Sharpton, Jacksons to meet on memorials

LOS ANGELES - The Jackson family is considering a series of simultaneous global celebrations and other ideas as they decide how to commemorate Michael Jackson's life, the Rev. Al Sharpton said yesterday.

Sharpton is a longtime family friend who plans to meet with the family today.

Sharpton said he has spoken with Jackie and Jermaine Jackson, and they asked him to meet with the entire family to discuss how best to remember their brother.

Michael's father, Joe Jackson, "seemed very saddened but determined to keep going and protect his son's legacy," Sharpton said.

The family is frustrated that so much of the media attention has focused on Michael Jackson's problems, such as his heavy debts, previous child-abuse allegations, and his use of prescription drugs, Sharpton said.

His family wants to make sure he is also remembered as a groundbreaking entertainer who made unprecedented contributions to music and culture.

"Michael Jackson was a genius, he wasn't a freak," Sharpton said.