Attorneys representing Janet Jackson are requesting a retraction and an apology from Vanity Fair for statements recently published that allege the singer delayed her brother's funeral in 2009 over money owed relating to the burial plot deposit.
"To falsely accuse Ms. Jackson of holding up her brother's funeral over money is outrageous," writes her lawyer on behalf of the 46-year-old superstar. "Ms. Jackson never delayed the funeral in any way. In fact, she paid for the funeral and was reimbursed for some of those expenses by Michael Jackson's estate in the year after the services took place. In addition, there were other private costs associated with Michael Jackson's passing that Ms. Jackson incurred and for which she never sought reimbursement."
The article in question, which first appeared on VF's website on October 4, 2012, is based on and contains excerpts from Randall Sullivan's upcoming book, Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson, alleging that Janet Jackson put down a $40,000 deposit for the burial plot, but wouldn't allow the funeral to happen until the deposit was repaid in full.
The story, which Jackson's attorneys label as "false and defamatory," allegedly explains why Michael Jackson was laid to rest on August 29, more than two months after his June 25 death.