What’s the hold up with Michael Jackson funeral arrangements? I am told that there is right now a discussion going on within his family and advisors about burying him at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, California. Sources tell me that the proposal came from Tohme Tohme, Jackson’s former manager, the non-doctor and special ambassador to Senegal. Tohme works with Colony Capital LLC, the firm that holds the mortgage note on Neverland. Their idea is to turn Neverland into Graceland, with Jackson’s grave the central attraction.
This isn’t so easy. For one thing, as lawyers have pointed out, you can’t simply bury someone in your backyard. Permits are required. For another, the town of Los Olivos was sounded out about a “Graceland” idea a long time ago and rejected it. Neverland is on a two-lane country road across from a school way in the hills along the Santa Ynez Valley. The locals feel it’s not equipped for that kind of traffic.
But the Graceland plan is being pushed by Colony and Tohme, as Tohme agitates for it within a split and confused family. Much discussion is going on right now, especially among Michael’s brothers, about ways to maximize his estate — in other words make money.
“Michael would be mortified to know this,” one of his business associates said to me today.