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June 28th, 2009
11:53 PM ET

Unanswered Questions about Jackson's Death

CNN's Don Lemon anchored his prime-time news show from the red carpet of the BET Awards, and then Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family, showed up.

Don then followed up with a longer interview with Jackson family attorney, Londell McMillan.

Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Mz Kiki Darling

    Great interview Don! I really am so heartbroken about this whole ordeal w/ Micheal! I feel MJ was so talented, so smart but so naive on various levels. The people around him wasn't that much better! Even when and if they get down to the bottom of this mess, it won't bring Micheal back to the world and for that I am truly sadened!

    June 29, 2009 at 12:29 am |
  2. Eray

    Joe makes me sick he was so worried about his own thing he answered your questions like automatic. He was trying to plug himself. At the Awards for BET His daughter Janet showed up for the family and thanked everyone. Notice he did not come up on stage at that point. He was so not their but to bask in his own glory. Not the family. Listen to what Janet says!!!! I think that is what it was to really be!!!!

    June 29, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  3. Tonya Ricks

    I am so upset about the passing of Michael Jackson.I understand the media has a job to do by reporting the news and all aspects of it.The focus is on what killed Michael Jackson,and that's understandable.But what difference does it make what killed him.What killed him won't change the fact that he's dead.I'm sure there are some of his family members watching the news and hearing everything being sad.What the family is hearing can't be comforting to them.They have lost a loved one and I'm sure it doesn't matter what wrong he's done.All that matters is that he's gone.Michael Jackson has been misunderstood his whole life.All he wanted was to be loved and to give love.People are still beating him down even in death.He gave so much and he deserves better.

    June 29, 2009 at 12:56 am |
  4. Dee

    Joe Jackson is a snake!!!!! I saw the interview on CNN. His family is grieving and he is at the EBT (not a typo) awards. He was arrogant and didn't act as if his child just died. I know we all grieve differently but he had the AUDACITY to talk about his "record label". He used Michael as his cash cow in life and now in death.....he is low. Karma will get you in the end Joe!

    June 29, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  5. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez

    The report from the Associated Press has helped to understand now the feelings around the death of Michael Jackson. There are too many strange situations surrounding his death. If Michael Jackson had a faint pulse and his body was warm when his doctor found him in bed. It is amazing how malicious our society has gotten to the point of keeping the world waiting because he had to tell a lawyer for the doctor sakes. This is certainly a strange society that we live in, when the attorney Edward Chernoff had to said this vital information. The attorney had to say that Dr. Conrad Murray never prescribed or gave Jackson the drugs Demerol or OxyContin. Dr. Murray and the attorneys have not being settled. The Jackson's family has to satisfy their needs to request a private autopsy. I hope that the Autopsy could reveal any wrong situations to satisfy the authorities and the families. Mr. Joe Jackson, Michael's father should have talk long time ago. It seems to be amazing that we will have to wait until the forensics investigation is complete. It seems that in a way the failure to have the contract signed by Jackson will make so some sort of justice into this situation.

    June 29, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  6. rain mark

    My husband and I just watched the interview with Joe Jackson, all I gotta say is if you didnt beleive Michael before about how crued his father was to him as a boy, its only been confirmed now! For a grieving father it was rather odd that he was so "smiley" and then to top it off made sure everyone knew about his record company. Looking to make some money thats the way it started and thats apparently the way it will end. Priorities Mr. Jackson look it up and get over yourself.

    June 29, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  7. Sheila W

    Micheal would have turned in his grave if he was in it. His father should have stayed home, was he even grieving? It sure did not look like it to me. Was he there to promote his record company.?.He is still trying to make money off of Micheal..Shame on YOU "Joe abusing Jackson” I wish he was dead instead of Micheal..

    June 29, 2009 at 1:41 am |
  8. Cali MJ Fan

    Something is smelling rank here.

