All right. This is a classic example, Larry, of really what they're afraid of, and that is that people without the tickets are going to come down here anyway. The LAPD has a system in place that at 12:01 tomorrow morning, they're going to block off a couple block area here and force people out. And the hope is people will just stay away.

KING: I know the LA police are asking people, if you don't have tickets, you're just going to create a double problem for everybody concerned. It's wise to watch it on television. You're going to see it a lot better there anyway.

Let's go out to the Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Susan Roesgen is standing by, our CNN correspondent.

Now, are there burial plans tomorrow?

Is the body there?

SUSAN ROESGEN, GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: Boy, Larry, we wish we knew. We have not confirmed when or where Michael Jackson will actually be buried. But, as you know, this is Forest Lawn Cemetery -- the celebrity cemetery here in Hollywood Hills, Larry, where Betty Davis is buried; Lucille Ball; Ed McMahon just last week. So this could be where Michael Jackson is buried.

We know that tomorrow, CNN has learned that there will be a gathering of the Jackson family here at 8:00 local time, two hours before the public memorial. But that is all that we can confirm at this moment, that there's going to be a gathering.

And yet, Larry, you may be able to see over my shoulder, there are security guards here now. They have been barricading the entrance.

You can even see some Michael Jackson fans who've come out. They seem to think that there's something going to happen here.

So we don't know whether or not Michael Jackson's body will come here or whether he will be buried here. But we do know there's going to be some kind of gathering here, Larry. So I think people have to just sort of try to put two and two together and we will see what comes out of it.

KING: Susan, is a gathering a funeral?

ROESGEN: We have not been told that word. We've just been told, Larry, a gathering. So it would be wonderful if we could say, yes, there is going to be a private funeral here and Michael Jackson will be buried here. But we just don't have that confirmed -- only that it's going to be a family gathering.

KING: They would like Neverland, of course. But the law in California says you can't be buried on private property, right?

ROESGEN: That's true, Larry. They would have had to go through all kinds of hoops to do it there. And, as you know, it's way up in Santa Barbara County, whereas this place, with its acres of rolling hills and the fountains and the statues -- you know, people, Larry, can go in any bookstore and go in the travel section and find whole books devoted to this cemetery and the paths that you can take to try to find some of the stars that you want to see -- their burial sites.

And, in fact, there's an information booth. This place is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day of the week. So they know that people will be here.

And, Larry, this is what I think I find most ironic, is that if -- if Michael Jackson is buried here, he'll be surrounded by tourists in the afterlife, just as he was in life.

KING: Yes -- Ted, quickly, who are some of the people definitely -- who are some of the stars definitely coming?

ROWLANDS: Well, it runs the gamut through the entertainment world, including people like Mariah Carey and Usher and Stevie Wonder; people you might expect, Smokey Robinson; but also some sports stars as well -- Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant.

So there's a long list of people. One person not coming -- Elizabeth Taylor. She said that she didn't want to put herself into what she called the whoopla.

KING: Well, stated.

Thank you both.

Ted Rowlands, Susan Roesgen, always atop the scene.

We'll be there tomorrow morning, too. We're going to attend the service and then give you a report on it later. We're going to do a special show tomorrow night following it.

More on the Jackson estate news. We'll talk to the attorney for the executors, Howard Weitzman. That exclusive when we come back.


KING: A judge decided today who should control Michael Jackson's assets. The attorney who represents those who will be controlling Jackson's estate, for now, is with us, an old friend, Howard Weitzman.

You were in court today. The judge ruled that the executors, John Blanca and John McClain, are granted control of the assets.

What happens, then, to the -- to the mother?


Well, the mother, as designated by Michael Jackson, was never to be this special administrator. That was to be done by the court because a petition was filed declaring Michael did not have a will, he died intestate.

The reality is, there was a will. The will named John McClain and John Branca as the two executors. And in the court proceedings today, the judge affirmed that (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: So the children are with her but...

WEITZMAN: The children are with her.

KING: Why did the executors need a lawyer?

WEITZMAN: Well, the executors needed a lawyer because we had to go before a judge, go to court. We had to create pleas, you know, law stuff. And make an appeal to the judge to follow Michael's wishes.

KING: What do you make of the objections raised by the mother to Mr. Branca being involved?

WEITZMAN: Well, I'm not sure the objections were raised by the mother. But I think that the judge listened to what they had to say and found that the objections were not well taken and appointed the two people that Michael wanted.

KING: Executors are supposed to be -- executors are supposed to be objective, right?


KING: You choose executors who are not -- not involved in family so they can make decisions for the best of all.

Is that true?

WEITZMAN: That's the theory. But here, Michael designated who he wanted. They are objective. They are experienced. John Branca was his lawyer since 1980. John Branca really was responsible for most of Michael's wealth, guiding him and advising him.

