Michael Jackson’s financial success would be the worst punishment for his haters
Guys, there are moments in life when different small things from here and there suddenly come together and answer a question you’ve been long unable to solve. I think this happened to one of the riddles that has been on my mind for a long time now.
The process of putting things together started when I recently read John Branca’s reply to an article by Roger Friedman called “Michael Jackson song catalog will moonwalk to Sony”. Friedman was speaking there of Michael’s own songs known as “Mijac” and them being taken over by Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Here is the short of the article:
02/16/11 12:08pm Roger Friedman
For all these years, Michael’s MiJac Publishing has been administered by Warner Chappell, part of what is now Warner Music Group. MiJac includes not only Michael’s hits that he wrote, like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” but a vast number of other hits including those of Ray Charles, Curtis Mayfield, and Sly and the Family Stone.
Warner Chappell doesn’t own MiJac but it administers the rights to it and collects hefty fees. With WMG for sale, and talk of Warner Chappell being sold off, MiJac would seem like an integral part of their story.
But there’s a hitch that I can reveal to you: MiJac is leaving Warner Chappell and going to become part of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the company that Michael Jackson’s estate co-owns with Sony and contains the Beatles catalog.
According to sources, this arrangement was written into the MiJac contract with Warner Chappell years ago. It would be triggered by the release of the next Jackson album–in this case, the recent “Michael”–and the repayment of loans.
The comments on the article naturally contained the all-too-common-now-slogan: ”They want my catalog and they will kill me for it” (Michael Jackson).
As a result some fans apparently started bombarding the attorneys working for Michael Jackson Estate, and apparently with indignant questions too, so that John Branca had to make an official clarification and asked fans to make it available to all those who were asking similar questions. Since all of us are interested here is John Branca’s answer in full:
–—– Forwarded Message
I understand that you are being asked a lot of questions about Mijac.
Yes, there is a matching right that Michael granted to Sony/ATV but they only get to administer the catalog for a limited term AND only if they agree to unprecedented favorable terms. We will not relinquish ultimate control and ownership to anyone. We have favorably refinanced the loans on Mijac which will be paid off and the catalog WILL absolutely be passed to Michael’s children as long as we have anything to say about it.
Sony/ATV is a great company and the Estate owns half of it but no one, not even Sony/ATV, will ever own Mijac while John McClain and I remain in charge.
The current Sony team is the one Michael chose to work with on the Thriller 25 release and they are good partners. As stated in the recent court filings, they worked with us to refinance the burdensome debt that had been placed on Michael’s interest in Sony/ATV to very favorable terms, an important achievement which insures that Mijac and Michael’s masters remain secure for the benefit of Michael’s children for years to come.
I would appreciate your sharing this with the fans that are asking questions.
Thanks – John
So the information we’ve learned from this letter is as follows:
- the only thing Sony/ATV is doing with the Mijac catalog is administering it, which is not much different from the previous arrangement with Warner Chappell
- only this time the job is being done by a company which is 50% Michael Jackson’s own company which is a definite improvement over the previous arrangement
- and the administering is being done on unprecedented favorable terms
- it will be temporary only
- and the most important thing of all is that Michael Jackson’s songs will absolutely be passed to Michael’s children who will become their sole owners, as long as the present attorneys have anything to say about it (Oh Lord, bless John Branca and make him strong and healthy, please).
We also find out that there were some loans on Mijac which are now being favorably refinanced and this will make it possible to fully repay them off and that there was a burdensome debt placed on Michael’s stake in the Sony/ATV partnership which the current Sony team helped to refinance on favorable terms too.
Okay, let us keep our fingers crossed…
The first thing I did after reading John Branca’s answer was posting it as a comment on Friedman’s article – this was done early in the morning the day before yesterday but up till now the comment is “awaiting moderation”. Well, let them read Branca’s reply as long as they need – I hope one day they will have the decency to post the official Estate’s reply to what Roger Friedman wrote in his article…
This was where this short essay sorting out our small financial misunderstanding was meant to close – however at that point some more news arrived through my correspondence with the co-eds which, though devoted to a completely different subject, suddenly fit into the picture of Michael’s finances and the gruesome way they were reported during his life and death. And all this motley of information suddenly fused together and gave me a better understanding of WHY Michael’s finances were always reported that way and not the way the situation really was.
The first piece of news which shed some light on Michael Jackson’s financial picture and the “unbiased” way it was portrayed by the media was the story Ed Bradley told Larry King about the events surrounding his interview with Michael Jackson in December 2003. The story is a complete marvel as it clarifies several important issues simultaneously – however I will try hard to focus on its financial part only.
Below is an excerpt from the interview. But first let us pay attention to the dates discussed there – Ed Bradley talks to Larry King on February 4, 2004.
His own interview with Michael Jackson took place a few months before that, on Christmas day, December 2003 which followed the Neverland raid, Michael’s arrest, handcuffs and release on bail (after keeping him in a feces-smeared restroom for more than 45 minutes as you remember).
However it turns out that initially Ed Bradley’s interview was scheduled for the beginning of the same year, February 1st or 2nd, 2003 and this is what makes his story so very interesting.
So on February 4, 2004 Larry King was talking to Ed Bradley: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0402/04/lkl.01.html
KING: The Jackson interview. How did it happen?
BRADLEY: You know, the Michael Jackson interview is an interview that we have been working on for more than a year. Last February I was out at Neverland, we had been working on it for some months at that time. I went out with my crews, producer, associate producer, sat down with Michael, just the two of us in a room. Left everybody outside and talked for about half an hour.
KING: Months ago?
BRADLEY: This is last February, almost a year ago. And Michael said, fine. I’m going to trust you. And he told me how his trust had been betrayed by other journalists. And I just said, look, you know me, you know my work. If you want to do this, fine, if not, I understand. And he said, I’m going to trust you and go upstairs and get ready for the interview.
His guys told me that could take an hour and a half to two hours because he’ll have to get made up, his clothes. When I talked to him he had on a pajama top, he had pants on, but he had a pajama top on.
KING: This is the day of the interview or months before.
BRADLEY: This is in February. We were going to do this interview that day.
KING: I see.
BRADLEY: I say to my guys, bring in the camera gear, set up and he’ll be down in an hour or so. And, as I was told later, when he was just about made up and dressed, someone came in with a phone and said, you’ve got a call from Marlon Brando. Brando told him that the deposition, which had been sealed in 1992 [1993 is the correct year] from the first case when he was accused of child molestation…
KING: And settled.
