Jennifer Armstrong
July 07, 2009 AT 04:15 PM EDT

Elizabeth Taylor says she won’t be attending the public tribute to her longtime friend, Michael Jackson, because he wouldn’t want her there, People reports. On her Twitter page, she says she’s decided not to share her grief at the public ceremony: “How I feel is between us,” she writes. “Not a public event.” The 77-year-old actress says she was asked to speak at today’s Staples Center memorial but “cannot be part of the public whoopla. And I cannot guarantee that I would be coherent to say a word.” She says: “I will always love Michael from the depth of my being and nothing canseparate us.”

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