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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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I'll tell you why AEG should pay - MJ was under the stress of that big corporation to perform 50 freekin' shows. AEG also hired the doctor that could be involved in Michael's death and probably knew of something, plus didnt give proper assurance that that doctor hadnt had a history of issues malpractice problems. AEG may owe larger than the memorial. Greedy cowards again using artists for their own gain. AEG should pay in maybe more ways than one. Something to think about.

1896 days ago


I found it really, really tacky that the Mayor got on TV to ask for donations. AEG and the family wanted this event. AEG will be getting most of their money back, from insurance money and from the hordes they are going to make in MJ's death. If Range Rover and Rolls Royce wanted to donate cars to the family for their use during the funeral procession, so be it! Imagine the publicity they got!

If the city could not afford the extra security, they should not have agreed to provide the security. Doesn't AEG own the Staples center or did I hear that wrong? The Jackson's money is tied up in probate. Don't forget, Michael's money, was the Jackson FAMILY money....and when it all comes down to it, they could have sent home, I'm sure, more than half of the extra details they had on because they didn't get the crowd they expected, thus, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime, I'm sure.

The "celebrity' friends, seems they've all disappeared. They had their 'another 15 minutes" of bs'ing about how great they thought Michael was, but the Memorial is over, they've gone on with their lives without a thought to MJ....

1896 days ago


#77, AEG did not hire the Doctor. He was MJ's choice. He talked AEG into putting him on the payroll.

1896 days ago


The city of LA got 3200 police officers for this event which is more than enough. AEG put on this whole show without charging the public anything. I think they already paid their dues.

The city is just complaining now because they can't afford it!

1896 days ago


During the initial press conference about this event, the mayor stated that these costs were already built in the budget. It's a big city full of celebrities... of course these events are going to occur. As far as providing lunches for everyone and any other normal funeral costs, the family or estate should take care of it. Donations are a wonderful thing, but I don't think anyone other than the family should be EXPECTED to pay for it.

1896 days ago

appauled by the stalkarazzi    

Do the math on what the memorial generated in tax dollars on Tuesday and the subsequent days; tax revenues from the airport, hotels, meals, parking, etc, etc. Heck it was stated on cnn that 3,500 media personal alone descended upon LA. Factor in the tens of thousands of fans, and LA made some good bucks these past few weeks. Well in excess of the 1.4 million in ten fold.
LA had better get their friggen act together, for a big part of their tax base and revenues come from tourism and conference dollars. LA has been stating their conference bookings are down big time, and acting this way sure as heck isn’t going to get them additional much needed bookings.
To act this way to their adopted son that has contributed millions upon millions to their city in charitable contributions alone is down right disgusting. The world is watching LA, and you should demand better from your elected officials. They represent you the tax payers. And, what people are seeing is not a good reflection at all. It makes you all look like a bunch of friggen ingrates.

1896 days ago

appauled by the stalkarazzi    

The Jackson family wanted to have his memorial at Neverland, but were asked not to by the state. They were told it would cause chaos and traffic congestion because there is no mass transit in the Neverland area. The Jackson's actually obliged them, and against their own best wishes held the Memorial in LA as asked.

So stop blaming the Jackson faily for LA's short comings. It's disgusting that LA is even acting this way considering the millions a year MJ donated to charities and non profit agencies in LA a year. And, will continue to be donated by his estate and will. And, considering how much tax revenue MJ's memorial generated and will continue to generate.

____K the city of LA. If a permanent memorial or museum is to be considered it should go to Gary Indiana. At least the folks there appreciate MJ and the fact that his presence benefits their community with jobs and tax dollars.

1896 days ago

Hattie Mae Turner    

AEG should pay. They killed him so let them pay. Hiring an incompetent Doctor for the purpose of overdosing the King of Pop.

1896 days ago


I hear Tim Leiweke BEATS HIS WIFE!

1896 days ago


LA get over it!! Lets just look at it this way, if it was a concert, who would pay the bill. The same amount of work would be required from the city. Do you charge other great artist for this service? How much money was spent in your failing city because of this event? How much did MJ pay in taxes? How much will the city get in "death" taxes? Just another sign of how messed up things are.

1896 days ago


Us paupers pay funeral expenses for our families to show our appreciation to them for going out of their way to show respect to our loved ones! In this case, the Jacksons who are worth many, many millions should part with some to show how much they appreciate the outpouring for their loved one.

1896 days ago

Oh My Goodness    

Some of you are so dumb! It was NOT a funeral, it was a MEMORIAL SERVICE TRIBUTE produced by AEG! The private funeral took place before the memorial service!

1896 days ago

La La Land    

All this stems from greed. Who pays for it? US - the taxpayers of LA. Did this bring in more tourism than usual? Sure but MJ's death alone brought in money. Not just his funeral. AEG is going to make a load of money. I'm sure LA will spend this invisible money on foolish things again. Maybe they'll just cut more funds from needed programs, do another furlough for city workers, fire more teachers, etc.

Hey here's a suggestion that would've cost almost nothing.
A moment of silence.

The sad part is the same people who are crying over his death are probably the same people who believed he was guilty or ridiculed him.

1896 days ago


Why should EITHER pay for it. If my hubby died, I would have to pay for everything and not expect my community or some other company to pay for it. HIS family is the one that thought it was super important to have this big REDICULOUS shindig, so why should they not pay. If California cannot pay their own bills, why should they pay up for something that other people choose to do and obviously HAVE the money. This whole this is stupid and rediculous. He has done NOTHING for YEARS and awhen he dies, all of a sudden, he is the most AMAZING person ever, I think NOT.

1896 days ago


Let AEG provide for free the Staples Center for a concert titled - Michael Jackson a night to remember - where there would be a Red Carpet where Hollywood stars would show up along with invited singers who liked Michael Jackson's music and the selected singers ranging from pop to rock to jazz to rap would perform for free and the funds generated would go towards paying for the cost of the memorial. Or the other option would be to let AEG pay later from sales of the DVD boxed set of the 150 hours of the Michael Jackson's rehearsals for the London concerts that they are supposed to have. The DVD boxed sets should also include some special performances by contributing singers who would each record a Michael Jackson song. The DVD boxed set should also include never before released photos of Michael Jackson and some of his video of daily routine that may never have been released before. Such a DVD boxed release would bring in millions in sales worldwide and AEG can then pay out the costs that was incurred for the recent memorial.

1896 days ago
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