BRADLEY: Settled so that it would be kept secret. Brando told him that that deposition had been released. It was on the Internet and it would be all over the world by tomorrow and it would be in the tabloids in the United States the next day. Michael Jackson, we never saw him again.
Let me interrupt them for a second and explain that these guys are unfortunately spreading tabloid lies without knowing it.
Ed Bradley speaks of Jordan Chandler’s declaration or just a statement as if it were a deposition – which it was not! A deposition is made in the presence of lawyers from both sides who ask questions and it is recorded in the form of a word-for-word transcript the way it is done in court. Jordan Chandler never made such a deposition. His declaration was nothing but a piece of paper typed in Larry Feldman’s office as a summary of what he supposedly said and was signed by we don’t know who. The paper was not even verified by any of the attorneys and bears none of their signatures! (For more info on this, please read this post.)
True, the original text of Jordan Chandler’s declaration was unknown to the public as all documents prior to the confidentiality agreement are usually sealed and become null and void as soon as the agreement (any business agreement) is signed. The lawyers who sign it are bound by the confidentiality of it in the interests of their clients and if they break the confidentiality clause they usually quickly lose their reputation of credible lawyers.
In this case Jordan Chandler’s declaration was leaked either by Larry Feldman himself or by one of his associates (according to Ray Chandler’s book) which alone speaks volumes about the “impartiality” of these lawyers and even more volumes about their professional integrity.
And please note that the parties under the 1994 agreement didn’t settle “to keep it secret” – the essence of the case was well known to everyone already in 1993, as it repeated the earlier disclosed text of the civil suit and its gist was all over the media to exert unprecedented psychological pressure on Jackson at the end of 1993.
So releasing the original text of Jordan Chandler ten years later, in 2003, was nothing but a professional crime by Larry Feldman and his company committed with the sole intention to smear Michael Jackson on the very day Bashir’s documentary aired in the US and most probably to prompt the future accuser the correct words of “abuse” he should use in his future case…
Back to the interview now:
BRADLEY: Brando told him that that deposition [declaration!] had been released. It was on the Internet and it would be all over the world by tomorrow and it would be in the tabloids in the United States the next day. Michael Jackson, we never saw him again. He didn’t say I’m not going to do the interview, he just disappeared.
KING: Someone came and told you.
BRADLEY: We sat there for hours waiting. It was his people. Mark Geragos just started at the head of his legal team at that time.
KING: This was before the charges were brought, now, way before.
BRADLEY: Oh, yes. In fact, the kid who is now charging him and his mother were there that day.
BRADLEY: We sat in the kitchen having coffee and doughnuts and sodas and his mother and the kids said they were willing to go on television to say what a great person Michael Jackson was.
Please allow me a short note again – so back in February 2003 just prior to the day when Bashir’s documentary would air and Jordan’s declaration would be released (as this was done on one and the same day) the Arvizos were sitting in the kitchen eating doughnuts, praising Michael Jackson and saying they were willing to go on TV to say how great a guy he was!
So much for all their later accusations, and their alleged unwillingness to do a rebuttal video and them being held captive because of that video….
Now we find out from an independent TV CBS host that they were willing to go on television to say what a great person Michael was!
And Ed Bradley didn’t record their conversation only because he was waiting for an interview with Michael Jackson then and couldn’t possibly know or even expect that this particular family would accuse Michael of all those atrocities later – otherwise we would have had an exclusive, spontaneous and independent rebuttal video from Ed Bradley! Oh my God….
KING: Wow. Hold it right there. And Brando was wrong, right?
BRADLEY: Well no, because the deposition [declaration] wasn’t…
KING: Was it released?
BRADLEY: It was released. And it was all over the tabloids the next day.
KING: Oh, was it. All right, and then what happened?
BRADLEY: We sat there and he just never showed up. By that night I went back to Los Angeles. We went back out the next day and talked to them and it just never happened. So, it never went away completely. It was always there. And then when it surfaced again after these charges, he decided that he wanted to talk to me.
KING: He contacted you?
BRADLEY: We were in contact with Mark Geragos. And they said, OK. We didn’t talk to Michael directly. They said, fine, come out on Wednesday. This is a day before Christmas. So, I had my Christmas vacation plans and they just went out the window and I flew to Los Angeles and went to the hotel where we were supposed to interview him and they said this is going to happen at 3:00 and then they said 4:00 and then 5:00 and then 6:00 and at 7:00 they said, well it will happen tomorrow.
KING: Here we go again.
BRADLEY: It was Christmas day. So Christmas day we went out and set up again and then, again, it was a long wait through the day and late in the afternoon, early evening, Michael came into the room. He was made up and dressed for the interview and he was very, he is very soft spoken. He was on the surface very considerate of everyone else in the room. Makes eye contact, says hello to members of the crew, waves at everybody and sits down.
BRADLEY: Yes. But then he’s also checking to see how he looks in the monitor. He is a performer, has he has been all of his life.
Now comes the financial issue at last:
KING: Right there. The story that appears in the “New York Times” is he says, first we have to make this deal. We need the money more on a live television show.
BRADLEY: Never happened.
KING: Nothing like that ever — “New York Times” story was completely wrong.
BRADLEY: Completely wrong. Completely wrong. The “New York Times” story which was based on something that happened a year ago in February when we were at Neverland that this person said, we have to have more money for Michael.
KING: That was then.
BRADLEY: The quote was put in my mouth in the “New York Times” story saying “I said, don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.” Who said I said that? The person they attributed that quote to was described as a disgruntled former Jackson associate, unnamed, who felt that he was owed money. Now, that’s not a very credible source. What bothered me was that they never contacted me directly to say, “did you say that?”
KING: Never called you?
BRADLEY: They called — by the time they were ready to write this story we had finished the interview and I had gone on vacation. They called the CBS PR people and said, can we talk to Bradley? Bradley’s on vacation. They never said, here’s a quote. This is what they’re saying that Ed Bradley said, how does he respond to that?
KING: Back to a year ago, a year ago back in February, when they didn’t do it, did he say at that time, I want more money?
KING: Did he say, I’m doing the special, you must run it?
BRADLEY: No, this was a year before the special.
