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Judge okays Jackson deal, burial planned

A judge yesterday approved a deal for the sale of Michael Jackson merchandise, but delayed making a decision on a traveling exhibition dedicated to the King of Pop, amid objections from the singer's mother.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff, who is overseeing matters related to Jackson's estate, approved the deal between the co-executors of Jackson's will and Bravado International Group, a division of Universal Music Group owned by Vivendi SA.

But Beckloff postponed until Friday a decision on whether to approve concert promoter AEG Live's plans for a traveling exhibition of Jackson memorabilia. He did so amid objections from attorneys for Jackson's mother, Katherine, who said the planned exhibition may not bring enough money to the estate.

On Aug. 7, Beckloff approved a deal between Jackson's estate, AEG Live and Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Corp, for a movie to be released Oct. 30 using footage from the pop star's final rehearsals.

The executors of Jackson's will, longtime attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, have said the deals will generate millions of dollars for the estate.

Separately, Michael Jackson's father said his son's body will be buried at a Los Angeles cemetery on Aug. 29, which would have been his 51st birthday, the New York Daily News reported yesterday.

Joe Jackson told a Daily News reporter the plan was finalized in recent days.

Media reports last week said Jackson, who died June 25 of cardiac arrest, was buried in a private ceremony in early August. But those reports were based on unnamed sources and never confirmed by Jackson family representatives.

A Jackson family spokesman did not return calls seeking comment Monday, nor did a spokesman at Los Angeles' Forest Lawn cemetery, where Joe Jackson said his son would be buried.

A public memorial for the singer was held in July, but there was never an official confirmation the "Thriller" singer was buried after the event.

The reason behind Jackson's cardiac arrest remains a mystery. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office has completed its autopsy report but its findings remain sealed until police conclude their investigation.

Los Angeles police are looking into the role prescription drugs may have played in Jackson's death and the actions of doctors who were treating him in the weeks before he died.


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