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War Erupts over MJ's Memorial Cost

7/9/2009 7:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The battle over the cost of Michael Jackson's memorial has officially begun -- as an L.A. city councilman and the president of AEG traded licks today about who's responsible for the ceremony's hefty price tag.

War Erupts over MJ's Memorial Cost

Councilman Dennis Zine told KTTV today that taxpayers "are getting ripped off" because AEG made $50,000 by charging the media to use risers outside the venue. Zine said AEG should grow a pair and cough up some cash.

AEG President Tim Leiweke immediately swung back, saying Zine was out of line because the company helped secure funds for the L.A. Lakers championship parade last month.

So the question is...

199 COMMENTS

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16.

What the Hell?    

Classic!
Why am I the only one asking-who set up the memorial?
Should they not pay the bill?!
Why did the networks not pay their share?!- The networks could easily foot the bill!

Priceless!

1895 days ago
17.

pr741    

For those of you outside of LA... ZINE is the guy who wanted to pass laws PROTECTING stars from the papparazzi.

He's an attention lover. In LA he does anything that will garner him attention.

He waited unitl Monday before he made public comments about the costs of this deal. That would be after Rep. King of NY got mostly positive attention for his Jackson comments.

But he's also very good friends with the mayor, and AEG- particularly Leiweke- bailed out the mayor on the lakers parade by sourcing the donations. So there might be something EXTRA igniting this fire.

At the end, Zine is a blow hard and very few people take him seriously, which was evidenced by his re-election with around 60% of the vote when virtually unopposed.
He cares a lot about his brand. He gives out an award every Sept. named after himself- Z AWARDS- and does other similar things to enhance his brand and name recognition.

1895 days ago
18.

Gina    

I think Mayor Tony and his concubine should pay the full amount.

1895 days ago
19.

Tink44    

Actually, why isnt the family responsible? Isnt that what the rest of have to do? When my husband passed away, I PAID THE BILL! This is one strange family. You dont plan an even like that and expect the city to pick up the tab. they should have had Michael cremated or something. Then they play hide and seek with the body and after everyone spends all their money to see him or try to see him, the family totally disreguards the fans. The more I hear about the Jacksons, the more I understand why he was the way he was. Sad!

1895 days ago
20.

SYLVI212    

I GUESS ALL YOU PEOPLE THAT THINK THE LA TAXPAYERS SHOULD FOOT THE BILL FOR THAT FUNERAL ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE SEATTLE TAX PAYERS SHOULD FOOT THE BILL FOR BILL GATES' FUNERAL WHEN HE DIES.

THE ARGUMENT THAT MICHAEL JACKSON "CONTRIBUTED MORE TO THE COMMUNITY/COUNTRY THAN ANY OTHER PERSON" AND HAS PAID MORE TAXES THAN ANY OTHER PERSON IN LA IS COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT. IN CASE YOU AREN'T AWARE, MR. GATES' NET WORTH FAR EXCEEDS THAT OF ALL THE JACKSON'S COMBINED, EVEN AT THEIR PEAK. MR. GATES' INCOME FAR EXCEEDS THE JACKSON'S INCOME COMBINED, EVEN AT THEIR PEAK. MR. GATES' TAX LIABILITY FAR EXCEEDS THE JACKSON'S TAX LIABILITY, EVEN AT THEIR PEAK. IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT A CONTRIBUTION TO MAN, THE CONTRIBUTION MR. GATES HAS GIVEN THIS EARTH FAR EXCEEDS ANYTHING THE ENTIRE JACKSON FAMILY HAS DONE. THE JACKSON FAMILY SHOULD FOOT THE ENTIRE BILL FOR THAT FUNERAL. JUST LIKE THE REST OF US HAVE TO DO WHEN WE BURY ONE OF OUR FAMILY MEMBERS. ALL OF YOU THAT THINK ANYONE OTHER THAN THE JACKSON FAMILY SHOULD FOOT THE BILL, WHEN ARE YOU SENDING IN YOUR CHECK?

1895 days ago
21.