KING: The special hadn’t even been thought of?
BRADLEY: No, the special hadn’t been thought of. Maybe it had been thought of, but I didn’t know about it.
KING: Money was never mentioned?
BRADLEY: Money was not a factor. What happened a year ago was that when Marlon Brando told him that the deposition [declaration] was being made public he freaked out and he didn’t want to see anyone.
KING: So when you read the story, what did you think?
BRADLEY: I said, it’s a lie. I never said that. Who was the person who said I said that? Name him.
KING: Were you shocked that the “New York Times” ran that? I mean, here’s a pillar of journalism.
BRADLEY: You know, I expected more from them, frankly. I mean, if I had a quote from an anonymous source for a story I’m doing at “60 Minutes,” I couldn’t use that quote without contacting the person who’s quoted in that story in saying, this is what they say about you. We couldn’t do that.
KING: To your knowledge, is there any content between CBS Entertainment and CBS News where Entertainment could say do us a quid pro quo?
BRADLEY: No, there is no quid pro quo. There was no quid pro quo with Michael Jackson. CBS did not pay for the interview. CBS did not sweeten the pot. In other words, CBS did not say, OK, we paid you so much with a special, do the interview and we’ll pay you more for the special.
KING: Never happened.
BRADLEY: Never happened. Now, was there someone there from CBS Entertainment? Yes, because he knew Michael Jackson, having done the special with him and knew Michael Jackson’s people and he was a liaison with us, but he had nothing to do with the interview.
KING: Were they not going to run this special unless he did the interview?
BRADLEY: I don’t think they were going to run the special unless he answered the questions. Now it was his choice as to where he chooses, which forum he chooses to answer the questions. Now, would they prefer that he do it on “60 Minutes?” You bet.
KING: Back to last February when you met the mother and the kid, what did you think when you heard it was that mother and that kid?
BRADLEY: I was stunned because they were there to tell me that day what a great person he was.
KING: Were you going to put them on camera?
BRADLEY: We hadn’t gone that far.
KING: Might you have?
BRADLEY: I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I don’t know. The kid was in the documentary that the BBC — not BBC, but the English program did. I forget his name now.
KING: But you were shocked that the kid — that was the kid?
BRADLEY: I was shocked that that was the kid because both the child and his mother were praising Michael and were sitting there in his kitchen eating and saying what a great person he was.
Thanks to Thetis we now have a video of the above conversation:
Let me sum what we’ve just heard and read, in addition to the great first-hand information from Ed Bradley about the Arvizos speaking highly of Michael and willing to go on TV to say that.
The New York Times, which is “the pillar of journalism”, as Larry King calls it, made up a fictional story that Ed Bradley couldn’t make the first interview with Michael Jackson in February 2003 because “he asked for more money” and Ed Bradley allegedly said to Michael that “he would take care of it”.
In reality, CBS did not pay Michael any money for the interview, it was Michael who was selecting whom to talk to – he chose CBS and Ed Bradley because he evidently trusted him and the money issue was never discussed between them at all. And nobody from that “pillar of journalism” ever checked with Ed Bradley whether he had ever discussed money with Jackson, which surprised Ed Bradley immensely – he never expected anything like that from the New York Times …
How does this small story about a conversation which never took place fit into Michael Jackson’s financial story? And what do you think? Why would the New York Times lie that Michael “wanted more money”? Could it be a chance mistake on their part? Or was it done deliberately to subtly convey to their readers that Michael arranged all that “year-long bargaining” with CBS due to him being in dire straits – though the real reason for the first interview cancellation was Larry Feldman who infringed the confidentiality of the agreement and the interests of his client Jordan Chandler (though he was supposed to be a guarantor of them).
To check up my version of the desire of the “pillar of journalism” to show Michael bankrupt I decided to have a look at what the New York Times wrote about Michael Jackson in February 2004 – exactly at the time when Ed Bradley talked to Larry King. And the news they were reporting lived up to my worst expectations of it:
Michael Jackson Faces Cash Crisis
By SHARON WAXMAN
Published: February 12, 2004
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 — Michael Jackson is near insolvency as he continues to pile up debt, sapping his last credit reserves, several close financial advisers say.
Mr. Jackson faces an immediate cash crisis with a $70 million loan from the Bank of America that is due on Tuesday and has no money to repay it, the advisers said. But Al Malnik, a Miami entrepreneur who is helping repair Mr. Jackson’s finances, said that he was trying to have the loan extended.
Mr. Malnik said he met with Mr. Jackson’s business managers this week to discuss the loan. Together, he said, they were ”working toward a positive resolution of Michael’s financial affairs and business affairs that will result in a reorganization of his valuable assets.”
The child molestation charges against Mr. Jackson and allegations that the Nation of Islam, the black separatist group, is involved in his affairs have scared banks off and hurt his ability to make more money, the Jackson advisers said. Banks were particularly reluctant to extend him credit, they said, because of reports that a senior member of the Nation of Islam, Leonard Muhammad, was controlling Mr. Jackson’s finances. Mr. Muhammad, who has a series of failed businesses in his past, hung up the telephone on a reporter who called for comment.
Mr. Malnik is a multimillionaire who in 1993 was alleged to have had ties to the mob, an accusation he denied. He is the owner of a national chain of loan stores, Title Loans of America, which consumer advocates have criticized as lending at exorbitant rates.
At least two groups of investors who were prepared to make business deals with Mr. Jackson last year have backed away from them because of the criminal charges, people involved in the deals say. At the same time new sources of income for Mr. Jackson in the form of records or concert tours seem to be out of the question until the molestation charges are resolved. Mr. Jackson is accused of nine felony counts related to acts involving a 13-year-old boy. His lawyers are to appear in court on Friday to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
One adviser said that Mr. Jackson had about a half-dozen sources of income, including royalties from BMI and other music companies. But his most valuable asset by far is the Beatles catalog of about 250 songs, which Mr. Jackson and Sony Music Entertainment jointly own as part of the ATV Music Publishing catalog, with an estimated value of $800 million to $900 million. The catalog of Mr. Jackson’s own music, including hits like ”Billie Jean” and ”Beat It,” has an estimated value of $75 million to $90 million.
Mr. Malnik said that he was helping Mr. Jackson out of friendship. The loan is guaranteed by the Jackson music catalog, which would revert to the Bank of America if Mr. Jackson defaulted, said several of his advisers.
