Jackson family alarmed by suicide rise after singer`s death
The family of Michael Jackson is concerned by reports that fans of the late King of Pop have committed suicide following his death, local media said.
Gary Taylor, the founder of the Michael Jackson online fan club, said at least 12 people have taken their lives following the pop star`s death last week, examiner.com said.
"It is a serious situation that these people are going through but Michael Jackson would never want this," Taylor said.
The 50-year-old Jackson, who spent more than four decades in the public spotlight, died on June 25 of a heart attack just weeks before he was due to launch a series of comeback concerts in London.
After hearing the news, Jackson family friend Jesse Jackson urged fans not to "self-destruct" in a video posted on YouTube.
"This is a time when hearts are heavy. There is great pain but great cause to celebrate Michael`s life...it made Michael happy saying `We are the World,`" Jackson said.
Thousands of grieving fans are expected to pay their last respects to the pop legend at his former home Neverland ranch in Santa Barbara County, where his body will go on display.
Pavel Talalayev, 30, a Russian Jackson impersonator, said he was also distressed by the singer`s death and had slashed his veins in a suicide attempt, but was saved by medics.