Ross explains Jackson memorial absence

July 8, 2009 at 12:22 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 8 (UPI) -- Diana Ross says she did not attend Tuesday's public memorial service for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles because she is trying to "find closure."

"I have decided to pause and be silent," Ross said Tuesday in a statement quoted by "This feels right for me. Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my world, part of the fabric of my life in a way that I can't seem to find words to express."

Figures from the worlds of sports, entertainment, politics and activism turned out Tuesday at the Staples Center to honor Jackson, who died of cardiac arrest June 25 after a suspected prescription drug overdose. He was 50.

"I am trying to find closure," Ross said. "I want you to know that even though I am not there at the Staples Center, I am there in my heart."

In his will, Jackson asked Ross to care for his two sons and his daughter if his elderly mother is unable to.

"Michael wanted me to be there for his children, and I will be there if ever they need me," Ross said. "I hope today brings closure for all those who loved him."

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