jackson jesse 300x214 The Missing Jackson at Michaels Memorial: JesseA lot of familiar faces from the world of Michael Jackson were missing yesterday at the memorial service: Liz, Liza, Macaulay, etc.

But the biggest absence: Reverend Jesse Jackson. He was nowhere to be seen and did not speak. It was a glaring omission. Jackson raced to Michael’s side in Santa Maria, California during his 2005 child molestation trial. He frequently spoke out for Michael. In December 2006 he went with Michael to James Brown’s funeral.

So what happened? Sources say that Jesse Jackson and Joseph Jackson, Michael’s father, do not get along. Much debate went on for days backstage to get the Reverend on the show. Considering that Al Sharpton and the children of Dr. Martin Luther King got their chances at the podium — and all spoke magnificently — the Jesse Jackson situation is considered the biggest backstage scandal of the memorial.

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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