TMZ posts Michael Jackson death pic as shown on TV: ok or what the hell? (no pic here)

Jackson’s kids at his tribute concert.

Yesterday we heard that a photo of Michael Jackson nude after he was deceased and was laid out was shown on live television during the trial of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray. The Daily Mail, TMZ and The Mirror have published the photo of Jackson and none gave a warning about it or obscured the photo other than covering his private parts, which was already a part of the image before it was shown in the courtroom. (I’m not going to post the links here, you can find them easily enough if you’re interested.) I was really shocked and saddened to see the photo right on TMZ’s website and on the front page without a lead-in. Even though this is my job, I probably wouldn’t have clicked on it if they would have given me a choice. I don’t like to see dead people, and there’s something so really heart-wrenching to me about the fact that we’re able to see this. I know that sounds melodramatic: Jackson was a public figure, he had a reputation as a pedophile, and he was a drug addict. Still, he was somebody’s father, brother and son and he was so private he covered his kids’ faces when they went out. He wouldn’t have wanted anyone to see him like that, and his kids don’t need to be confronted with that image whenever they want to do a google search on it.

I was also upset to hear that the details of Michael’s kids’ reactions to his death were made public a couple of weeks ago as part of the trial. Of course they were distraught and crying and screaming. That’s how people react when a family member dies! There was also more revealed yesterday about what Paris said in the wake of her dad’s death. We don’t need to know that!

We’re not covering the Jackson trial much here because it’s just not our usual fare. This is sad, it’s depressing and apart from some colorful witnesses there hasn’t been much to report. What do you even say about it though? None of this trial should have been open to the media and the details just don’t seem that interesting to me. Once a verdict is reached, we’ll probably cover it though. RIP Michael.



Jackson’s kids are shown at his tribute concert on 10/18/11. Credit:

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66 Responses to “TMZ posts Michael Jackson death pic as shown on TV: ok or what the hell? (no pic here)”

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  1. tripmom says:

    I saw it on TMZ this morning and was shocked. It was really inappropriate and so disrespectful to Michael Jackson, to his fans, his friends, and his family. And it was so disrespectful to people going to the website not expecting to see something like that. I won’t be back to TMZ anytime soon.

  2. Delta Juliet says:

    His daughter is going to be very stiking when she grows up. Her coloring and eye color is amazing.

    The little guy looks just like Michael. The oldest resembles Davy Jones :)

  3. Tierra says:

    I dont think its okay at all, it was a big WTH when i saw them on TMZ. I was really surprised they did that even tho it shouldnt have since they dont seem to have any boundaries on that site.
    Im glad this one isnt covering the court drama. I dont even read those or click on those stories. It seems to be more about making a media circus than anything. He’s gone now, let him RIP.

  4. Addie says:

    ABSOLUTLY HATE how they are using these kids as props to generate money.
    Enough with the tribute shows.

    Blanket clearly is not happy (after seeing the video of their speeches)
    He in particular looked like he did not wanna be there.
    Prince and Paris are interested in the entertainment biz, but again…they are still CHILDREN. One of Michael’s biggest regrets in life is that he had no childhood. Would he really want this for his kids at this age? Would it end well for them? Highly doubt it.

    Seems that the kids are being fed this hype of “MJ the king of pop” bit.

    They truely knew Michael as a person, not a character on stage, they shouldn’t have to dress up like him and be dragged left and right just to please people.

  5. Samigirl says:

    Cosign with everyone else. That is terribly inappropriate. I wouldn’t want to see autopsy pictures of my father, and I’m a grown adult. Those children can get on TMZ whenever and see them. It’s…awful and unnecessary, and terribly disrespectful.