And John McClain was a boyhood friend of Michael's.

KING: And the son-in-law -- the nephew of Ralph Branca, the famed former pitcher of the Dodgers.

Who -- now the judge -- what happens August 3rd, at that hearing?

WEITZMAN: August 3rd, we hope and expect the judge will appoint John Branca and John McClain the executors...


WEITZMAN: ...permanent executors of -- of the estate, yes.

KING: Does Katharine have a say at that hearing?

WEITZMAN: Well, Katherine can have a say at that hearing. She doesn't -- she doesn't necessarily have to. But she can appear and she can express her opinions and her desires.

KING: Is one of the problems a family member faces is that executors of an estate are usually professionals at it?

WEITZMAN: No, I don't think that's necessarily true. I think family members, many times, are executors. Sometimes it's business adviser, lawyers, accountants.

In this situation, though, Michael was clear what he wanted and he surrounded himself with John Branca, Joel Katz, an attorney who -- who has taken over most of the music work -- and John McClain.

Michael knew what he wanted in terms of who would run his business.

KING: He was a pretty smart guy, right?

WEITZMAN: I thought he was very smart. In my experience with him, he could be focused. He was intelligent. He was someone who understood what was going on in the legal proceedings. So I always enjoyed a good relationship with Michael. KING: The company -- the people who run the company operating Neverland told me that he was a rather brilliant businessman.

WEITZMAN: He -- he was very astute. He knew what he wanted. And what I always liked about Michael is he tried to find people who would understand what he wanted and help achieve that goal. And again, what was good about John Branca is that he took what Michael wanted and he created it, polished it and made it bigger and larger.

KING: What can you tell us, Howard, if anything, about the assets?


KING: What do we have?

Do we have cash?

Do we have holdings?

What do we have?

WEITZMAN: We think the assets are very great, whether it's in the publishing, whether it's -- it's the songs, the catalog, some of the other assets, art. But we're doing a complete inventory to find everything that's there.

KING: How big is the debt?

WEITZMAN: Well, the debt is reported -- reported to be around $400 million, not that that's an insignificant sum. The revenues that can be generated from Michael's assets, we think, will greatly outweigh that type of debt.

KING: In fact, there are revenues being generated right now, correct?

WEITZMAN: That's correct.

KING: And since he's gone, he's not spending it?

WEITZMAN: That's correct.

KING: So there's income without outgo?

WEITZMAN: And -- and that's one of the reasons why we were so adamant about hoping the judge would appoint us today, so we could begin to capitalize on those opportunities for Michael's wishes, to benefit his mother, to benefit his children and to benefit children's charities.

KING: In your experience, if there's another will out there that would replace this one, would it have come forward now -- by now?

WEITZMAN: Yes. Yes. I do not think there's any other will here. KING: What do you remember most about Michael?

WEITZMAN: What I remember most about Michael is he was a playful person in life. He always seemed to look at the good side of things. Again, in my experience, because I dealt with him in legal issues, I always found him focused, intelligent and -- and directed in what he wanted to do.

KING: I gather, also, you didn't believe the charges against him?

WEITZMAN: The molestation charges?

KING: Yes.

WEITZMAN: I never believed them. I -- personally, I didn't believe and didn't accept them.

KING: Is this going to get more and more before it gets less and less, this story?

WEITZMAN: I don't think so.

KING: You think it might fade away for a while?

WEITZMAN: You mean the estate story?

KING: The story -- the whole story.

WEITZMAN: Well, no, no, no. I think the Michael Jackson story goes on for years. I think he truly was one-of-a-kind, literally. He was creative. He was an icon in the literal sense of the word. I don't think there were -- treat there are any other Michael Jacksons out there.

KING: Always good seeing you, Howard.

WEITZMAN: Larry's it's been a pleasure.

KING: Thanks for coming and talking to us.

WEITZMAN: My pleasure.

KING: Howard Weitzman, a good guy, a former attorney for Michael Jackson.

What's going on with Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson's former wife and the mother of two of children?

Find out from someone who knows in 60 seconds.


KING: Iris Finsilver joins us.

She's the former attorney for Debbie Rowe, the mother of Michael Jackson's children, Prince and Paris. Debbie was one married to the pop star. Iris is here to tell us how Debbie is doing, why she's not going to the memorial.

How is she doing?

IRIS FINSILVER, DEBORAH ROWE'S LONG TIME FRIEND: Debbie is, as you can imagine, just grief-stricken, heartbroken. Debbie was a woman that cared very deeply for Michael and loved him very deeply through -- through all of it.

KING: Why are you the former attorney?

FINSILVER: I moved to the desert in 2006. And it just became too much. But I've been Debbie's friend for decades.

