Coroner: Jackson’s autopsy will be withheld

Michael Jackson’s autopsy is done, but its release is on hold, as is the court case over the iconic singer’s estate.

The autopsy results will not be released indefinitely because of the ongoing investigation into the singer’s death, according to authorities. The Los Angeles coroner’s office said Monday that it would abide by a request from the police department to keep Jackson’s cause and manner of death confidential. Investigators are trying to determine whether anyone should be charged in Jackson’s June 25 death. The singer’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, gave the anesthetic propofol to Jackson in the 24 hours before the singer died, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. The source asked not to be named because the individual was not authorized to speak to the news media. Propofol is commonly known by the brand name Diprivan. The court case about Jackson’s estate also has been stalled. On Monday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff delayed for a week his decision on whether to approve several contracts for the Jackson’s estate to give the children’s new lawyer — whom he will appoint — time to weigh in on the deals. Jackson’s three children will get their own lawyer because the judge overseeing the probate of Jackson’s will is concerned that their interests might sometimes conflict with their grandmother’s. The delay was questioned by lawyers for the estate and the companies involved. They warned the judge that delaying the deals could cost the estate millions of dollars.

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The contracts would provide for Jackson tribute concerts in London starting next July, and an exhibition of Jackson memorabilia that would travel to at least three cities, according to Kathy Jorrie, a lawyer for concert promoter AEG Live. “The longer we wait, the more time passes, frankly, the less interest there will be on the part of the public to come see it,” Jorrie said. The judge has already approved a contract to allow Columbia Pictures to use video that AEG Live shot of Jackson’s last rehearsals for a documentary due out this fall. Columbia is a division of Sony. Sony Pictures issued a news release Monday announcing that it would deliver the movie “This Is It” to theaters starting October 30 “with the full support of the estate of Michael Jackson.” Court papers filed last week revealed Columbia Pictures would pay a minimum of $60 million for the rights to make the Jackson movie. Katherine Jackson’s lawyers, while endorsing the movie deal, have objected to terms given to AEG, saying it is too generous to the company. Jackson’s lawyers objected to the estate’s agreement to let AEG recover all its expenses from that money and then take 10 percent of the remainder. It also gives the company a perpetual share of the profits from the video rights. AEG Live’s lawyer said the company had made many concessions to the estate and could not make more. The judge previously has said he might approve the contracts even over Katherine Jackson’s objection. Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s older brother, told CNN’s Larry King last week that he likes the deals, which he said could bring in nearly $100 million into the estate. Katherine Jackson and Jackson’s three children are the main beneficiaries of the estate, which is controlled by Jackson’s former lawyer, John Branca, and longtime Jackson friend and music executive John McClain. Branca and McClain were named in Jackson’s will as executors. Katherine Jackson is considering a challenge of their control of the estate. The decision to name a guardian ad litem, or lawyer appointed by the court, for the children came at the end of a Monday’s hearing. Katherine Jackson was appointed last week as the guardian for the children, but she was not made the guardian for their interest in her son’s estate.