Mr. Malnik and Charles Koppelman, a business manager for Mr. Jackson, hope to extend the loan’s due date to December 2005, now with the backing of a New York-based hedge fund, the advisers said. If Mr. Jackson were to default in 2005, the hedge fund would take over the Jackson-music catalog.
State financial filings in California show that Mr. Jackson owes millions of dollars to the Bank of America. In addition to the $70 million loan, there is also a $200 million loan, guaranteed by the ATV music catalog that he owns with Sony. But the Jackson advisers said that asset was also leveraged for an additional $250 million to buy other music libraries by other stars.
It is unclear what Mr. Jackson would do if that money was used up. One adviser said that Mr. Jackson did not seem to realize that his music no longer pulled in the millions in royalties that it once did, because of depressed sales in the music industry.
Even now, half the money earned by Mr. Jackson goes to the bank under the loan agreement. ”All of the funds coming into the bank as income from projects and music royalties, the bank retains 50 percent of that to retain a credit line,” one adviser said. ”He can use the other 50 percent.”
As part of the terms of the two loans, Mr. Malnik must act as a trustee over Mr. Jackson’s spending. Mr. Malnik became involved with Mr. Jackson a year ago when he faced bankruptcy from creditors, including hotel chains and security companies.
Mr. Malnik said that the bank was about to place a lien on Neverland and other assets last year when he stepped in. Mr. Malnik was linked to organized-crime figures in 1993 by a New Jersey gaming commission. ”The evidence establishes that Mr. Malnik associated with persons engaged in organized criminal activities,” the commission said in a report, ”and that he himself participated in transactions that were clearly illegitimate and illegal.”
Well, it is customary for all anti-Jackson articles to close with allegations of him being tied to some “criminals”. During the November 18, 2003 raid they heavily linked Michael to Anthony Pellicano who was imprisoned just at the time, and in February 2004 they made similar innuendoes as regards Al Malnik and his “links with organized crime”.
I suddenly remembered that Tom Sneddon was planning to use the allegations against Al Malnik as one of those 14 items he wanted introduced in court (including someone’s dirty underpants left in Neverland and specially stored in a laundry bag for the police to arrive and pick them) – I am talking about the 14 items discussed in an earlier post here.
However let’s get back to the main message of the article – they say that Michael is nearly insolvent and this makes me believe that the New York Times did indeed fake the story of Michael bargaining with Ed Bradley with the only purpose to gleefully announce that Michael was on the verge of bankruptcy – otherwise why all this fuss?
One paragraph caught my attention though:
- “In addition to the $70 million loan, there is also a $200 million loan, guaranteed by the ATV music catalog that he owns with Sony. But the Jackson advisers said that asset was also leveraged for an additional $250 million to buy other music libraries by other stars.
- Even now, half the money earned by Mr. Jackson goes to the bank under the loan agreement. ”.
What’s so special about the words said by Jackson’s advisers? It is the fact that the multimillion loan was used as a leverage to buy another library by other stars and that the money earned by Jackson partially went into repaying that loan agreement…
It reminded me of a reply of one knowledgeable reader to the recent Forbes article (Jan. 2011) “Michael Jackson: Secret Business Genius?” who wrote exactly about the same – he said that Michael’s debt to the Bank of America was not actually a debt at all, but a business loan made for a big purchase, the profit of which would go to the bank to repay the loan itself!
This is what he said:
- “The debt you mentioned is actually a BUSINESS LOAN which he made ($300 million USD) in order to purchase a 2nd, much modern music catalog in 2006-2007. This is not extraordinary when you have assets worth 1 billion and above, Donald Trump has more loans than he does. Based on the terms of the loan with Bank of America, that loan is being paid for monthly for a span of 6 years, and he did it by funneling the earnings of the NEW catalog he bought to pay for the loan itself. If you realize what he is doing, that is another genius move he adopted from his great businessmen friends– taking advantage of LEVERAGE. Acquiring something without letting out a single centavo of your own money”.
Isn’t it interesting that though the New York Times went out of their way to lie about Michael’s finances and show how insolvent MJ was, they also mentioned some truthful information from Michael’s advisors about the actual deal Michael Jackson had made with the help of that loan?
This second big musical catalog acquired by Michael Jackson (and Sony/ATV as his partner) is being discussed by the Guardian article in May 2007, which is approximately the time when the deal was actually made:
Jackson buys Eminem rights
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 31 May 2007 16.33 BST
Michael Jackson now owns the rights to Eminem’s back catalogue, after his partnership company Sony/ATV purchased the publishing company Famous Music for $370 million.
Bjork, Shakira and Beck are also among the many artists whose publishing rights were sold by Viacom, of which Famous Music is a subsidiary, at auction yesterday afternoon.
The acquisition comes just months after speculation that Jackson would be forced to give up the rights to the Beatles back catalogue because he was facing bankruptcy. Yesterday’s deal means Sony/ATV own the rights to over 125,000 songs, of which Eminem is one of the most high-profile and profitable. In an interesting twist, Jackson once attempted to have the video to Eminem’s song Just Lose It taken down because it features the rapper dressed as Jackson and later rapping the words: “Come here little kiddies on my lap / Guess who’s back with a brand new rap / And I don’t mean rap as in a new case of child investigation accusate.”
Speaking about yesterday’s acquisition, Sony/ATV CEO Martin N. Bandier said: “The Famous Music catalogue is a world-class asset filled with evergreen songs that people know and love. The depth and breadth of the catalogue is what truly makes it great.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2007/may/31/news.eminem
Another article quotes Michael Jackson speaking about this new acquisition:
Michael Jackson Buys Rights to Eminem’s Catalog
Thursday May 31, 2007
I remember when Michael Jackson raised hell over Eminem’s parody of the Gloved One the music clip for “Just Lose It.” Em basically told Jacko to lighten up, it was all in good humor after all. Well, I wonder how the Slim Shady feels now that Michael Jackson owns the rights to two of his biggest hits: “Without Me” and “The Real Slim Shady.”
Jackson, who owns a stake in The Beatles’ catalog, recently acquired Famous Music LLC from Viacom. The new purchase grants him copyright access to the aforementioned Eminem songs, in addition to songs by Beck, Shakira and Bjork.