KING: You stay in touch?

FINSILVER: Oh, absolutely.

KING: I want you to look at this. Debbie is under a lot of pressure from the press.

Watch what happened here.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Debbie, are you ready to fight for your kids, Debbie?

Don't -- are you ready to fight for your children?

DEBBIE ROWE, MICHAEL JACKSON'S EX-WIFE: Don't -- don't touch me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Do not touch me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.

ROWE: You just did. Don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Are you ready to get your butt kicked?

Don't (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE) touch me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Debbie, are you willing to take a cash settlement for the kids?

How important are the kids to you, Debbie?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God bless you and your children, Debbie.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your kids, Debbie?

Do you think she's ready to fight?


KING: I think, in this case, we can understand how Debbie reacted there.

That was rather rude, wasn't it?

FINSILVER: Yes. And, you know, Debbie is the kind of person, Larry, that really avoided the press as much as possible. And I think that that's something that really attracted Michael to her, that she was a very private, private person.

KING: Do they think she was going to stop and explain all that's gone on?

That's always funny to me.

FINSILVER: No. No, I'm sure they didn't.

But I'm sure they just wanted to get a shot of her.

KING: Yes.

Is she going to pursue custody?

FINSILVER: I believe that -- that she wants the children. I believe that she -- I know -- I know that she loves those children very much.

And I brought you a little present, a little picture I wanted to show you. This is a picture that one of the children drew for her. I don't know whether it was -- I don't know where I should put this picture.

KING: Yes, right there is fine.


KING: You mean one of Michael's children drew this?


KING: When?

FINSILVER: I believe this was done about four years ago.

KING: Of their dad?

FINSILVER: Yes. There's other pictures, too. But I just thought that this one was cute, a nice picture.

KING: Do you -- you know California law. Michael doesn't -- he specifically leaves her out of the will.

FINSILVER: Yes, which isn't unusual for divorced people to do that.

KING: Right. But can -- is that -- can she fight on the grounds that California is a -- well, they're not married, so they're not a 50/50 state if they're not married, right?

FINSILVER: Well, they were married at one time and there was already a judgment that disposed of any -- if there was any community property, it was already disposed of.

KING: So what case does she have?

FINSILVER: She has no case to contest the will in terms of any monies that were left (INAUDIBLE).

KING: But what about for getting custody of the children?

FINSILVER: Well, that's a different story. That's a different story, because in California, the children's best interest always prevails. She's the biological mother, which is a very strong factor in the law.

KING: And to have a strong chance against a 79-year-old grandmother?

Would that be the case?

FINSILVER: Yes, I believe so. There's a lot of factors that the court will look toward, if there is a fight. I've always thought perhaps there wouldn't be a fight...

KING: Will they settle something?

FINSILVER: I think so.

KING: Are you going to get involved?

FINSILVER: I hope not.

KING: Why not?

Come in from the desert and help your friend.

FINSILVER: Well, I help my friend in other ways. I -- I support her in anything she does. And, really, that tape of her is so not Debbie. It just shows me that she really cherishes...

KING: She's Stressed?

FINSILVER: Well, she's stressed and she cherishes her privacy, Larry. KING: Thanks for the picture, too.

FINSILVER: Oh, Larry, my pleasure.

KING: And thanks for getting us up to date.

Iris Finsilver, former attorney for Debbie Rowe.

The celebrity quotient is going to be very high at Jackson's public memorial tomorrow. We'll talk more about that -- who will be there, who won't, next.


KING: Elizabeth Taylor was very close to Michael Jackson. For that reason, she won't be at the service tomorrow and declined an invitation to take part, saying: "I just don't believe that Michael would want me to share my grief with millions of others."

"Extra's" Carlos Diaz joins us now to talk about who will be there tomorrow.

And Tim Leiweke, an old friend, is with us. Tim is CEO of AEG. That's the company that who owns the Staples Center.

We'll check with Tim in a moment.

All right, who's coming, Carlos?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": You've got a -- you've got a laundry list of great celebrities. You know, you have Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson from the sports side of it; Jennifer Hudson, John Mayor, Smoky Robinson will all be there. It's a situation where you have people like Mariah Carey and Usher, who is based -- I mean they -- they have covered Michael Jackson's songs. You see the influence that Michael Jackson has had on these people.

To me, it's going to be less of a downtrodden memorial and more of a concert -- kind of a celebration of his life.

KING: And they will perform.

There's going to be performances?

DIAZ: Exactly. Yes.

KING: Scheduled for an hour?

DIAZ: Yes.

KING: All right. Speaking of an hour, Tim Leiweke, the president and CEO of AEG, has done an amazing job here in three days.

When does the circus come in?

