JACKSON HEADS for NEVERLAND

LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson's body will make a poignant final journey to Neverland Ranch, reports said, amid fresh revelations about the tragic pop icon's agonising dependence on powerful prescription medication.

LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson's body will make a poignant final journey to Neverland Ranch, reports said, amid fresh revelations about the tragic pop icon's agonising dependence on powerful prescription medication.

Citing unidentified sources, TMZ.com said on Tuesday the drug Propofol was found at Jackson's rented mansion after his death last week at the age of 50.

"There is no conceivable way this drug can be properly prescribed for home use," a source told the website.

Earlier, a former nurse who cared for Jackson told CNN on Tuesday the star pleaded with her to provide him with Diprivan - the brand name for Propofol, which is an anaesthetic - in the last months of his life.

Cherilyn Lee, a former nurse with more than 20 years experience, said she had refused his request.

Lee also revealed that a member of Jackson's staff sought the drug four days before the singer's death, only to be rebuffed.

"I told him this medication is not safe," Lee said. "He said, 'I just want to get some sleep. You don't understand. I just want to be knocked out and go to sleep'."

Meanwhile, CNN and TMZ.com said the Jackson family planned a public viewing tomorrow - which could draw a crush of fans to the isolated Neverland Ranch, north of Los Angeles.

A 30-car motorcade reportedly plans to escort the body today to the King of Pop's huge estate, a monument to Jackson's obsession with childhood that once included a fairground and a private zoo.

A worldwide outpouring of tributes to the music legend continued, with crowds gathering at New York's Apollo Theatre for a celebration of the star's life.

Tomorrow's public viewing could be an indication that the Jackson family has permanent plans for Neverland.

Santa Barbara County officials said on Tuesday they had received no formal notification of a memorial but said departments were "preparing to accommodate a large event" if a request for a Neverland funeral was made.

Some fans say the star should be buried at the ranch and want it to be transformed into a shrine similar to Elvis Presley's Graceland.

Neverland was named after the fantasy island of Peter Pan, Jackson's inspiration.

But the estate fell into disrepair after becoming an alleged crime scene in Jackson's 2005 trial on child molestation charges.

Jackson vacated the property following his acquittal and never lived there again.

The estate was reportedly on the verge of foreclosure as Jackson's extravagant lifestyle and mounting personal and legal problems took their toll on his finances.

The fate of Neverland has been one of the myriad legal issues arising from Jackson's sudden death.

A judge on Monday gave Jackson's 79-year-old mother, Katherine, temporary control over his estate, including Neverland, and the rights to songs of the Beatles. She was also named temporary guardian of his three children.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Jackson drafted a will in 2002 that divided his estate between his mother, his three children and one or more charities.

Conspicuously absent was his father, Joe Jackson, who groomed his nine children into musical sensations but had an uneasy relationship with Michael.

Lawyers for the Jackson family said they had seen the will.

The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, reported that police were seeking to interview "multiple doctors" who treated Jackson in the years before his death. - Sapa-AFP

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