“This is a milestone event for Sony/ATV Music Publishing,” said Jackson in a statement. “The diverse collection of songs in this catalog range from timeless classics to contemporary hits, and I am pleased to add the acquisition of Famous Music to Sony/ ATV.”
More information about this major new music catalog and other catalogs Michael acquired in partnership with Sony/ATV Music Publishing is provided by Wikipedia and is told in short by the knowledgeable readers of the Forbes article mentioned earlier:
- In 1995, Jackson merged his Northern Songs catalog with Sony’s publishing division creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. This deal gave Jackson half ownership in Northern Songs as well as half ownership in Sony/ATV. It also included distribution rights to thousands of more songs. With the merger, Sony/ATV became the third largest music publishing venture in the world. Both Jackson and the Sony people were equal partners and vowed to become the world’s largest catalog.
Late in 2001, Jackson and Sony acquired Tony Martin’s Baby Mae Music catalog of 600 songs.
In July 2002, they bought country music publisher Acuff-Rose for $157 million. The venture included publishing rights to 55,000 songs.
And in November 2007, Jackson and Sony bought Famous Music LLC from Viacom. This deal gave the King of Pop rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck, among others. The venture included the assumption of a $30 million debt. They purchased the business for $370 million.
- Bottom line. If Jackson was debt ridden, it makes more sense to believe his indebtedness of “$500 million” resulted from acquiring multi-million dollar ventures, and not, as media myth makers would have it, “lavish spending.”
“John 1968” says:
- “The ATV catalog is much more than Beatles songs, its thousands and thousands of songs that were popular in the 50s, 60s 70s and 80s. Add the 2nd modern catalog and you have virtually EVERYONE who is ANYONE in the music industry right now: Taylor Swift, Eminem, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber songs which his estate is profiting from right now. He doesn’t even need to release new music because he earns from virtually everyone in the TOP 10 of billboard artists year after year. He bought this 2nd catalog WAY BEFORE these names became famous which means he had perfect unbeatable foresight.
Its very easy to believe tabloid stuff about his finances but isnt it funny that tabloids have been reporting him bankrupt since 2000 yet you can never find Michael Jackson with an IRS issue–NONE. Think about all the other celebrities who went bankrupt and one common denominator is IRS debts they all had. Everyone has been reporting he will be selling his ATV share since 2000 but he died already and when billionaires and media moguls lined up to offer billions to purchase his 50% stake, his own Estate DECLINED them all.
- Michael Jackson’s only weakness is not spending or shopping, its TREATING everyone better than they deserve. This is why he became a target for leeches and scums.”
Frankly, I don’t know what IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is, but since Michael Jackson was never found with this issue, the absence of the problem looks to me like a good sign which doesn’t need extra discussion.
What I want to focus on instead is that many articles about Michael’s “poor finances” are dated the period of his 2005 trial. When you read the newspaper stories of that time you can’t help feeling that while the prosecutors knew they couldn’t prove their child abuse case they very well realized that they were damaging Michael financially and that the side effect of the trial (whatever its outcome) would be Michael’s complete financial ruin.
Well, given how ridiculous the Arvizo allegations were I now even begin thinking that the case was organized with the sole aim of making Michael Jackson bankrupt – first and foremost through ruining his reputation and good name, and forcing him to pay enormous legal bills, making him unable to sell any of his records any more, averting the public from his music, having his songs removed from radio and TV stations and making his name no longer attractive to advertisers.
When you read the fictional stories of that period they all sound very much alike – it is always Michael who is “desperate for money” – and wanting it either from Ed Bradley, though money was never discussed between them, or from Fox News to whom Michael wanted to sell the rebuttal video for $3mln., which you will read about in the article below.
The way the prosecutors salivate at the prospect of disastrous financial consequences of the trial for Michael Jackson make me wonder in full seriousness – could Michael’s desirable bankruptcy be the actual reason why they arranged the whole Arvizo thing at all?
Michael Jackson may be near bankruptcy
By Steve Chawkins and E. Scott Reckard Times Staff Writers
March 12, 2005, 7:15 a.m.
SANTA MARIA, Calif. —
Prosecutors said Friday that Michael Jackson was nearly broke and so desperate for cash in 2003 that he allegedly held a teenager and his family hostage until they could be taped in a video tribute to him.
The video was sold to the Fox network for $3 million, according to Santa Barbara County prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss. For reasons that have yet to be publicly explained, the footage of the boy and his family making glowing statements about Jackson was not used.
In a nonjury hearing at the singer’s child-molestation trial, Auchincloss claimed that Jackson was on “the precipice of bankruptcy,” with a debt of $300 million and an additional $150 million in tax liabilities.
He said Jackson’s finances would “all come crashing down” in December. Auchincloss alluded to a Bank of America loan but was cut off by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville, who said the discussion was irrelevant to the issue at hand.
Jackson attorney Robert M. Sanger agreed, adding that an estimate of Jackson’s worth today may not reflect his worth two years ago. In any event, he disputed the prosecution’s estimates and offered none himself.
Lawyers on both sides were wrangling over the attempt by prosecutors to subpoena information about Jackson’s finances from banks and accounting firms.
Melville, who said he didn’t want the trial bogged down by arcane financial testimony, set another hearing on the issue for Thursday.
If prosecutors can prove that Jackson was struggling financially in 2003, they want jurors to believe that he was plunged into panic by a damaging British TV documentary.
In “Living With Michael Jackson,” a show produced by journalist Martin Bashir, Jackson admitted that he enjoyed sharing his bed with young boys [bullshit], although he insisted that nothing sexual occurred.
One of those boys, shown holding hands with Jackson in the documentary, is at the center of the current case. The boy and his family claim that Jackson and his employees isolated them at the singer’s Neverland ranch to secure their help in the rebuttal video that was sold to Fox.
In addition to child molestation, Jackson, 46, is charged with conspiring to hold the family against its will. If convicted, he could face 20 years in prison.
Jackson’s finances have prompted speculation for years.
In court Friday, Auchincloss called the singer a “spendaholic” who chalks up annual expenses of $35 million but brings in an annual income of $11 million. He pointed to a pending lawsuit in which the owner of a Los Angeles antique store claims that Jackson still owes him $450,000 for candelabras and other items.