    1. Joe & Katherine have sole authority over their (not minor) son? Uhh, really? Anyone looking (I mean really looking) for his will...even an old one? Suddenly Joe is in the forefront when he was the one whom Michael, by all his own accounts, said was the force behind much of his troubled life and they weren't really that close. ... just saying. (And Joe should have taken his own advice about being a better father while he was alive).

    2. Joe says they lost a superstar, not his son. Hmmm When asked about funeral plans, which by this point, they should have "some" idea, he says they don't have anything– but suddenly Joe & Marshall (?) have a new production company ... and Joe insists on introducing this 'point' over that of talking about his son? And they have a new attorney? Even when Don asks him why he attened BET Awards, up till that point, Joe had not used the word "son"– he did only after Don said, "you're here for the tribute to your son?"

    3. They have "posession" of the children (which in most law is 9/10's of the law). Speaking of possession- could it be possible that the will was located in the house, which would then now be in the hands of the family and if there was something met with objection, would ... uhhh, poof.

    4. "Fixed News" is posting an unconfirmed report that Neverland will become a CA "Graceland." Where is Tohme Tohme? He has been quoted in the press over the last 3 days at least once saying he didn't need to talk to the police, and somewhere has been posted he is possibly a person of interest, at least to talk to. So where is he, who is he, and why, if he is (as has been posted) part owner of Neverland, on behalf of MJ, hasn't he come forward?

    5. Who/where is the person who made the 911 call? Have the police talked with him? What pieces can this person add to the time frame just prior to his death? What about what did this person see while making the call, since it's apparent he was standing there with the doctor. Also, the children are reported as having seen their father collapse, or at least the eldest. Wouldn't someone have said this before 2-3 days after this happened? What timeline is known of his last hours? (Need a John King White Board timeline posted and have facts added as known.)

    6. Grace, the nanny. She was with him for 17 years and by all accounts loyal and reputable. Some of his longstanding EEs were dismissed about the same time (about December). How reputable was she? What chance does she have in gaining custody of his children? Is she in LA? Has she spoken with the police?

    7. DEA licenses– how many Class III drugs have been prescribed for Jackson? What other doctors? Did he obtain drugs under other names?

    8. CA AG Jerry Brown needs to step in, honestly. This is bigger than just the death of a superstar. Look at how many have potential gain. AEG, drs, family, attorneys, real estate developers. The only innocents are his children.

    Sad.. but so many more questions.

    June 29, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  9. joseph baker

    My comment is this: I believe Michael Jackson should have a funeral on the scale of Princess Diana, Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Evita Peron. MJ has affected more people on the planet than any other human except Jesus Christ. A large public funeral at the L.A. Coliseum feels like the only appropriate option. I put this question to you, "can you think of another individual person who has more celebrity or enfluence living or dead than MJ. There is not another person on the planet, actor, singer, performer, politician, clergy or healer alive today that can compare to MJ in death or even come close to the impact that MJ is affecting. There should be a national holiday.

    My question is this: would you please ask the single most curious question, why did Dr. Murray leave the patient Michael Jackson and only surface after securing an attorney.

    June 29, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  10. Ann Armstrong

    I just saw your interview with Joe Jackson!!!!!!!!! How pathetic a man he is–obviously all his son said about him was true. He seemed to have no feelings about the death of his son. He was strictly interested in promoting himself and a business of his. "I'm great"–about how he was doing. "They're fine"–about his family's feelings...
    Sad, sad, sad.........

    June 29, 2009 at 1:55 am |
  11. Colleen

    I watched Don Lemon's interview with Joe Jackson and I was so disgusted and amazed that even in death Joe is unable to see his son for nothing more than a product...a brand...or some kind of "cash cow." For him to say that "we have lost the greatest star in the world"...that's what the world has lost...Joe Jackson you have lost a son!!! I am not trying to pass judgment, but I felt like Michael never has a "dad" in Joe Jackson during his life here on this earth...(he had a manager, etc.) and that has not changed with his death. I think it ism in very poor taste to plug your personal projects when the world is mourning your son and praying for comfort for your family.

