Though he regarded her in the same light as a mother and described her as Wendy to his Peter Pan, the actress will not attend his public memorial. "I cannot guarantee that I would be coherent to say a word," she explained
One person who will be on the stage at LA's Staples Center is 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi, a Swansea schoolboy, whose Michael tribute act impressed the late star when he saw it on YouTube
Rather than attending the memorial service for her friend Michael Jackson, Dame Elizabeth Taylor plans to remember him in private.
The silver screen legend told followers on Twitter that she refused to be part of the "public hoopla". "And I cannot guarantee that I would be coherent to say a word," she explained.
Their friendship began when the king of pop offered her tickets for his Thriller tour concerts out of the blue.
He felt a kinship with her as a fellow former child star and over the years the unlikely friends would often share picnics at his Neverland retreat or go out to the cinemas incognito.
Given the depth of their affection for each other – "Elizabeth is someone who loves me – really loves me" he once told an interviewer - the actress believes he would understand her absence.
"I just don't believe that Michael would want me to share my grief with millions of others. How I feel is between us. Not a public event," she writes.
"I will always love Michael from the depth of my being and nothing can separate us."
While she stays at home, there will be plenty of other artists on hand at LA's Staples Center celebrating the life of the pop legend, including one surprise invitee from Swansea.
Britain's Got Talent sensation Shaheen Jafargholi secretly flew out to Los Angeles at the request of the Jackson family, who told him the late star was a fan of his Michael tribute act. Apparently he caught the 12-year-old's act on YouTube.
The astonished schoolboy will croon a moving song in honour of his hero – possibly Who's Lovin' You, the Jackson 5 tune he performed to a standing ovation on the show in May - joining a line up including Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder and Usher.
Brooke Shields, a one-time love interest, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights leader, and Diana Ross are also expected to be involved.
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