George, K    

This is a false question. The costs of the memorial were covered by private funds. What the city is really asking is for money to cover the extra public security costs it had to incur because of the memorial. EG is not responsible and the Jackson family is not responsible for the security of the citizens and visitors of the city of LA. The city is. Michael Jackson happened to live in the state of California, he died, many people wanted to say their goodbyes. Plus, would imagine MJ paid more than his fare share of tax dollars during his life.

1895 days ago
22.

Pjhop    

AEG, they are going to make a sh**load of money off of Michael and of course the Jackson family should pay. I don't believe the taxpayers would pay for my memorial.

1895 days ago
23.

LillyandGish    

This expense does NOT fall on the Jackson family. It's not their faul the city of LA couldn't figure out how to get their website to take donations from the MULTITUDE of Jackson fans that were willing to donate. The city and State of California have made plenty of money off the Jackson family over the years. This is their responsibility, I'm sure the Jackson's have had to shell out plenty of money already.

TMZ, please stay on top of the Jackson news! Don't make me wait until CNN finally reports on something. They tend to be about three days behind you.

1895 days ago
24.

Respect 4 - 1 Self!    

Everyone who sez that taxpayers should pay for this is not a tax payer them self but a low life sucking off the taxpayers. Calf is broke with crap like this and Octo mom.....millions for nothing.

Reward bad behavior is Americas past time. It would be nice to see people take personal responsabilty for their actions and stop wanting others to pay for their choices or blame others for their choices.

I just wonder how long the ones that say let the tax payers pay for it will say that when their food stamps are cut off because of it! YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW PEOPLE.....AND IT TO BAD YOUR LETTING A FAT CAT & FAMILY TAKE MONEY FROM YOU....SAD PART IS THESE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO ARE BUYING THE CD'S AND CRAP...SUCKERS!!!!!

1895 days ago
25.

engel    

Let the family pay for this!!!! This is ridiculous!!! Cheap A$$ SOB's, so typical. AEG will make millions when selling the rehearsal CD they can can cough it up for sure.

1895 days ago
26.

TxRhonda    

If all of these "celebrities" are paying tribute and saying that MJ is the REASON they have this/that...why don't they all get together and help pay for the memorial...Lord knows they have the money!!

1895 days ago
27.

paulajustpaula    

You're kidding right? To all you yahoo's out there that thinks LA should pay for MJ's funeral. With what? WAKE UP you morons. California can't afford a Happy Meal. They're using IOU's to pay their debts as it is. I don't care how much money MJ paid in taxes, or how much money was spent by the tourists. Let the family pay for the funeral costs.

1895 days ago
28.

sunrayzzz    

How long have these business men been doing business??? You don’t discuss after the event who is responsible for paying what. You get it straight from the start – if nothing has been agreed upon before the event takes place then the show just doesn’t happen. If no common ground has been met, it should then be up to the family to figure it out and they will have to determine how lavish the funeral will be according to the depth of their own pockets. Kind of like us not so privileged people do daily…

1895 days ago
29.

lenabenas21    

I think if AEG is to be held responsible for the costs, they should have been notified and agreed to do so PRIOR to the memorial.
1. With all the celebrities that were at the memorial, they could easily chip in some pocket cash and cover the costs of the memorial.
2. The record companies who are getting paid over the MILLION album sells in the last week can also kick down a little cash!
3. The City of LA made money from the increase in tourism, sales of merchandise, hotel rooms, taxi's, restaurants, etc. so quit playing the part like they got hosed!

Although it is customary for the family to pay the costs - it's not exactly normal for 11,000 PLUS people to attend and a $1.4M bill to be due! A little bit from everyone will help resolve this issue.

1895 days ago
30.

Yvonne    

Here's a thought. I've heard many singers and entertainer's say that MJ paved the way for people of color. SO why don't these people get together in honor of MJ and perform a special concert to raise the money for the state that most of them live in. I don't live in Ca. and I won't pay the bill for a family and a man that owns millions of dollars. No one will pay for mine but myself and if I'm lucky my family will be able to get 200.00 from the state for a marker for me.

1895 days ago
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