    June 29, 2009 at 2:17 am |
  12. Alice

    Good job at the BET Awards Red Carpet. You provided a wonderful vehicle for the stars to express their feeling about Michael Jackson. What an emotional night awaited those performers, many of whom perfected their craft by studying Michael. I am particularly distrubed by the appearance of Joe Jackson. He seemed to be somewhat disjointed and not completely engaged with your attempts to enter dialogue with him. The fact that he would state the world has lost one of the biggest stars ever bothers me. He lost his son, yet he expressed himself as being detached from the role of father. He used your platform to throw the gauntlet down in a sense, reading a very sterile and somewhat defensive statement regarding Michael's legacy and the future of his children. Then to top off an already inappropriate exchange on his part, he presents his business partner in a record label??? I understand that grief takes many forms. Perhaps this trying time is too much for him to deal with and engage with the public. I will say that the Jacksons attorney is very well spoken and sounds as though he has the best interest of Michael's legacy in his sights. I hope that the attorney will be able to better manage Joe Jackson's interactions with the public media.

    June 29, 2009 at 2:25 am |
  13. Maria

    I could've done without an interview with Joe Jackson. I have no interest in his thoughts. Most people who are familiar with Michael's childhood probably don't care either. Even so I'm sure none of us were prepared for his callous and selfish behavior. I hope the man disappears and stops running around looking for a camera so he can promote his new business – something that's obviously his priority right now.

    June 29, 2009 at 2:31 am |


    June 29, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  15. Sandy

    I don't think anyone can deny Michael was a respected musical genius despite his obvious state of mind and health and amid all the allegations of child molestation, which was absolutely not "ok!"

    Here's what really got me hours after his death. His "father," when interviewed, spoke of "his son" in third person and stated over and over again how he was such a great singer, entertainer, etc. while nowhere in any interview did I hear any comments on his "son" not the "musician." No wonder Michael had so many issues about self-respect and being loved, his father certainly didn't even show it in the few hours after Michael's death. John Travolta and Kelly grieved deeply, Joe Jackson is all about Joe Jackson!

    June 29, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  16. James Patterson

    I cried today for the first time, while driving to work, since hearing of Michael Jacksons passing. I knew that he had impacted my life but had no idea how much until listening to the Tom Joiner morning show this morning.
    I have heard many people try to describe Michael in a few words since last Thursday; "musical genius", "legend", and "icon" are a few of the words most are using in reference to his life. I could only come up with one word myself..."cousin". To me Michael was like the cousin that moved away for a better were always hearing about his ups and downs through other family members. When he did great things you were happy for him and when things weren't going so well for him you felt bad and knew that things would get better for him eventually. But no matter what my "cousin" was going through, he was FAMILY and you always, always stand behind family....RIP cousin, the family and I will miss you!

    June 29, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  17. Ted

    Answer this question. Why do we care? Our politicians are trying to hijack the health care of all Americans. Honest, hard working people are dying from dreadful diseases and we are talking about an weirdo, alledged pediphile because he made some music we bought over 20 years ago? The only question about Michael Jackson death we need to answer is , "why do we care?" When we have real problems to deal with that effect millions of real people, why do we care so much about this one?

    June 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  18. Jane

    I followed Don over the weekend @ the BET awards and just felt compelled to speak out on this disgraceful excuse for a father which was aired on Sunday. Joe Jackson obviously is not a grieving father for a son. He was rude in his voice tune and spoke of his son in a weird way, not as his flesh and blood. I guess Michael's feelings about him were real and now his children will be exposed to him. What was that about plugging Ranch Records???????????
    CNN needs to speak on his odd behavior today, not just Michael's short comings!
    Also what were those artist (LIL Wayne and others, also the preshow)trying to prove by having their pants below there b** and also shows america their underwear. Michael Jackson never showed us his underwear or was dressed anything like that- this was an insult not a tribute from these young people. The really nice part was the duo at the end- classy, thanks for getting the underwear shots out of our mind!
    CNN needs to report all of this and how their loyal viewers felt about the content of the Sunday evening reporting.