  6. capepopsie says:

    First of all he was not a pedophile, secondly he was not a drug addict, either. All medication found in his body at the autopsy was presciptioned and given him by doctors. All he wanted was to sleep. That´s why he had the doctor in the first place. Many people rely on sleepingpills and aren´t addicts because of that. Give him a break. RIP MJ

  7. Jeanine says:

    Very inappropriate to say the least. We don’t suffer that injustice when our loved ones pass. I can only imagine the families heartache at this time. I also think its in bad taste to comment about rather or not the children are being over exposed at this juncture.

  8. fabwtalk says:

    That pic definitely deserves a big WTH??? It was very distasteful and very unnecessary, can’t this man just rest in peace without people being so disrespectful. Ugh!

    On another note, his daughter has grown up to be so beautiful. I agree with a previous poster in regards to the little one, he is definitely Michael’s twin.

  9. Delta Juliet says:

    It is strange that Michael kept his kid’s identities so private since their birth and as soon as he died they were everywhere. It’s sad and I agree Blanket always looks so sad (well, obviously)

    I blame Joe.

  10. gee says:

    I don’t understand why this is public AT ALL. Sure he was a little controversial, but it is so disrespectful to have this paraded around.

  11. ShanKat says:

    I was unhappy to see it on TMZ, without a cut. I felt a little ambushed.

    It was presented underneath TMZ’s logo for the trial, so there was an image of living Jackson above the coroner’s pic. Which was a bizarre and striking visual.

    I’d love to unsee it.

  12. ladybert62 says:

    His kids are beautiful and Paris is already a knockout – and she has blue eyes!

    Anyway, I think that mamma and pappa jackson are pimping out these kids and as far as I know, that is exactly what Michael Jackson was against and why he kept them hidden and in disguises. I think Michael Jackson is probably turning over in his grave.

    I suspect that mamma and pappa Jackson are trying to turn the three of them into the cash cow that Michael was. Maybe not mamma Jackson so much as Joe Jackson but I feel she is not doing much to protect them from what Michael would have objected to.

  13. Tammi says:

    I was shocked and I havent been on Tmz since somethings are disrespectful.

  14. ViktoryGin says:

    I can’t act too increduously because I did just go to TMZ’s site to look at the pic. And….yeah.

    For me it’s not that the pic exists that people are seeing it. It’s that that cheap ass rag is profiting from it. And I just contributed :(

  15. Quest says:

    It was totally distasteful and irresponsible

  16. tapioca says:

    The pic is evidence in a televised court case so it’s obviously going to end up in the public domain – but I don’t think it’s appropriate for a gossip blog and should have some kind of “warning – graphic content” label.

    Wow, Prince is looking more and more like his rumoured sperm donor Dr. Arnold Klein isn’t he? (Although MJ was still his father, obvs!)

  17. lucy2 says:

    That’s awful. Those kids have already been through enough, plus putting it on the front page of a website many go to is very inappropriate.

  18. serena says:

    Poor poor Micheal..he didn’t deserve all of this.

  19. eva says:

    The news media’s general disrespect sickens me. I have to change the channel when they broadcast a 911 call of someone’s last desperate words. It’s almost like our news programs have morphed into reality tv. Shock value seems to be the norm for lead in news stories. It’s just gross.

    Edit: I should clarify I’m not saying events shouldn’t be reported, I’m just saying they don’t have to broadcast the 911 calls or show pictures of the deceased.

  20. Annaloo says:

    Too much. Too far. TMZ should have been stopped before showing those pics. THere is no dignity anymore, is there?

  21. says:

    “I know that sounds melodramatic: Jackson was a public figure, he had a reputation as a pedophile, and he was a drug addict”

    This sentence gets a big WTH?! from me. Are you insinuating that because of these reasons, it could be ok/not a big deal to show pictures of his dead body?

  22. bored says:

    I just can’t get on the MJ fanbus because he has passed away. I am indifferent to his dignity for a number of reasons – but I do feel for those poor kids having to see everything laid bare in the press. They don’t deserve it. But maybe he should have thought about where some of his poor decisions might lead.