About $270 million in loans from Bank of America Corp., backed by Jackson’s two major song catalogs, will come due over the next few years, The Times reported last year. A Bank of America spokeswoman declined comment Friday.
Jackson found some breathing room in early 2004, when he refinanced his debts to the bank with an assist from lower interest rates.
The debts to Bank of America are secured by Jackson’s publishing firm, Mijac, which sources told The Times last year is worth at least $75 million, and his 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company whose holdings include the Beatles’ publishing rights, which would fetch several times more.
In addition to rights to his personal hits, Mijac has rights to the Sly and the Family Stone catalog, Curtis Mayfield‘s “People Get Ready” and other songs. The Times reported last year that the firm returns profit to Jackson of $6 million or more a year.
Sony/ATV, for its part, generates profit for Jackson in the same range. Jackson paid $47.5 million in 1985 to acquire the Beatles’ song catalogs, one of the richest in music.
Ten years later, he merged those rights with Sony‘s publishing unit, creating Sony/ATV and earning him $100 million.
Let me sum up a couple of things here:
- when they speak of the catalog of Michael’s songs (Mjjac) and his 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing as security for the debts to Bank of America they are basically right, only now we’ve learned that those were not just ordinary debts but loans to obtain a new music catalog
- when Auchincloss called the singer a “spendaholic” he, firstly, heavily deviated from the point of their “child abuse case” or putting it plainly, spoke of something which was none of his business
- and secondly, he never mentioned that the lavish spending included giving away to charity all the proceeds from his Dangerous and Victory tours which amounted to no less that $350mln. as well as the need to pay the enormous amount of legal bills which were actually forced on Michael by people like Auchincloss.
Speaking of the 2005 period just before the end of the trial the media was unashamed to show their shrill at the anticipation of Michael Jackson’s full, complete and total financial ruin:
Michael Jackson to lose Beatles catalog?
The cash-strapped pop star on trial for child molestation finds some of his assets threatened.
May 5, 2005: 3:53 PM EDT
By Krysten Crawford, CNN/Money staff writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – Michael Jackson, the legendary pop star facing child molestation charges, could lose his stake in the lucrative Beatles music catalog as well as the rights to his own platinum-selling songs.
Two loans estimated at $270 million that are tied to the Beatles catalog and other assets have been sold by Bank of America, the nation’s No. 2 bank, to a private hedge fund, according to people familiar with the transaction.
Technically Jackson has defaulted on loan payments, one of the sources said.
Typically, when a debtor defaults or is about to default on a loan, terms are renegotiated. Another option is for the lender to sell the loan — and the collateral that comes with it — to another party. Bank of America chose to sell the loans to the hedge fund, New York-based Fortress Investment Group.
Depending on negotiations with Fortress, the risk that Jackson could lose the copyrights to the Beatles songs as well as his own hit recordings is real.
An accountant testifying at Jackson’s child molestation trial this week told jurors that the rock star is in financial straits. Forensic accountant John Duross O’Bryan said Jackson is spending about $20 million to $30 million a year more than he earns.
Jackson, Duross O’Bryan testified, has liabilities of about $415 million. The result is “an ongoing cash crisis,” Duross O’Bryan testified.
To fund his lavish lifestyle, Jackson has borrowed against his assets. Duross O’Bryan said that one of the loans that Bank of America sold to Fortress, valued at $200 million, is due in December 2005. Bank of America declined comment.
Peter Briger, a principal at Fortress, did not return a call seeking comment. The company, according to its Web site, manages $15 billion in assets, a third of which is invested in distressed debts.
Losing the Beatles rights could put into play one of the world’s most valuable song portfolios.
Jackson, 46, acquired the Beatles song catalog in 1985 for $47.5 million, outbidding ex-Beatles singer/bassist Paul McCartney. [In fact Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono did not even display an interest in that acquision] Jackson then sold a piece of his stake to Sony a decade later, creating a joint venture called Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The venture is now believed to be worth more than $400 million.
Song catalogs have become hugely lucrative in the last two decades due to the compact disc boom, rising sales of Internet downloads, and movie studios and advertisers willing to pay royalties to use hit songs in film scores and commercials.
Jackson, through Sony/ATV, owns all but a small selection of the Fab Four’s compositions, including megahits like “Yesterday,” “Let It Be,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” He does not, however, own the actual sound recordings; those rights are held by EMI’s Capitol Records.
Royalty arrangements can be quite complicated. Basically, Jackson and Sony receive a fee each time one of the Beatles songs is played on the radio or a Beatles album is sold. Industry royalty rates for single-song plays can run under 10 cents, while rights holders typically earn a small percentage on each album sold.
It’s hardly chump change: the small amounts add up to millions of dollars in revenues a year.
Another major revenue stream for Jackson is Mijac Music, the copyright holder on all of his hits and other artists’ songs. Mijac is thought to be worth roughly $75 million, according to reports.
Despite Jackson’s shaky finances, the long-term value of his $475 million worth of song libraries drew Fortress Investment’s interest, speculated James Dunn, a vice president at InvestorForce, a Wayne, Penn.-based investment adviser to institutional investors.
“That’s clearly the trade they’re making” in placing a bet on Jackson’s debts.
Hedge funds are largely unregulated investment vehicles that are designed for wealthy investors looking for big returns on riskier bets. According to InvestorForce, there are more than 4,000 such funds with more than $800 billion in assets.
A small fraction of hedge funds invest in what are known as distressed securities, such as debts like Jackson’s.
Jackson was indicted last year on charges he molested a boy, then 13, providing him with alcohol, and then conspiring to hold him and his family hostage after a damaging TV documentary about Jackson and the boy aired.
Roger Friedman played the same tune in May 2005 and said that Michael Jackson had no one else but himself to blame for his debts. He even said that Michael deserved what he got…… In addition to it, though we’ve just read in a different source that in February 2004 Al Malnik was acting on behalf of Michael Jackson, Roger Friedman tells us in full earnest that Al Malnik fell off with Michael Jackson in 2003 and “the two have not talked since then”. Funny…
Jacko Shocked: Bank Sells Out Beatles Loan
Thursday, May 05, 2005
By Roger Friedman
Michael Jackson was reportedly shocked Wednesday when he received word that Bank of America had sold him out.
I can tell you exclusively that Bank of America has sold Jackson’s $270 million in loans to a private hedge fund. The group is called Fortress Investments, located in Manhattan.