    Thanks for listening

    June 29, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  19. Bee Kay

    Michael was abused as a child by Joe, he admitted that. His family is driven by his fathers need for money and fame. Janet, Tito, Latoya, Michael, they are all slaves to their father. It disgusts me to watch how smug his father was during this interview, and now, it all makes sense that Michael turned out the way he did. How can such wonderful people come from such terrible parents?

    June 29, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  20. Farah

    I wish his father was dead instead of him. when i think about how much he was using his kids and abusing Michael, i just wanna cry because we can see how tough was his childhood and how amazing and nice he is. the jackson kids were NOT money makers ... can't he understand that ? and i wish that God will punish him SO MUCH for abusing of such a wonderful person as Michael. and yesterday ... i was watching the BET and he wasn't even crying! he wasn't even sad a little ... this man is an evil and has no heart ! i AM devastated .. and he wasn't even in my family or something and i'm only 14 ... and the WHOLE WORLD is devastated ... and Joe's not ... i feel so bad about that...

    June 29, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  21. Reginald K. Williams

    Great interview Don, but it seems Joe Jackson is tryin to promote himself instead of dealing with the issues. Something just doesn't seem right.

    It is amazing how people try to make the reporter look like a villian when they are just tryin to get the facts. Again great job Don!

    June 29, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  22. Maria

    I just saw your interview with joe jackson, and you did a great job because it really showed his true colors. It made me sick that he would so shamelessly plug his new recording company or whatever it was, it doesnt really matter because I know I for one wont be buying anything from him. Im also suprised no one else picked up on this or is saying anything about it

    June 29, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  23. Jam

    Everyone has their own way of grieving, I feel.But, Joe Jackson
    should have stayed home. BET awards was not the place to try
    and promote your record company.The man whom he told to
    "Tell em" looked stunned. I believe Michael and can understand
    why this man is resented. Michael did wonderful inspite of what
    he had to endure.May GOD bless Michael and his Family.

    June 29, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  24. Rob in Fla

    Just caught the news that MJ's mother filed for custody. I cannot imagine that MJ, after publicly saying he was abused as a child would want this? Look at this dad at the BET's last night, taking advantage of the limelight to push a new recording company...this is not someone I would want anywhere near my children. Where is Janet or the brothers to step forward and raise his children?

    June 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  25. dorothy

    to don lemon has anyone give thought to the fact michael jackson was so terribly thin that he had an eating disorder. something like karen carpenter did which cased her death. dot from edwardsville,il.
    loved his music and dance was a great music genius.sorry that it took his death to make every realize what a great artist he was.

    June 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  26. Kate

    Yes, Michael's father Joe looked ridiculous. Doubly so because the interviewer Don's manner was so respectful and he seemed so careful about the questions he asked and the manner in which he asked them. Joe's responses were so unexpected.

    June 29, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  27. Curtis Winston

    I cannot believe that Joe Jackson came to the BET awards and promoted his music label instead of showing heartfelt remorse for the way he treated his children including the late Michael Jackson (his son) and honor Michael for his life of work. I hope the Court denies the family’s request to give them Michael’s Children, because it is very obvious that Joe Jackson didn’t learn from his mistakes in the past, and will probably do the same thing he did to his own children. Joe Jackson is just out there for Michael's future earnings and therefore only understands dollar signs. No one should have a father like Joe Jackson.

    June 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  28. Deb

    I'm glad I wasn't being over-sensitive after reading the other posts. I was appalled by Joe Jackson's push to discuss future money-making plans (record company) instead of speaking of his son, a family member, who has left us. A little restraint would've gone a long way and been a very classy way to handle this, but it wasn't to be.