  23. jc126 says:

    I can’t believe these photos of his body are being shown. Does the news NOT show these pics in other cases just out of thinking people would be horrified, but they show Jackson because of intense interest? People would be disgusted if it was some poor ordinary guy.

  24. Obvious says:

    If you want to show the image fine, but put it behind a link and let people know so if THEY CHOOSE to they can look. I was caught off guard by it yesterday and it made me sick. I never would have looked had I been given a choice. This is all very sad.

    On another point, as a couple ppl pointed out Paris is going to be gorgeous, she is very striking already.

  25. Mikamoo says:

    So disrespectful.. let him rest in peace.

  26. fabchick says:

    No comment on those pics. On another note Paris is gorgeous. Her and Lourdes could pass for sisters. I just find that so ironic being that I loved Michael and Madonna growing up as an 80′s baby. I hope these kids are not ruined by show buisness and all this chaos.

  27. Kloops says:

    I’m with @bored. It shouldn’t be shown bc of his family AND it’s unseemly to show dead bodies publicly without warning. Beyond that, not a MJ fan. I do personally believe he was an addict and pedophile and while he had obvious talent and some catchy songs he also produced a lot of crap.

  28. katielouisiana says:

    I am so glad the majority of the posters on here are disgusted with TMZ and feel they were wrong to show these. I was a afraid I would come on here and see a lot of judgy, judgy jerks. Nope-just a couple. If some people had some compassion maybe they wouldn’t be so BORED all of the time.

  29. Abby says:

    Awww the little one looks so sad and a bit frightened. Paris is a very beautiful young girl with striking features. The oldest boy has a sweet face and smile. For the most part and taking into consideration who their famous father is, they seem quite normal and well adjusted. I wish all three the best.

  30. Dibba says:

    Feel bad for the kids, hope they turn out alright. I fear they won’t.

  31. sharylmj says:

    His children are gorgeous!!! I hope they come through all of this OK.. seems impossible though.. the family it too greedy to just let them be. If the older two WANT to be involved in show business.. I hope they have some mentors around them to protect them. The littlest child, Blanket, is CLEARLY not happy being on that stage or in public.

  32. leetruth says:

    @bored and kloops: keep your sanctimonious opinions to yourselves! First off, this is the height of insensitivity to splash this image all the net. Secondly Michael was not a paedophille and he never made any wrong choices; furthermore, taking drugs for insomnia and pain , does not designate one a drug addict. Lastly, Conrad Murray taped Michael while he was drugged ; maybe hoping for incriminating evidence but all he got was Michael talking about building a hospital for sick children! RIP MJ!

  33. Trillion says:

    Every time I see a photo of these kids, my mind goes only one place: Who are their biological parents? For some reason, I’m just a bit obsessed.

  34. jen says:

    This has been going on since the silent era.

    If you are interested in this kind of thing pick up a book called Hollywood Babylon.

  35. Juliesunflower says:

    @bored and kloops, STFU!

  36. TXCinderella says:

    The oldest son looks like Dr. Klein.