TIM LEIWEKE, CEO, AEG & STAPLES CENTER: Well, the circus seems to have been here for about three or four days, Larry.

KING: Well, when does one circus go to the other circus?

LEIWEKE: Actually, we're walking the elephants in this morning.

KING: Oh, boy.

LEIWEKE: Early on Tuesday morning, we're walking the elephants down Figueroa. So Ken Feld and the guys at the circus were kind enough to give us the building back for one extra day, as long as I made sure I got the elephants in safe storage for the afternoon.

KING: All right. What do you expect, Tim, tomorrow?


KING: The ticket allocations, how are they going?

LEIWEKE: Everything is great. In fact, it's amazing. We got everybody in. We extended the Dodgers have been fantastic, so we extended the drop off a couple of hours, because people are flying in.

I just met a couple who came in from London. They came in all sweaty because they had rushed from the airport.

So we're going to get everybody their tickets. We're going to have an unbelievable ceremony and celebration tomorrow.

I saw some of the rehearsals starting up this afternoon. I really compliment the family on the way they've done this. This will not be something where we all mourn. I think it will be an opportunity for us to celebrate one of the great, unique lives in the history of our industry and certainly in the history of music.

KING: Carlos is going to show us one of the tickets. It's his ticket.

DIAZ: Yes. I have the -- this is the -- it's really great what they did.

KING: It's a computer ticket.

DIAZ: Yes, they had the tickets right here. And then you also have to have a wrist band that you also have to have to get into the event. The gold wrist band gets you in. The blue wrist band is for media.

And so they're being very, very thorough about the whole thing.

KING: Well, I don't understand something. I know I'm invited. I don't know why I was specially invited. But, frankly, I'm proud to be invited and I look forward to going. But I don't have a wrist band. They just said you need this ticket.

LEIWEKE: Yes, I think you'll be fine, Larry.

KING: You know what I mean, but I don't have...


KING: I don't have a wrist band.

LEIWEKE: Well, we'll get you a wrist band. But, I mean, that's the thing. I mean they're -- it's not just the ticket. And it -- well, I know, let's talk to Tim.

Tim, can we get Larry in?

Is that going to be OK?

TIM: Larry is the wrist band of the world. I think we know who he is.


KING: Hey, Tim, what about -- the police are saying please don't come if you don't have tickets.

Are you a little concerned about what might happen outside Staples Center?

TIM: Not at all. The LAPD has done a great job. And, by the way, we're estimating the pool feed will be seen by almost a billion people worldwide. So this show will be better seen at home, unless you have a ticket and a wrist band. And we're encouraging everybody to stay at home, because the show truly remarkable, produced by Ken Ehrlich and Kenny Ortega. And I think people are going to be surprised by not just the number of celebrities that are going to be part of this, but the real upbeat note that I think this program is going to set tomorrow about Michael's life.

KING: Tim, do you -- I mean, Carlos, do you have any idea why people are going to come?

Are you fearful that you're going to have a million people trying to go downtown?

DIAZ: That's -- that's something that I think that the LAPD has done a great job of saying please don't come down. But, you just -- these fans

KING: But will it work?

DIAZ: know, they're -- they're rabid. I mean they're -- it's unbelievable. Michael Jackson fans are like no other fans in the world. And I -- that's...


DIAZ: They're creating a perimeter just -- just to be in this...

KING: But they're not going the see the show. DIAZ: Exactly. And that's the thing. They need to know that they cannot get anywhere near the Staples Center without a wrist band and a ticket. I think the point has been made perfectly clear.

But, I mean, I think that if you really -- I mean, if you're a fan, the place to be tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. is the Forest Lawn Cemetery, because if there's some kind of -- there will be some kind of to do there. And if you want to see Michael's family, you'll see them there.

KING: One would think.

DIAZ: Yes.

KING: Be at CNN.

I mean, why turn on the TV?

DIAZ: And that's the thing, too. It's like going to a (INAUDIBLE).

LEIWEKE: I'm watching it on CNN.

KING: Yes.

DIAZ: And people talk about the fact, when you go to a sporting event, you see a better show on TV, you know?

KING: Absolutely.

Thank you both very much, Carlos Diaz, Tim Leiweke.

We'll see you both tomorrow.

LEIWEKE: See you, Larry.

KING: Donald Trump knew Michael Jackson. He'll join us next with the business spin on the pop star's passing, next.


KING: Joining us now on the phone, Donald Trump, old friend, real estate mogul, star of "Celebrity Apprentice."

How well did you know Michael, Donald?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, Larry, as you know, I knew him very well. He was a great guy. He was actually a very, very smart business man. He was somebody that was very special. He lived in Trump Tower for an extended period of time in New York -- and right next to me, actually. And so I got to know him very well.

