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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...


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Cali MJ Fan    


YOU made this a bigger deal than it was, assuming the fans would rip the place to shreds.

YOU told the world NOT to come (and they would have more than paid the costs with tourist dollars).

YOU told the world that there is a fund set aside for this.

YOU have been panhandling since last Friday for money from ANYONE. First the Jacksons, then AEG, then MJ's fans.

YOU have yet to account for the taxes that were brought by the tourists that did come to your city.

YOU have a website up without live accounting of current contributions by MJ's fans.

Just how much effin money do you want?

And if, the donations and taxes go over the cost, tell me, are YOU going to donate the money to a children's charity?

I'm SICK of listening to LA whine. For heavens sakes. You should have asked the Queen how much their fair city made in taxes from WELCOMING people who loved Princess Di... and you should have taken notes.

1896 days ago


OK.... why can't everyone at the Memorial chip in??? I am sure Mariah has a least $100,000 she could donate, so could Magic J., Koby, Berry Gordy, Usher, Queen Latifah...and on...and on..... THEN Have his great friends like Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Manelli, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones all pitch in $250,000. They all loved him and wanted him to have a proper memorial, so let them help !!! IT'S SO OBVIOUS!!!!!

1896 days ago


the fans were TRYING to pay and the raggedy site broke down...who's fault is THAT?

1896 days ago

Respect 4 - 1 Self!    

Ok people are saying that the family had a pvt. service and they paid for it....ok I can agree with that. Now here comes the butt.......Who the hell said it was ok for the taxpayers to foot the bill???? Did we vote to do this????? Are is this world just to PC that maybe they would burn the city down if a black man didn't get what they wanted for him?????

In order for the TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR THIS.....DO WE HAVE TO VOTE TO RAISE OUR TAXES TO PAY FOR HIS SERVICE AND while were at it......balance the budget for a broke ass state who can't pay workers who can't pay their morgt. payment which put's Cailf. further in the hole.


1896 days ago


Why should LA pay for a pop star's funeral??!?!?!? We're in debt because everyone wants celebrations, but noone wants to pay. The taxpayers are going to get stuck paying for this! Not all us taxpayers went to the memorial, and not all us taxpayers cared if there was a public memorial! AEG and the family planned planned the big event, they should pay for it. The family always has to pay for funerals-even when they have to use their last cent to pay for it. The Jackson's and their famous friends who attended the memorial have planty of money-why don't they pay!?!?!?!

1896 days ago


You know any ordinary Joe out there would have to pay PER cop for any funeral services. There is always that additional fee, and the more people you have attending the more cops you have to pay for ( I think 300 each).

Wackson's must pay.

1896 days ago


Regarding comment #61- Since when does a city pay for a citezen's funeral? The family pays for the funeral, so get your facts right! Where do you think the city's money comes from? The citezens' taxes! We didn't have a choice about the event being put on. AEG and the family made that choice!

1896 days ago


Are you kidding, Michael Jackson paid huge taxes to this city, no only from his income but also property taxes on the land he owned. Oh and lets not forget the amount of tourists that can to the city to see him throughout the mant years of his life.

1896 days ago

Cali MJ Fan    

For those who say the Jackson family should pay, remember, the FAMILY is the one who paid for the live feed to go to the world.

For heavens sake, hasn't California benefited ENOUGH from their most popular resident or do they need to bleed them dry too?

Los Angeles - PAY UP and shut up! You didn't ask for any money from any of the other celebrity ceremonies before Michael, so either you are going to ask for EVERY single event in the future... or you're going to shush and count the taxes you got over the weekend.

What about the $80,000 lunch that LOS ANGELES bought on behalf of this dead man... when it could have been about $17,500? The employees were getting overtime-- so why couldn't they afford to buy their own lunches?

ENOUGH you greedy hypocrites!

1896 days ago

Kassie Gold Coast, Australia    

Why is it always about money.
After a death of a family member or a world Icon there is always a family feud, or a feud of some sort over money.
Let MJ rest in peace, and leave his family and fans grieve in their own way.
Considering MJ was a Icon all over the world, and it was said many times through his memorial of what wonders he did to try and change and heal the world. Why don't authority figures shut up, get over themselves and do something about it instead of complaining to public. If anything they should be making a severe request to USA government, as the president should foot the bill out of respect for all of what MJ done for the world.
Rest In Peace MJ, you are sadly missed by many.
I love who you were and what you stood for...I believe you were innocent. And you will continue to live in our hearts.

1896 days ago


The record companies should be paying with Mr jacksons death all of his recordings are selling again. The staple center management should not have to pay. The jackson family should volunteer to pay some of it. Zine is just trying to be fiscally prudent, not knowing what the future holds. The city should have secured the funds PRIOR to the memorial. Now they eat the costs. The residents cant complain come next May when the funds are gone and the officers of LAPD are limited on overtime, but at least Michael got a very expensive send off at our expense...

1896 days ago

Split This    

Everyone knows who AEG is now... Everyone ahas heard the name AEG now so 1.4 mil was alot cheaper then a superbowl add.. Believe me, they made money off this event just in advertising their name alone..

1896 days ago


AEG should pay anything and should stay out of LA now and not support the LA Lakers anymore. Let California crash and burn. Everyone knows California only had people trying to be famouse and Illegal Mexicans

1896 days ago


LA has a history of riots. Look at the Rodney King riots... cost over a Billion dollars (equal to $2Billion in 2009 dollars) and almost 60 people were killed. The Lakers won the NBA Championship a month ago, in Orlando FL and there were riots outside the Staples Center costing area businesses and the taxpayers over a Million dollars due to riots, damaged property, looting and burned police cars. If LA celebrates a championship by causing a Million dollars in damage I'd rather see the cops get a Million dollars overtime to keep the peace. What would these bafoons say if all hell broke lose at MJ's funeral?

Michael gnerated Billions in tax dollars through his work. He gave Hundreds of Millions to charity, mostly in SoCal!

These pols rank up there with MJ's dad. Low class!

1896 days ago


Why should the promoter be responsible. It is clearly a civic cost. MJ's family paid what any other family would be responsible for. If anything, the tabloids should pitch in.

1896 days ago
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