  37. Zoe says:

    I completely agree about how horrendous it was to splash that photo publicly, it shows the level of disrespect the media has for Michael Jackson (I can’t think of them having done this with any other dead celebrity). They are not the only ones, VH1 did a show where they used several images of him dead, I can’t even begin to fathom. As disrespectful as it is, I find it equally reprehensible when you describe him as having a reputation as a pedophile and addict. His autopsy reports (and witness testimony) have said he was otherwise healthy (despite being skinny, which he always was) – the coroner even mentioned he was healthier than a 50-year old would normally be. He had a lot of surgeries so it’s not surprising he endured a lot of anesthesia and had some painkiller problems in the early 90s, but frankly the media is creating this myth of MJ as the unhealthy drug addict when his health was in fact very good. Secondly, he was not a pedophile. The only two people ever to accuse him both had parents with well documented criminal histories for suing for false claims and extortion in their past, and the only tangible ‘evidence’ was the boy from 1993′s description of MJ’s genitalia, which didn’t match what they found upon strip search or even what was on his autopsy report, so there’s nothing out there but rumor to suggest he did anything wrong and last time I checked, he was found not guilty of the charges and having a Peter Pan complex or being weird isn’t a crime. I find these constant attacks on the man’s character equally disturbing as photos of him dead or disrobed. In life or death, it seems the man has trouble getting respect and considering he was the most charitable entertainer of his time, it’s safe to say a lot of people seem to be missing the facts because the media stood to make a profit and sadly, people gave in to the speculation. That’s more of a sad statement for our culture than it is for this artist. Everyone seems to forget that this man was human, he should be treated as such. Lastly, I’m tired of people saying anyone is using his children for money. Those kids don’t need any more money, nor does the Jackson family. It’s obvious they love their dad (yes, he was their father, he took care of them, whether or not they were his children biologically doesn’t change that) and make appearances to show support. I don’t know why people can’t accept that he was a good father and that his kids clearly miss him, as well they should.

  38. Juliesunflower says:

    Thanks Zoe. Michael was a wonderful human being.

  39. NaomiCampbellsPhone says:

    I’m very glad you guys didn’t post that picture (not that I thought for a minute you would stoop that low), I couldn’t believe TMZ did! Incredibly disrespectful.

  40. MissVJJ says:

    He was not a pedophile. When you sign a contract as a celeb, and go against what you are TOLD to do, there are consequences. He paid dearly before he passed away. RIP.

  41. Eleonor says:

    @Zoe: We can discuss about all Michael’s process (even if I’m not a fan and I’m not interested), but you must admit that Michael Jackson was a drug addict, he died of overdose, his life and his career were ruined by drugs.

  42. gee says:

    Just because they may or may not be his biological children doesn’t mean they didn’t lose their father. I feel so bad for these kids, it’ll be a miracle if they turn out ok.

  43. kay says:

    This site has integrity, which is why I love it.
    There is a balance of catty, pure bitch, truth and speculation that works without harm.
    Thank you for that.

  44. grace says:

    @Zoe ITA with you!

    I think it is even more disrespectful to state that someone is a “pedophile”, when he was considered innocent from the accusations, than to post his pictures dead. I am sure that such statements, which are not factual to begin with, are the most traumatizing to his kids. So much for your concern about them.

  45. Roma says:

    People, you can still love MJ and admit that he was an addict. It’s okay to love the man but admit that he made choices that hurt himself and his family. If he wasn’t an addict he wouldn’t have died from a propofol overdose because regular people do not use an anesthetic to go to sleep.

    I was disgusted at TMZ yesterday. I would never have clicked a link and didn’t want to see it on their home page.

  46. Sassy says:

    TMZ = ASSHOLES. I felt ambushed (as another poster commented above) when I clicked on their site last night. I had no idea the photo was circulating (don’t follow the trial news at all) and was sickened to see it on their main page with no warning. It was right in front of my eyes and I was given no choice but to see it. I wish I could un-see it. I feel sorry for MJ’s children. I’m an adult and would never want to see such a photo of my father and certainly wouldn’t want it out there for the world to see. Sick.

  47. pwal says:

    Ummm… the point of showing these pictures has nothing to do with drug dependency or addiction. It’s about the ongoing compulsion of the press to fixate on Michael Jackson in very unhealthy, callous ways. And IMO, this is the culmination of everything that the tabloid journalism set has been working towards for the last 20 years – the ultimate access to a star without his consent and without any retribution from him, his people, or the public.

    Does the public not know that dead people are stripped naked and laid on a coroner’s table? Because that seems to be the only question answered by those pictures and anyone with a television set who are into CSI or any medical/forensics-themed TV show, or anyone who has taken a human biology/anatomy class will know this.

