Janet Jackson


As if Janet Jackson hadn't been embroiled in enough family drama this year.

An attorney for the pop icon is demanding that Vanity Fair retract a story published online and in its November 2012 issue that claimed Michael Jackson's burial in 2009 was delayed because Janet demanded that the funeral not take place until her brother's estate had reimbursed her for the $40,000 burial-plot deposit she gave to the cemetery.

"Untrue" and "outrageous," lawyer Blair G. Brown called the story in a letter to V.F. editor-in-chief Graydon Carter

Rather, Brown wrote, Janet paid for the funeral and Michael's estate reimbursed her for "some of those expenses" the following year. There were also private expenses that she never sought to be repaid for, Brown added.

"This story is particularly hurtful and distressing because of Ms. Jackson's strong desire to serve her brother,  whom she loved dearly," the attorney continued, "and her wish to stand with and support her family."

Team Janet also took issue with the excerpts from the book Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson that Vanity Fair also published this month, noting that the burial-plot story sprang from the info in the so-called exposé.

Calling the article "replete with additional false and defamatory statements" regarding Janet, Brown demands that the magazine publish a retraction and reach out to any media outlets that based reports on the V.F. article to inform them of the retraction.

Huffington Post, the New York Daily News and London's Daily Mail were namechecked as a few of the sites that picked up the story, "exacerbating the damage to Ms. Jackson's reputation."

The magazine isn't moved—though a slight correction is in the works.

"Vanity Fair stands by Randall Sullivan's assertion that Janet Jackson's demand to be reimbursed for her deposit on her brother's burial plot was one of the reasons Michael Jackson's funeral was delayed," the publication said in a statement to E! News. "Sullivan's sources told him that the amount of the deposit was $40,000, but records released last week indicate that the amount of the deposit was $49,000. Vanity Fair will make that correction on VF.com."

Michael Jackson was ultimately interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2009—a little more than two months after his death.

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