He would go down to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach a lot. In fact, that's where he was with Lisa Marie Presley when it first came out. And he was there for a very long period of time. But he would go down often.

KING: When was the last time you spoke with him?

TRUMP: Probably a year ago, Larry. You know, Michael was a much different guy in the last seven or eight years, maybe 10 years, than he was. I always view it as two Michael Jacksons. You had...

KING: How do you mean?

TRUMP: Well, you had Michael from, let's say, up to around the age of 35. And that was somebody -- the greatest -- the greatest entertainer I've ever seen.

And then you had the later version of Michael, who was much more reticent. He was much shyer. I mean, you know, the -- he was just a -- a little bit of a different guy.

KING: Yes.

TRUMP: And I -- I really knew both Michaels. He was a terrific guy. He was a wonderful guy. But he lost a certain amount of confidence in the last ten years. I mean, he went through a lot, including some very, very bad doctors.

KING: What about the business aspect of this? Is he going to be worth a lot more gone than here?

TRUMP: Well, he's going to be worth a lot of money. He's got -- all of his albums are number one now. Probably they've never seen anything like it. I guess the debt will be paid off pretty quickly. He really was -- he was a great businessman. He'd come into my apartment, and we'd talk a lot about business.

As an example, he met with Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney was telling him -- and this is a pretty well-known story. Michael told it to me. Paul McCartney mentioned that he was going to try and buy back the other half of the Beatles music. Michael then went out and bought it. You could say it's not very nice. I've heard that Paul has always been very angry at Michael for doing that. Perhaps Paul shouldn't have mentioned it. Perhaps that's just business and the way it is.

But he really was a very, very good businessman. A very smart guy.

KING: You're a sharp realtor guy and you know southern California. I was up at Neverland. We did a whole show from there Thursday. I never saw a property as beautiful as that, 3,000 acres. What would you do with it?

TRUMP: I'm not sure exactly who owns it. A very good friend of mine, Tom Barrack (ph), is very much involved --

KING: He was there. Their company apparently pretty much owns it. TRUMP: Yes, Tom is a brilliant guy and a wonderful friend. And he was actually somebody who helped Michael Jackson a lot over the last couple of years. But I think Tom has that. I'm just not sure what you can do from a zoning standpoint.

KING: Could you envision a Graceland?

TRUMP: Well, I could, but it's a difficult area. You have to go through this town. As you know, they drove him crazy. The interesting thing is I've known Michael from many different standpoints. And Michael would spend a lot of time with my kids. I have beautiful kids. And at the time, like at Mar-a-Lago and even at Trump Tower, the kids were very young. Michael would come, play with the kids. He just loved children.

He was not a child molester. And I am certain of that. He loved children. He'd play with my son Eric, and my son Donald. And he'd just play with them forever. He loved children.

But he was not a child molester. You know that whole final saga of Neverland and the police and what they did was, I think, a very, very -- a very, very bad part of Michael's life.

KING: Are you coming out for the service?

TRUMP: They invited me today, and they've called me so many times. I'd love to do it. I just won't be able to there be. I'd love to be there. I'd love to be with you. I'd love to be with the family. But I just won't be able to be there.

KING: What do you make of this whole thing, this billions of people going to watch this on television?

TRUMP: Well he was a unique guy, you know? I first met him years ago when he did a concert in Madison Square Garden. I was back stage. I just spoke to him a little while. He was low key even in those days. That was the "Thriller" days, when he had great, great success. It was amazing, because I would talk to him. I would say, there's no way that this guy is going out to that stage to perform. Then you'd see him Moon Walk across the stage and the place would go crazy.

You know, I've had every entertainer working for me, more or less. And I just sort of know them all. I knew Pavarotti. I knew all the great entertainers. I think the greatest entertainer I've ever seen was Michael Jackson. There's never been anyone like him. I guess Elvis was like him, and the Beatles. There were a few every generation.

KING: Sinatra.

TRUMP: Sinatra was great. But there are very few. These people you can count them on your hand. Michael was one of them. Just a great guy. He took tremendous -- I mean, he's just had tremendous -- really difficult last ten years. His last ten years, he's been living in hell. KING: Donald, thanks so much for sharing these moments with us.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, Larry.

KING: Donald Trump. Miko Brando, Mark Geragos, Roger Friedman all have something to say about all of this, and they're next.


KING: You're looking at Forest Lawn. Apparently, the reports are that many police cars are on their way up to Forest Lawn. We welcome Mark Geragos, the former attorney for Michael Jackson, Roger Friedman, entertainment reporter for, senior correspondent, "Hollywood Reporter," And Miko Brando, who's been a kind of co-host with us on all of these shows, friend, longtime employee, best man at his wedding, was Michael Jackson. Miko the son of the late, great Marlon Brando.