  48. fuefinawg says:

    Geez … Blanket looks like Michael …

  49. Psyren says:

    There was no reason this should’ve been made public. So tasteless. I hate that my curiosity got the best of me because I was a bit taken aback by that pic. Something else that bothered me too was the fact that MJ doesn’t have a belly button? Am I the only one that noticed that?

  50. Zoe says:

    ::We can discuss about all Michael’s process (even if I’m not a fan and I’m not interested), but you must admit that Michael Jackson was a drug addict, he died of overdose, his life and his career were ruined by drugs::

    @Eleanor, I can only go by fact, not media hype and speculation, which is driven by profit, not truth. The facts are that the autopsy report reveals he was healthy other than the acute Propofol intoxication that killed him. His personal trainer, Lou Ferrigno, verified how strong and healthy he was in the multiple workout sessions they had every week. The Coroner insisted he was healthier than most 50-year olds. He had to pass physicals to perform and passed with flying colors. Michael admitted to having a painkiller addiction he was treated for in the early 90s, he’d been taking painkillers since his Pepsi burn incident in 1984. He also had back problems and medicated for that reason. He had multiple surgeries so he had anesthesia. Beyond that, I can’t diagnose his habits, I wasn’t there and I don’t know nor does anyone else. Whether or not he struggled with addiction in his last years (which, according to dancers and the crew of the This Is It film which is available for public consumption, he was clearly very intensely focused and could multi-task). Witnesses claim he was shaky or incoherent when drugged and we know Dr. Murray was giving him drugs and other doctors did as well. He may or may not have had an addiction but if he did, it wasn’t seriously impacting his physical health and he was able to concentrate and focus on rehearsals and fulfill other responsibilities. Addict or not, this did not contribute to his death as he was killed by Propofol overdose. So yes, he absolutely died of an overdose. I don’t care if you are a fan or not, that’s irrelevant to the discussion, just as his name is irrelevant to the investigation. Any doctor who made this many errors leading to a patient’s death should be under investigation and have their license removed, the man took a Hippocratic Oath. Lastly, you are incorrect that his career was ruined by drugs. I would counter that his career wasn’t ruined – he did sell 750,000 tickets in less than five minutes for his final tour, something no other artist could accomplish and even his last record, Invincible, sold over 9 million records worldwide prior to his death – certainly a drop in sales for Jackson, but better than what other artists would sell and certainly was far from a flop, and that was on zero promotion as Sony was feuding with Jackson over his ATV Beatles catalogue. Drugs had nothing to do with the downfall of Jackson’s career. He still performed and sold records and remained a success. I also don’t see what any of this has to do with his death or the current trial, which is not about whether or not he was a junkie or what caused sales to slump but rather inappropriate postings of pictures of his death and doctor responsibility.

  51. Kim says:

    ROMA- I agree. I am a fan of his music but not of him personally. He was an addict doing alot of drugs with his 3 children in his home under his care! I find that careless, terrible parenting & disgusting!

    But for his childrens sake, who are the real victims, they shouldnt show that picture. His kids may have seen it or may see it one day & that is unnecessary.

    I dont care what anyone has to say about this case – I only feel for his children. They are the innocent victims here.

  52. Zoe says:

    ::If he wasn’t an addict he wouldn’t have died from a propofol overdose because regular people do not use an anesthetic to go to sleep.::