    Thank God Janet got it right in her statement during the BET awards. THAT's the correct behavior, not pushing for the money-cash-cow end of this. I've not been impressed with this man in the past and he hasn't redeemed himself yet to me. This is a very sad time for everyone.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  29. Carol

    Was so glad to read that people are commenting about what a vile character Joe Jackson shown himself to be in his interviews. Don was very respectful and somber and all Joe cared about was promoting some new label and introducing some has been as his new business partner. Michael is not even in his grave (as the family has not had time but Joe has time to create a new record label?) and Joe is trying to cash in. It is no wonder that MJ was as messed up as he was. And to now allow the Jackson's to get custody so that they can be exposed to MJ"s abuser is a travesty. Step up Katherine, protect Michael's children even though you could not or did not protect Michael. Or one of the brothers, step in and exert yourselves, Joe is too old to hit you now.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  30. moveforward

    First, I want to say Thank You Janet Jackson for bringing the only dignity to the BET Award Show. The rest of the BETshow was disappointing, disrespectful and shameful to most Black americans. BET had an opportunity to shine and showcase our best to the world; many of whom had never watched BET. In what way was Michael honored? A Total disconnect. Today we can only be embarrassed.

    June 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  31. carol mcneil

    Who the hell does Joe Jackson think he is. I think it was disgraceful ,the way he tried to promote his record company in the wake of his son's death.Is this man insane,.?? Abused his son in life and in death. He should have been shown the door, .i really thought he was there for Michael.I have no pity for this man, he does not care about his son nor does he or has he ever shown any remorse for the way he abused his son. He wanted his children for bank machines , i hope he does not get Michael's children. he will probably whip them too. That nasty dirty excuse for a human being. Don't give him anymore camera time.record company ??, how redicoulous!!, what's he gonna sell, michael's old records that he had stored in his basement, put him on ebay.I would not give him a penny.

    June 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  32. Freida

    Let's pray that Mike's kids don't end up in a household with Joe Jackson. Not only for the physical and mental abuse that he is historic for but from the looks of the press conference with Don Lemon today I'd say Joe Jackson needs a doctor and some Alzheimer's medication. Why would a father start to talk about what he's got coming up with a new record label 3 days after his famous son' death. The whole mess is going to get ugly. My vote...give the kids to Janet.

    June 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  33. Sheila-Marie

    Mr. Don Lemon:

    I give you all the accolade you deserve, dearheart. You held your cool, when that ignorant Joseph Jackson walked the carpet last night. He acted like a prima donna, and shamed many people with his actions, but you kept your cool. You are truly a pro, because I would have drop kicked him ! He is an embarrasment. But, thank God no one really listens to him, anyway.

    June 29, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  34. Angela Savage Austin

    How Do You Mend A Broken Heart? Is it possible that Michael Jackson died from a broken heart? Michael Jackson's message to the world was about love. Today it sickens even me to see so much hate and division around the world. The love of money seems to be most people's God. I pray that Michael is surrounded by all the love he could ever imagine. I know that He is praying for the rest of us. I thank God for his precious life and his gift of music.

    June 29, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  35. Desiree

    I couldn't even watch the whole interview with Joe Jackson I was so disgusted!!! My mother always told me 'if I can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all' so I'm not going to say any thing about (Mr.) Jackson since I think most of you took the words right out of my mouth.

    I wonder if Janet knew her father was there and where he was sitting last night....

    I pray to God that Janet or one of her brothers takes the children.

