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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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91.

Jarrod    

No they should most defintly not pay up!
If I were AEG I would defintly fight this for sure. The city of Los Angeles got millions in free publicity out of this and made money off of tourists flocking to the Michael Jackson events all around town. Tax Revenue, sales tax dollars, and tourists spending money in florist shops ,restaurants, hotels, bars ect.... NO WAY SHOULD THEY PAY!

1868 days ago
92.

Micki D    

Ah .. who pays for the police security for the Lakers parade? enough said... the city made money for this tragic event - and stop calling him jacko - his name is michael jackson.

1868 days ago
93.

Jazy    

No. 1 I'm so sick of hearing about Michael Jackson. He was a great entertainer although I don't think that grabbing your crotch is a great thing. No. 2 he wasn't the greatest entertainer that ever lived as some have stated. No. 3 he was a child molester and the only reason he got off at his trial was because he had a great lawyer. WHY else would he PAY OFF the other family $20 MILLION? And No. 4 let his family pay for the memorial. Los Angeles DID NOT HAVE TO DO THAT. Oh, and by the way, HIS BODY IS IN THE MAUSOLIUM AT FOREST LAWN! GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!

1868 days ago
94.

Mitch (Montreal)    

I think M.J. Paid enough taxes to diserve at LEAST.......A funeral no matter what the cost.

1868 days ago
95.

haven here    

Janet Jackson made a lot more money than Michael did in the last few years. Let her and some of the other Jackson's, excluding Michael's children, at least contribute to Michael's memorial costs. However, LA should have had commitments to pay prior to even starting any memorial arrangements. Maybe AEG could contribute but they hardly seem responsible for the entire cost. In these hard ecomonic times less would have been better regardless of who pays. I hope Katherine and Joe have exhumed their other son and reburied him in a ghetto fabulous casket, too.

1868 days ago
96.

cindy    

Gee, I wonder when I croak if Orange County wil pick up my expenses. His family CHOSE to turn his funeral into a circus like MJ CHOSE to die. LET THEM PAY FOR IT!!! The entire country has gone NUTS! Everyone looking for a 'bailout'!! Cut the crap already!

1868 days ago
97.

Just-Be-Fair    

Let's put it this way , if the family Jackson or AEG pay now for the expenses that the memorial create , them when the city of LA gets the benefits of all the money that people that have travel to LA from many places in the world, hotels , etc the family and AEG should get a % too, since that they create this income, now if the city o some citizen are complaining about the 1.4 million that was expend on the SECURITY OF THEIR OWN CITIZENS..... and because that money come from the Citizens TAXES , let me ask you HOW MUCH MONEY MICHAEL JACKSON MAKE AND HOW MUCH MONEY IN TAXES TO L.A. HE DID PAY ALREDY?? STOP STOP STOP people, because of Michael Jackson the city will start getting a lot of money, and you know what ?? they should have a place for fans and tourist to go to, that only is going to bring more money to YOUR CITY , look GRACELAND ...example ..STOP BEING CHEAP ....

1868 days ago
98.

LA is a craphole in every way    

This is just another example of how DUMB city officials are in the worst metropolis in the USA, The Lakers and their WAY overpaid team of college dropouts who all make millions for playing a kids game should of no doubt paid for their parade, and the rich Jackson family should pay their own expenses like any other family on earth would have to, LA is truly run by the dumbest people in the country, They can't get under control-Smog, traffic, Illegal immigration, crime, gangs, drugs, cost of living, the filth that is Hollyweird-homeless, runaways, prostitutes, the nasty San Fernando Valley with their miles of dumpy apartments, and graffiti, polluted beaches, phony celebrities, etc. etc. (I lived there for ten years-Now live in the Midwest where life is a million times better in every way)

1868 days ago
99.

e_as_in_elephant    

Wow, this is now really stretching the boundaries when everyone is trying to cash in on poor Michael Jackson and churn more and more outrageous and unnecessary "news." I am a resident of Los Angeles. This is a city where numerous celebrities reside. Michael Jackson lived here for many years and being the most sought after entertainer the City of LA made millions of dollars on this man alone. Simply put, it would have been an outrage for the City of Los Angeles not to provide a fitting memorial to Michael Jackson, a resident of this city who single-handedly spent millions while he resided here from which the City of Los Angeles benefitted quite well.

The City of Los Angeles wastes money day-in and day-out on ridiculous, bogus and unnecessary expenses that no one accounts for, no one sees any benefit of it and no one cares about, At least this money was spent on a dignified and uplifting experience for millions of people all around the world including thousands of tourists who in turn spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the City of Los Angeles.

I'm sick of hearing the whining who spent what and who should spend more or reimburse whom. This is petty and embarrassing for a city like ours to nickle and dime and cry poor because the City knows there is money to go after in this situation. I got on the website and paid $100 towards the costs. I'm sure many more Jackson fans will do the same with as much money they could spare. The City of Los Angeles will not go broke over this incident, I'm sure of it. Enough already. Los Angeles is still one of the richest cities making millions out of their residents (famous or non-famous). Will really this memorial break the camel's back for the City of Los Angeles? If so, we are in trouble people.

1868 days ago
100.

mavie    

geez!!! even at his death, Michael is hounded by people who WANT to use him!! it makes me want to vomit-- the concert producer and promoter, even that congressman who wanted to get attention by calling Michael names! No wonder Michael lived lonely and paranoid. All his life, he knew he was used and it's just his loyal fans who truly loved him -- maybe that's y Michael always seek comfort in performing, because he knew he is with the people hu never used him and just loved him for who he is. I feel sad for him and i cant stop weeping for all of Michael's sadness

1868 days ago
101.

AMAZED    

It is the city's responsibility to pay THEIR CITY WORKERS. I didn't hear the city complaining about MJ paying police, street cleaners, etc. when he was performing in LA and making them money. They don't complain about paying their police officers for sitting in donut shops, yet they complain about paying them for ACTUALLY DOING THEIR JOBS. Why isn't CA asking their former representative to reimburse them for the almost $400,000 they put out for her car accident?

1868 days ago
102.

crystal    

Michael is rolling in his casket, with all thats going on since his death. He was a VERY private man in his personal life, and to have this circus going on. Wished he would have updated his will, with specifics on how to handle his burial, but then again he probaly wanted his family to have the honor. I also think its pretty pathetic the way his family photos with his children are being plastered all over the internet. And, I dont think that he would be happy with the city asking is fans, etc. to foot the cities bill. Some how this all got out of control, not the way it should have went...just sad

RIP Michael You are in a beautiful place now...........God Bless you!

1868 days ago
103.

Blue Eyes of Texas    

It is not up to the Jackson family. They could have had a private service at their expense. However, they chose to share their son with the world for a final goodbye. Thank you Jackson's. God Bless you in your loss - especially those precious children.

1868 days ago
104.

volksville2    

...mj's family should come forward and take care of it... they have the funds... besides it was their boy.

1868 days ago
105.

GIGI    

i agree with the other comments of the jacksons paying. the jacksons ( JOE) wanted mj to go in the style he is used too sooooooooooooo pay people you have the money or WILL HAVE THE MONEY WHY SHOULD THE TAX PAYERS BE THE ONES HOLDING THE BAG OR SHOULD I SAY COFFIN????? WE HAVE LINED THE POCKETS OF YOUR DESIGNERS DUDS SO WHY SHOULD WE?????

1868 days ago
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