    Roma, I still fail to see why people blame the man for his death. He didn’t inject himself, even the lawyers announced today they are dropping that theory as witnesses have shown the chances of that are highly improbable. I honestly think the trouble people are having here understanding this case is the patient’s name. Remove the name and think of a case where a patient died under a doctor’s care and it was the patient’s fault. This trial doesn’t have to do with Jackson’s name, if he was or wasn’t an addict, whether you did or didn’t like him, and what he did or didn’t do in the past. The premise of the case is quite simple. A doctor failed to provide adequate care of his patient. He obtained prescriptions under false names, administered a powerful anesthetic that wasn’t meant to be given outside of a hospital setting nonetheless for ‘insomnia’, wasn’t an anesthetician and didn’t know how to properly administer doses, didn’t have the proper equipment or training to do so, didn’t know how to do CPR, left the room (something you never do as anesthetics depress heart rate and slow breathing, a cardiologist of all people knows this so patients must be monitored at all times) to go talk on the phone, didn’t call 911 in a timely manner, concealed evidence, lied to doctors and investigators, and fled the scene. And yet people are still blaming Jackson for his death, incredible. Again, this has nothing to do with Michael Jackson and everything to do with doctor negligence and deviation of norms from care plans and ethics. I don’t care what people’s opinions are on Jackson himself, this has no bearing on the trial. I think we can all look past any personal bias or judgement and look at the facts. A doctor is paid to look after a patient and has a higher level of responsibility as per patient care. Lets say Jackson was an addict, it’s a doctor’s responsibility to know his patient’s medical history and provide appropriate care, not enable. Why would he be procuring medications for a patient that he shouldn’t have regardless, especially in the case of an addict or leave him alone with medications? The doctor is guilty in either scenario and yes, the patient died because of the doctor’s negligence, not because he had other problems or self-injected. I’m amazed that even in death, Jackson is being scapegoated and blamed, I can think of no other case where people would go along with this, much as I can think of no other case where these death photos would be released.

  53. Jenn says:

    Whatever else, the guy has 3 kids who considered him their daddy and should never have to see him that way or worry that anyone else saw him that way. Very cruel and disrespectful. And it’s no one’s business how they reacted when their dad died or what they said. Have some respect for innocent children.

  54. pwal says:

    October 12th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Something else that bothered me too was the fact that MJ doesn’t have a belly button? Am I the only one that noticed that?


    He had an ‘outie’ belly button.

  55. JaneWonderfalls says:

    Not only TMZ many news and blog outlets showed it. The View. TMX, Gossip on this, etc. I don’t understand this country we can show dead bodies but if a little breast pops out were up in a fuss?

  56. Zoe says:

    Jane, I wonder about that, too. Since we’re on the topic of Jacksons – what was up with the reaction to Janet’s Nipplegate incident?! Granted, CBS is the same channel that shows acts of murder, death, crime, and torture all day and no one complains. Janet flashes some nipple and people are suing for ‘emotional distress’. Please. It was for two seconds, no one cared, everyone has nipples, lets move on. I find that most bizarre.

  57. Addie says:

    Michael was the kids dad in every way that mattered,

    However, I wonder if they would like to one day know about their bio parents like some adopted people do.
    Maybe possible other families out there as in Debbie Rouw and (possibly) Dr Klein’s families, poor Blanket probably has no idea who his birth mother is.

  58. Juliesunflower says:

    Conrad Murray was being paid $100,000 a month by Michael but Murray killed him instead through negligence . If he is not jailed and his license revoked, then there is no justice in the world.

  59. TabbyCat says:

    Zoe, whilst I agree that the Dr was negligent, the simple fact of the matter was Michael hired him to do that. He found a Dr that would bend the rules, that would get the prescriptions. It was Michael’s choice to do all this. The Dr just carried it out. Ultimately Michael caused his own death.

  60. Eve says:

    Tasteless and sad…not even after his death the man gets to be left alone.

    I know this is not the place to discuss this but since it was mentioned anyway, I’m going to say it: regarding the allegations of pedophilia, based on what I read about the cases (especially the reports about that 1993 case, and some weird statements by the kid’s father — caught on tape) I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I may be completely wrong and part of me still thinks his behaviour was inappropriate, but I believe he was innocent.

  61. Ash. says:


    You can be addicted to prescription drugs.

  62. harfang says:

    Inappropriate behavior, which may indeed have made the lives of some kids (now his own apparently) more difficult, is not a legitimate reason for this. I cannot imagine this ever being okay for me in the media unless, say, they were to unexpectedly find Hitler’s remains or the like. Only to massively comfort large numbers of people should this ever be done.

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