Michael Jackson's $1 Million Funeral: The Breakdown
By Bryan Alexander / Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at Michael Jackson's funeral service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2009
Retna Ltd. / Corbis
After the world-televised seating of family and famous friends, most of Michael Jackson's Sept. 3 funeral took place behind the closed gates of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif. The event's costs, however, were only made public yesterday, when court papers were released as lawyers continued to wrangle over other estate details in court.
According to the papers, more than $1 million went into the event, including the solid bronze casket with 14-karat gold-plated handles and the party following the ceremony — all of which needed court approval for Michael Jackson's estate to cover the costs. That's a lot of This Is It ticket sales. The papers also show that sisters Janet and LaToya Jackson were owed reimbursements of $49,000 and $2,437, respectively, for fronting immediate funeral costs.
As Katherine Jackson's lawyer states in the court papers, while the costs are "significant, they are entirely commensurate with the decedent's worldwide status as an entertainer and with the world's grief over his death." Here's a breakdown of noteworthy expenses:
Interment costs in the Great Mausoleum of Forest Lawn-Glendale: $590,000
Endowment care by Forest Lawn-Glendale: $88,500
Casket coach: $250
Jackson's luxury casket (style 3-99 Prometheus): $25,000
Jackson's burial outfit: $35,000
Family's clothing allowance: $1,975
Framed picture of Michael Jackson to be placed next to the casket: $3,682
Invitations and programs: $11,716
Glendale police department and city support: $175,089
Designer for the funeral, Bush-Tompkins: $15,000
The post-funeral reception, attended by Jackson family members as well as producer music mogul Quincy Jones and the Rev. Al Sharpton, was held at nearby restaurant Villa Sorriso. It ran a tab of $21,455. The passed tray food, including tidbits like bruschetta, fruit skewers, beef satay and ratatouille, was one of the party's cheapest features at $4,200.
The most expensive? The open bar. Instructions on the bill said the bar was to "notify host when $10,800 was met." Based on the final total, the guests hit that alcohol ceiling. Now that's a wake made for a King.
Read more: Michael Jackson's $1 Million Funeral Expenses - TIME