A lawyer representing Michael Jackson's estate has slammed plans for a memorial gala to commemorate the first anniversary of the star's death - insisting the event has not been given official approval. The Forever Michael tribute evening will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on June 26 - exactly a year and a day after the "Thriller" hitmaker passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home.
The gala is being organized by executives at The Jackson Family Foundation, a charity set up by the star's father Joe to fund a Jackson family museum in their native Gary, Indiana, in conjunction with VoicePlate Productions. A "portion" of proceeds will go towards the charity.
A statement posted on the star's official website reads, "This Red Carpet event will be a dedication for Mr. Michael Jackson... The vision is to bring together Michael Jackson family members, celebrities, fans, supporters and the community to celebrate and honor his legacy."
But Howard Weitzman, an attorney representing the late star's estate, has slammed plans for the event, insisting the gala is completely unauthorized. He tells TMZ.com, "No one ever contacted the estate to see whether or not they would approve, participate in, or allow the use of Michael's name, likeness, image or intellectual property for this event."