Their principals are Peter L. Briger Jr., formerly with Goldman Sachs, plus Wesley R. Edens, Robert I. Kauffman, Randal A. Nardone and Michael E. Novogratz — all with substantial backgrounds in finance. The firm’s specialty, according to its Web site, is rescuing “undervalued, orphaned and distressed investments throughout the United States, Western Europe and Japan.”
With this sale, Fortress now stands to become a 50 percent owner in Sony/ATV Music Publishing if Jackson should default on the loan.
Technically, he is already in default. Furthermore, Jackson’s deal with Sony comes to an end this December , at which time the company can buy him out for $200 million if he can’t come up with a new buyer or enough money to pay back the loan.The Fortress deal is also rumored to include a $70 million loan Jackson has against his own publishing catalog, called MiJac.
Jackson was severely taken aback to discover yesterday morning that Bank of America had sold his $270 million debt to a group of private investors.
But why was he surprised at all? In the last few weeks, Jackson has done nothing but spit in the faces of the people who have kept him solvent for the last 20 years.
First there was his private banker at Bank of America, Jane Heller. Heller came with Jackson’s loan from NationsBank when it was merged into Bank of America. But the fact is, Heller has kept Jackson in carnival makeup and llama food for the two last decades.
Then there’s Al Malnik and Koppelman. They’re not the Red Cross; they’re savvy businessmen. But they worked hard for Jackson over the last three years to help get his house in order and off the auction block. Jackson was frequent guest at Malnik’s Miami manse, bringing with him kids, nannies, etc.
In 2003, Malnik told Jackson that he should downsize his life, take stock and stop inviting children into his bed [he never invited anyone there, Roger!], before the current scandal broke in the fall of 2003. Jackson froze him out and the two have not talked since then.
Jackson also long ago stopped speaking to Koppelman and to his longtime attorney John Branca — two more advisers who kept him afloat. Instead, Jackson turned to a succession of con artists and hustlers who promised him the moon but simply mooned him.
… One thing is for sure: The hedge fund’s major principle, Peter L. Briger, doesn’t know the former King of Pop and probably doesn’t want to.
Briger will function very well as a stranger to Jackson, dispassionate and businesslike as the clock counts down to December 20: the day when Jackson will have to either put up or shut for good.
One thing’s for sure: He will get exactly what he deserves.
Full article here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155529,00.html
He will get exactly what he deserves? Interesting idea – he laughs best who laughs last…
The next series of articles about Michael’s finances appeared immediately after Michael’s death. Some sources were reporting at the time that all MJ’s millions were gone, making emphasis on his overspending habits and never mentioning the hundreds of millions which Michael gave away to charity.
In a well-informed article from the Time magazine one would expect at least a small note about it, but alas – all they seem to be doing is lecturing us on Michael’s poor business judgement. But the words that made me really angry in their account of the events were: “as Jackson gradually retreated from work…”
Bastards! First they deprived him of every chance to record and promote his music (though he continued composing and writing songs in dozens when he more or less recovered from the trial) and now they say in a nonchalant way that “he gradually retreated from work” as if everyone forgot that making him unable to work was their own doing!
No, darlings, even if you are so forgetful of your atrocities against Jackson we will make you remember that it was actually the media who was to blame for Michael’s having to retreat from work.…
What Happened to Michael Jackson’s Millions?
By Adam Smith / London Friday, June 26, 2009
Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty
That the King of Pop earned royal sums for his music, there’s little doubt. Jackson pocketed more than $300 million from sales of his recordings since the early 1980s, according to The New York Times. Thriller, which was the top-selling album of all time until eclipsed by the Eagles’ Greatest Hits, 1971-1975, brought in a reported $125 million for the singer in the years after its release in 1982. Though there were early signs of an inclination to spend — he apparently missed out on landing the bones of John Merrick, better known as the Elephant Man, despite bidding about $1 million for them in 1987 — Jackson showed early investment savvy. Shelling out $47.5 million in 1985 for the rights to a catalog of music that included 251 Beatles songs was a profitable move. Those rights, as well as concerts, endorsements and music videos, would generate more than $400 million over the next two decades.
Little else about his finances was as clever. Blessed with the regular rewards from the Beatles’ music and his own, Jackson started to spend. He paid $17 million in 1988 for the 2,800-acre (roughly 1,000 hectares) ranch in California that would become Neverland. Maintaining the theme park — complete with zoo, movie theater and fairground — swallowed up about $5 million annually. As Jackson gradually retreated from work, the additional millions eaten up by plane charters, antiques, lavish gifts and legal disputes — a child-molestation case in the early 1990s cost Jackson around $20 million to settle [$15,3mln to be correct]— left a hole in his fortune. To help plug it, in 1995 the singer signed over to Sony a 50% stake in the rights to the Beatles’ catalog in exchange for almost $100 million.
Things would get worse. With sponsors turned off by Jackson’s private life — Pepsi and sneaker brand LA Gear, for instance, had backed him — he further lost control of his finances. Duff investments and a divorce settlement with Lisa Marie Presley helped push Jackson to increasingly use his earnings from music as collateral for loans, first from Bank of America (BoA), before Fortress Investment Group, a specialist in distressed debt, took the loans off BoA’s hands. By the mid-2000s, Jackson was believed to be $270 million in debt.
With annual income from the sale of his and his catalog’s music at around $19 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, Jackson was still stretched. When the singer defaulted on a loan in March last year, pushing Neverland into foreclosure, private-equity firm Colony Capital stepped in to bail him out. The 50 concerts planned for London later this year could have netted Jackson as much as $100 million, with a possible world tour to follow generating five times that amount. To Jackson’s debtors, if not to the singer himself, that sure would have added up.”
The New York Times (in its 2009 version), however, is more cautious in its estimation of Michael’s “downfall” and admits that there were numerous customers to buy Michael’s share from Sony/ATV Music Publishing who were nevertheless refused by John Branca of the Michael Jackson Estate.
An interesting thing we learn from their article is that customers approached the Jackson family directly and “and some members of the Jackson family have pondered the merits of selling” – which confirms my suspicions that some members of the Jackson family don’t give a damn for Michael keeping his stake in Sony/ATV partnership and are thinking of their own more immediate interests.