What's happening tomorrow at Forest Lawn, Miko?

MIKO BRANDO, FRIEND OF MICHAEL JACKSON: As far as I know, they were supposed to all meet there tomorrow morning at Forest Lawn, the family. But no confirmed --

KING: Is it a funeral?

BRANDO: That's a 10,000 dollar question, isn't it?

KING: Where's the body?

BRANDO: Wish I knew.

KING: You don't know?


KING: As close a friend as you were. If there's no body, no funeral, what are they going to do at Forest Lawn?

BRANDO: If they're going to do something there at all.

KING: You're not even sure they're going to Forest Lawn?

BRANDO: Correct.

KING: Why are all the police cars going? What do you know, Roger? You always know something.

ROGER FRIEDMAN, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": Well, I thought maybe they were doing something today, sort of an end-run around the press and the public, which would be a smart thing to do. And they may have actually -- may have actually happened already today. These people need to grieve in private a little bit. So I think it's -- it's more than likely it's happened today. There's something going on today.

KING: All those police are there for nothing? FRIEDMAN: No, I think it's happening now -- or it's happening now. And it would be hard to do. I mean, they may be gathering at 8:00 tomorrow morning. But at 10:00, they've got to be at the Staples Center. So it's tough to do that.

KING: Do you think the public will listen to the police begging them not to come tomorrow if they don't have tickets?

FRIEDMAN: I couldn't believe it. I know this guy was nice who was here before. But to say if you want to go see something, you should go to the cemetery tomorrow seemed kind of ridiculous to me.

KING: If you don't have a ticket, what are you going to do at Staples?

FRIEDMAN: They're just going to be -- you know, Mark started the trial. Miko was there all the time. I was at the Santa Maria trial.

KING: I was there.

FRIEDMAN: You were there. The fans would come, and they'd be five or six deep.

KING: But --

FRIEDMAN: They rarely saw him. They rarely had anything from him. They were just there. And they were at Neverland every day.

BRANDO: I think the fans just want to be around Michael.

KING: Even if they're around the building?

BRANDO: Even around the building, they're fans.

KING: Mark what do you -- what's your legal thought?

MARK GERAGOS, ATTORNEY: My office is five blocks away from there, right smack dab on Figueroa. I will predict that it's going to be a zoo tomorrow, not just because they're doing the elephant walk down Figueroa at 3:30 in the morning. It is -- there is already throngs of people down there in front of our office today, walking down Figueroa.

KING: There will be created complication, right?

GERAGOS: They're trying to block it off right there at eighth and Fig, which is about three or four blocks away. Then they've set up a perimeter. But I don't think there's anyway they're going to be able to do it. I literally

KING: What, show a ticket to the cop?

GERAGOS: Show your ticket to the cop to get past. But that's never going to work. I think they grossly underestimate the numbers of people that will be down there.

FRIEDMAN: Certainly not going to start at 10:00 a.m.

KING: It won't start at 10:00. Do you think we might well have, frankly, a calamity?

BRANDO: I think it will be the largest gathering I think in Los Angeles or anywhere --

KING: Could that be a calamity?

FRIEDMAN: No, it will be great. Bill Bradley's a great guy. It's going to be a -- it's going to be fine.

KING: He's a great police chief. How do you plan for something that's never happened?

FRIEDMAN: It's going to be orderly though. There are going to be people dressed as Michael Jackson. They're going to be Moon Walking. You'll be able to see the whole thing.

GERAGOS: I don't think it's a situation where people are going to be fired up to do damage, property crimes or anything like that. I think people want to pay their respects. They want to be part of it. I mean, the idea that there was over 1.5 million hits for roughly 11,000 hits tells you the level of interest. When you combine that with the fact that they're announcing today what the guest list is, it's a happening. You can't blame people for wanting to be there.

KING: You would think, if you want to see it, you could see it on CNN or other outlets.

GERAGOS: Same reason you go to the Rose Bowl or Super Bowl and you see all those people hang out, tail-gating and never get inside the Super Bowl.

KING: Not a million of them.

BRANDO: It's not Michael Jackson.

GERAGOS: Super Bowl happens every year.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Geragos, Friedman and Brando. Sounds like a law firm, which Geragos heads.

We're going back to Neverland for a story involving us that's getting worldwide attention. Back with that in 60 seconds.


KING: Thanks for watching our tour of Neverland last Thursday night. We appreciate the masses tuning in. And there were masses. There was a controversy that arose from our tour of the property on Thursday. LARRY KING LIVE producer David Theall was there and he's here to explain. David?

DAVID THEALL, LARRY KING LIVE PRODUCER: Larry, this is a controversy, a viral video that exploded shortly after your prime time exclusive with Jermaine Jackson in our live tour of the Neverland ranch. It is a video in which some people -- it happened during one of our live segments. Some people claim they see a ghostly figure move in the background of one of our live shots.

