10 years later, death of Michael Jackson a continuing tragedy, controversy
June 25, 2019
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The life of Michael Jackson was already complicated, but 10 years after his death, the pop star’s legacy has become even more controversial.
Fans are expected Tuesday to flock to Forest Lawn in Glendale, where the singer dubbed the “King of Pop” was buried after his sudden death on June 25, 2009. A group of super fans, which has been organizing a large display of flowers in honor of the King of Pop annually, coordinated an especially large memorial of red and white roses in honor of this year’s 10th anniversary of his death.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009, sending shockwaves through the entertainment industry and beyond, even eclipsing the death of TV star Farrah Fawcett earlier in the day. Jackson, who had been preparing to go out on another world tour, was pronounced dead at his rented Holmby Hills estate of a propofol overdose, administered by the very doctor he had hired to keep watch over him and help him sleep.
No official public remembrance has been planned for Tuesday, but fans are expected to congregate at Jackson’s burial site and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of the TCL Chinese Theater.
“Ten years ago today, the world lost a gifted artist and extraordinary humanitarian,” a statement released from Jackson’s estate said. “A decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us… he is more important than ever.”
Michael Jackson achieved worldwide fame and acclaim as a singer and entertainer. In life, he had 16 No. 1 singles and eight No. 1 albums, and “Thriller” is the only music video to be inducted into the National Film Registry, his estate noted.
But even in life, the singer has been dogged by accusations of child molestation. He was charged in 1993 and again in 2005, but never convicted. He reached an out-of-court settlement for $23 million dollars with the family of the boy who accused him in 1993.
Those accusations resurfaced again earlier this year, with the release of the HBO documentary “Finding Neverland.” Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both testified on behalf of the singer in the 1993 trial, claimed in the documentary that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. The Jackson estate condemned the documentary, but the damage was done – radio stations around the world pulled Michael Jackson’s music from their playlists.
“The specificity and sort of how harrowing those accusations are over a long period of time are really devastating. So I think it sort of dirties the water a lot,” Variety’s Matt Donnelly said in an interview.