Another interesting thing we learn from the New York Times now is at a time when Michael Jackson could have lost his stake in the Sony/ATV partnership it was Sony who came to his help. In return, Sony took greater operational control of Sony/ATV and received an option to buy half of Mr. Jackson’s share.
An option to buy 25% of Michael’s stake leaving him with the remaining quarter of it? And I thought that those 25% had already been sold to Michael’s Sony partners!
Wikipedia confirms that it was only an option saying,
“In 2006 Sony obtained an option to buy half of Jackson’s stake in the company at any time for a fixed price of $250M. Sony has not exercised the option.”
Well, an option is not a right and they haven’t exercised this option up till now. Interesting, isn’t it?
The article below says that theoretically Sony could seek to use its option, leaving the Jackson family with a 25 percent stake in the business. But at the moment the Michael Jackson Estate still keeps Michael’s original 50% of his stake in their partnership and according to John Branca is not planning to sell it. Good news and God save John Branca again please…
Jackson Assets Draw the Gaze of Wall Street
Published: July 19, 2009
As the world sorts through the pieces of Michael Jackson’s life one month after his death, so, too, does Wall Street.
A handful of major financial firms have made inquiries into buying the Jackson estate’s 50 percent share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the company that controls most of the Beatles song catalog, according to people briefed on the matter. Among them are Colony Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Plainfield Asset Management and the media mogul Haim Saban, these people said.
Sony/ATV is by far the most valuable asset in Mr. Jackson’s estate, and his 50 percent stake could be worth as much a $500 million. Mr. Jackson bought the majority of the Beatles catalog in 1985 for $47.5 million, after an informal chat with Paul McCartney about the wisdom of buying song catalogs.
Since then, Sony/ATV — formed from a 1995 partnership with Sony — has bought up the rights to thousands of songs from artists, including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Beck and Taylor Swift. In recent years, it made a big push into TV production, helping to balance out its radio business.
“Sony/ATV’s really started to gain greater value in recent years,” said Barry Massarsky, a music industry consultant who has done work for Sony/ATV and its rivals. “I’m very bullish on its prospects.”
John G. Branca, the entertainment lawyer who structured Mr. Jackson’s initial purchase of the Beatles catalog and is now one of two executors of his estate, declined to comment by e-mail on Sunday, saying only that the Jackson stake in Sony/ATV “is not for sale.”
Mr. Branca and John McClain, a music executive, will make decisions about the estate, pending confirmation at an Aug. 3 court hearing in Los Angeles.
Still, that has not stopped financiers from approaching Jackson family members and Sony, people briefed on the discussions said. Some of these firms already have a connection to the Jackson family.
Colony, for instance, is a co-owner of the Neverland ranch, Mr. Jackson’s former home. The firm’s chairman and chief executive, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., has contacted representatives of the family, these people said. Plainfield, which lent money to Mijac, an entity that owns Mr. Jackson’s own songs as well as those from the likes of Sly and the Family Stone, has also contacted the family, these people said. (Mijac has an estimated worth of $50 million to $100 million and is likely to grow with the pickup in album sales since his death.)
Mr. Jackson nearly lost his stake in Sony/ATV — and his family’s fortune — in 2006. He was days away from filing for bankruptcy when Howard Stringer, the chief executive of Sony, dispatched his chief financial officer, Robert Wiesenthal, to Dubai to broker a last-minute lifeline for Mr. Jackson. Mr. Jackson was living in the emirate at the time and quickly spending cash.
“His finances were in complete shambles,” said Duross O’Bryan, a forensic accountant at the consulting firm AlixPartners who served as an expert witness at Mr. Jackson’s 2005 child molestation trial. “There were serious issues with regards to his ability to meet debt when it comes due.”
The deal, negotiated in Mr. Jackson’s suite at the Burj Al Arab hotel, saved the singer from bankruptcy. In return, Sony took greater operational control of Sony/ATV and received an option to buy half of Mr. Jackson’s share.
Despite earning hundreds of millions of dollars over his lifetime, Mr. Jackson was well known for having a mountain of debt, born of expensive indulgences like the sprawling Neverland estate, costly music and tour productions and art and antiques buying sprees. The estate still carries $400 million to $500 million in debt. Barclays holds about $300 million of debt against the Jackson estate’s stake in Sony/ATV.
It remains possible that Sony could seek to use its option, leaving the Jackson family with a 25 percent stake in the business. Some of the private equity firms have proposed teaming with Sony to buy the remaining stake from the family, these people said.
A spokeswoman for Sony said the company was not interested in selling its stake. Representatives for Colony, K.K.R. and Mr. Saban declined to comment. A representative for Plainfield could not be reached for comment.
Speculation about the Jackson stake in Sony/ATV swirled at the Allen & Company retreat for media moguls in Sun Valley this month. Several attendees said Mr. Stringer had fielded inquiries into the possibility over dinner. Mr. Saban made an informal inquiry then, these people said.
The stake is likely to continue to grow in value, and some members of the Jackson family have pondered the merits of selling.
Still others have proposed eventually cobbling together a consortium to buy out Sony’s share in the publisher.
Okay, so according to Wall Street experts “Sony/ATV’s really started to gain greater value in recent years.” But look here, if it is gaining in value and Michael Jackson still owns half of it, it means that Michael Jackson directly benefits from all the proceeds Sony/ATV receive from their various projects?
And if so, then all the boycotting that was arranged against Sony not long ago was spearheaded not only at Sony but was targeted directly at Michael Jackson and his interests? Because the less Sony/ATV sells the less Michael’s stake in their partnership will bring to him and his family?
Well, I don’t know, but the anti-Sony campaign recently arranged by Michael’s adversaries and recklessly supported by some fans vividly reminded me of what Tom Sneddon and the media did to Michael back in 2003-2005 – when their goal was not only to convict him of a terrible crime (on absolutely false charges) but ruin him financially as the numerous articles of that period prove it.
In this respect it is absolutely no coincidence that the 70-police officers raid was arranged exactly on the day when Michael’s Number ones album was scheduled to be released. Michael’s associates always said that similar coincidences had a tendency to happen each time Michael was releasing his new album.
And this time was no exception to the rule. Someone didn’t want the new “Michael” album to sell either…
But if Michael’s financial ruin was actually the biggest long-term goal of the many years of his ruthless harassment by the prosecution and media what could be the worst punishment for all these Michael Jackson’s haters now?