Permission Denied for Michael Jackson Burial at Neverland
07/01/2009 AT 03:55 PM EDT
The singer's family, who wanted a funeral at Jackson's former home north of Santa Barbara, was not able to obtain a residential exemption required for a burial on private property.
"Contrary to previous news reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland," says a Jackson family statement. "Plans are underway regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans shortly."
Colony Capital, the investment company that purchased Neverland in May 2008, tried to get an exemption for burial. "They couldn't get it in time," a Colony spokesperson says.
As for reports that Jackson's body is being held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, William Martin, communications director for the funeral home, won't confirm or deny if Jackson will be buried there.
Reporting by CHAMP CLARK, JOHNNY DODD and HITHA PRABHAKAR