    June 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  36. Cathie

    Is Joe Jackson blind or def?? Seriously, the man has shown ZERO remorse for not only his son being dead, but the fact the he is one of the REASONS his son is dead!
    Watch ANY interview Michael Jackson has ever done, and the turth comes out about what kind of person (father) Joe jackson was, and is. The truth comes out about how Joe Jackson's actions as a father effected Michaels entire life! And it's very sad. But hey?? Should we be expecting anything less from Joe Jackson? I mean, he treated Michael that way in life, why would he treat him any different in death? I really feel bad for Michael Jacksons mother.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  37. Cathie

    Joe Jackson should stop taking credit for Michael Jackson; the Superstar. Is he REALLY that arrogant to believe that if he had not been around to be the abusive torturer that he was, that Michael Jackson would be 'nothing'?? NO WAY!! Michael Jackson was destined for stardom PERIOD. He was going to be a star with, or without, Joe Jackson!! It was in Michaels bones, skin and soul to be a superstar....Joesph, it WASN'T you that made him who he was...that was between him and God & what was meant to be!!!

    June 30, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  38. Chris Foubister

    I'm trying to get feedback on an idea. Being that Michael Jackson was truly a global icon. I think Michael should be immoratilzed in a unique way; by being first person ever burried/enshrined/entombed on the moon. Almost sounds like something he would have thought of himself doesn't it?

    June 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm |

    Don Lemon...You are truly great at your profession.

    Joe Jackson interview... I would not have been able to contain myself.
    I would have had to say...I mean HAD TO SAY...Listen old man, what makes you think you are "all that and a bag of chips"...then I would have HAD TO wrap his mouth with duct tape, so we wouldn't have to hear him anymore...NO...wrapped his entire face, so we wouldn't have to see him anymore.

    June 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  40. craig bohling

    I just want to clear the record......Michael Jackson did not invent "the moon walk"........Cab Callaway did it back in the 1930-1940's!!

    June 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  41. elmo97

    I see that you didnt post my comment about how foul you were for asking Joe all those inappropriate questions while on the carpet. You are only posting comments from people that agree with your crooked interview. He should have never allowed you to talk to him. I see clearly why Diddy blasted you before he commented. You reporters are always looking for a story. They didnt need you to be their to express their feelings about Michael thats what the awards show was for. All you did was try and make it about Joe promoting a record label and that wasnt even the case. You asked him whats next and thats when he brought it up. You media people are something else

    June 30, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  42. Ap's Nanny

    I'm so glad Joe Jackson will get nothing. I just hope Mama Katherine Jackson will kick him to the curb. Wait til the Katherine Jackson real story comes out. Why did she stay married to this fool for sixty years? Why did she let him beat her children? Did he beat her too? I thought it was appalling he was on the red 80 year old man with an earring in his ear talking and acting like "he's the man". This is his actions as we mourn one of the greatest entertainers of all time. ....and this was "his son".

    June 30, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  43. robyncaffrey keyser west virginia

    att don

    i was watching larry king lastnight, he was talking with the mayor of garry,indiana
    he was telling larry that his town is gonna have a memorial for micheal jackson july 10 th : as he was talking to larry ' he was standing in front of the house of 230 jackson street, garry,indiana

    when i first seen it interveiw on cnn, i almost fell off my chair, as i was so choked up when i seen that house again, as thats where all the jacksons came from. and that tree that he was standing under ,was the same tree that joe would take the switches and beat his kids.

    so i freacked out , and was typing to larry ' not to eaven let the jackson family see that clipping.
    as if : i freacked , what do you think the family would do ? the only good thing about that area is : they met the boyz to men before they became a famous.
    as ' tito ' and ' dramaine ' and ' micheal ' and the ' sister janet ' was walking home from school, and as they were crossing that street
    there was three black kids walking across, and the one boy looked at janet hard ' so tito or dramaine said to the kid : what are u looking at ? but as the jackson brother was saying that , he pushed the kid , then micheal ran in betwean then 2 ' and said : everything is ok ( please ) dont fight " so they broke the huddle up, and they told the jacksons , they were just coming from a recording studio , as they said we are gonna be a famous stars. then they sang that song ( ill make love to you ) they said there name is gonna be :

    don' im telling u this as , maybe you can prevent cnn broad casting that clip. ( but " then again ' at that moment
    all the jacksons ran in the house to tell kathrin who they just ran into.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm |

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