Now, the clip itself has received millions -- let me say that again, Larry -- millions of hits on the web. Not only has the video itself been viewed millions of times, but it is -- the story of it is being covered now internationally on TV. We're going to show you a clip. This is from United Kingdom's ITN.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fans are convinced the film captured during CNN program inside Neverland shows Michael Jackson's ghost.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the bathrooms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears to show the silhouette of a man crossing the corridor left to right before disappearing into the wall. The CNN footage was shot during a tour of Jackson's Neverland home a week after the 50-year-old died, although no one appeared to notice it at the time. It adds another layer to the mystery surrounding the singer who's perhaps seeking to offer a few more thrills even after his death.


THEALL: Larry, we posted this video on our blog, As always, look for that blog link and you'll be directed right to the video. You can take a closer look at it. We'll show you the video again, as shot from the show that we did the other day. What you're looking at in this video is CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands touring Michael Jackson's bedroom at Neverland Ranch.

In the distance, when the camera aims down a hallway, into the foyer, and then the dining room further in the distance, you'll see a shadowy figure move across the back wall.

Larry, you were in the house. I was in the mansion. Several other staffers were in the mansion. None of us, we can report, experienced, sensed, felt, saw, any ghostly figures at all within Neverland Mansion, Ranch, anywhere on the property.

In fact, what you see in this viral video making its way around the web is a shadow from either one of the people working in the house or from another network crew walking in front of a lighting fixture that had been set up earlier.

We tell you again, the video itself is on It's on our blog. Go to the blog. You can see the video for yourself. Larry?

KING: Thanks, David. We left Miko out of that. Miko was conducting the tour. Do you see anything?

BRANDO: I do now after seeing the playback. I wish it was him. It would be great.

KING: Brando, Geragos, Friedman back when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


KING: I want to ask Mark Geragos about Debbie Rowe. Howard Weitzman (ph) said she might -- her former attorney says she might have a claim for the children. Hue here's how she was treated by on the street reporters. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you ready to fight for your kids, Debbie?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children. Are you ready to fight for your children.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched me.

ROWE: You just did! Don't!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Are you ready to the good your butt kicked? Don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) touch me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to take a cash settlement for the kids?


KING: That's the tease. We get Mark Geragos' reaction, whether she has a shot.


KING: Mark, does she have a shot at the children, knowing California law?

GERAGOS: Knowing California law, she has the presumption, because she is the biological mother. She has a very good lawyer in Eric George, who will advise her as to whether or not she wants to. That having been said, when I represented Michael during the Child Protective Service investigation, which turned out to be unfounded back a number of years ago, I can tell you that those kids love -- at least the older two, who I spent time with -- love and adore Katherine, had a real bond with Grace, who has been around for years.

KING: The nanny.

GERAGOS: I call her a caregiver. She is a lot more than a nanny. If Grace and Katherine are involved, that is where the children belong, in my opinion.

KING: If you were to judge, that's what you would do.

GERAGOS: That having been said, she does have -- as the biological mother, you get a presumption. It's obviously a presumption that can be rebutted.

KING: Would you give Debbie Rowe visitation?

GERAGOS: I don't think there is any judge who would not give her visitation.

KING: What do you hear, Roger?

FRIEDMAN: First of all, that tape is so unfortunate. I've known Debbie for a long time. She is a terrific person. She is very strong willed. You can see that. She doesn't take anything from anyone. She really said -- I think we talked about this last week. When I talked to her last week, she said initially, and she stuck with this, that she wanted to wait until after the funeral before she did anything. She didn't want to scare the kids. She is very fond of Katherine Jackson. And I think there will be some kind --

KING: Miko, did Michael ever talk about her much?

BRANDO: I think she is a strong person. Obviously, yes, he liked her. I think she is a strong person. If she wants the kids, she'll ask for them. I think they are in good hands with Michael's mother and Grace. They are doing a good job with the kids. We'll see what happens later.

KING: Do you think she should have the right to see them?

BRANDO: Sure, if she wants to. Absolutely, they are her kids.

KING: More with our guests after the break.


KING: Before we wind things up with our panel, let's get one more check with Ted Rowlands at Staples on the eve of the memorial. Ted, what is happening?

ROWLANDS: Well, as Mark was saying earlier, the folks on Figueroa, there are a lot of them. Before, we showed you the mural people were signing on the other side of the stadium. This is the line to go and sign that mural. There are literally hundreds of people gathered. A lot of folks here.

Most of them don't have tickets. In fact, the vast majority don't have tickets. A lot of them came from somewhere else. Like Darcella and Kristina (ph); they came from New Jersey. Why come all this way? You don't have a ticket to the show?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a Michael Jackson fan since 1969, when they debuted on "The Ed Sullivan Show." ROWLANDS: So you just got up and left New Jersey and came to L.A. Some people might be out there saying these guys are a little whacko for doing this. What is your connection to Michael Jackson? Why come out?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, Michael Jackson means music. There wouldn't be any top 40, no pop, no anything without Michael Jackson. So I had to be here.

ROWLANDS: All right, perfect. Thank you, ladies. Larry, two stories of very many out here in line, just sign the mural, outside the Staples Center, where the public memorial will take place tomorrow.

KING: Thanks. Ted Rowlands, as always, on the scene. Madonna paid tribute to Michael at her concert in London over the weekend with an impersonator doing Michael's moves to "Billy Jean." Watch.


MADONNA, SINGER: All right, people, let's give it up to one of the greatest artists the world has ever known, Michael Jackson. Long live the King!


KING: OK, in your background, opinion and logic, what is going to happen tomorrow, Mark?

GERAGOS: I think you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of people who are going to be down there. I have a sneaking suspicion that even with the area blocked off that you're going to have a crowd that exceeds what anyone can imagine.

KING: It won't happen, but what if it rains? They'll still come?

GERAGOS: It never rains. There would be a lot of umbrellas there, so it would be appropriate as well.

KING: What do you think is going to happen?

FRIEDMAN: It is going to be a great show. It is going to be a great tribute to Michael. His brother Jermaine is going to sing.

KING: He is?

FRIEDMAN: Yes, he's supposed to sing Charlie Chaplain's song "Smile," which I think is going to bring the whole place down.

KING: One of the great songs ever written.

FRIEDMAN: What a great song. Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson. You're going to see a lot of Motown people there. It is going to be a celebration of Michael.

KING: What is the time of the program?

FRIEDMAN: It is supposed to start at 10:00 a.m. You know, it will start some time tomorrow morning.

KING: How long will the show run?

FRIEDMAN: Miko said an hour and 15 minutes.

KING: Miko, what do you know?

BRANDO: An hour and 15 is what I heard last. Knowing how big the show is going to be, it is going to probably go on.

FRIEDMAN: Kenny Ehrlich is doing it, who does the Grammy Awards. That's all live. All kinds of unpredictable things happen. He is a great producer. Learned from Pierre Cassette (ph). He is going to put on a great TV show for the world.

KING: Is someone going to be the host of it, Miko? Is someone going to come on stage and introduce everybody?

BRANDO: I think there are different segments of the show. Different people will introduce the artists and the guest speakers.

FRIEDMAN: Al Sharpton is speaking. I think Jesse Jackson is speaking.


KING: Did you watch any of the rehearsal today?

BRANDO: Yes, I did. I watched a little bit this afternoon. I'm going back afterwards, after your show to look at the rest.

KING: Who did you see today?

BRANDO: The brothers were up there rehearsing. They walked to the stage, went through there -- yes.

KING: Got to be difficult for them, isn't it?

BRANDO: Yes, I think so. Of course it will be.

KING: Have they sung together? Not in a long time?

BRANDO: I think the last time they sang was at Michael's concert in New York.

FRIEDMAN: September, 2001.

BRANDO: September 10th.

KING: The day before 9/11?

BRANDO: Yes. The day before 9/11 at Madison Square Garden.

FRIEDMAN: Were you there?

BRANDO: Yes, I was.

FRIEDMAN: Were you part of the escape.

BRANDO: I was there with my father.

FRIEDMAN: Right, remember, his father came on stage during the show.

Due to the September 11th thing, Michael got a bus and drove back across the country.

KING: He couldn't fly.

FRIEDMAN: No, he wouldn't fly. He got a big bus. Were you on the bus.

BRANDO: I stayed back.

KING: Mark, how long are the legal entanglements going to go on?

GERAGOS: It is going to be a while. I don't know about the child custody. But clearly the estate and all kinds of wrangling over the estate, it is not going to be a simple task. It will die down.

KING: What can you tell us about Ralph Branca's nephew?

GERAGOS: Branca is a very accomplished entertainment lawyer. He's responsible for the -- putting together the deal for the Sony catalog.

FRIEDMAN: The Beatles catalog.

GERAGOS: He administered for a while the Mijac catalog. He is a sharp guy. He has Howard Borken (ph) for him.

FRIEDMAN: He is devoted to Michael. He has always been devoted to Michael Jackson. Michael was the best man at his wedding.

KING: We are out of time. Thanks guys. See you tomorrow night. Big post show on this network and LARRY KING LIVE tomorrow nigh. Time now, Anderson Cooper, up on the roof, and "AC 360."