MICHAEL JACKSON, CHRISTIAN AUDIGIER, TOHME TOHME or the stories some photos can tell
It started with the pictures of Michael Jackson’s at Christian Audigier’s birthday party – Michael looked so gorgeous there and the pictures were so lucky a find that I could not resist checking up who Christian Audigier is and why Michael attended his birthday party on May 22, 2008 at all.
This led to researching some articles and looking at some more pictures of Michael in the last year of his life, and all of it brought a somewhat surprising and truly unexpected result.
CHRISTIAN AUDIGIER’S CLOTHING LINE FOR MICHAEL JACKSON
Wiki says that Christian Audigier is worth $250mln and is a French designer and entrepreneur living in the US. Though sounding nice this is not what I wanted to know about Audigier – I hoped to learn that he was a real friend to Michael Jackson but unfortunately found that he was not. Audigier is simply another of those enterprising people who wanted to use his fame for their own promotion.
At that birthday party of his on May 22, 2008 in a Las Vegas casino Audigier was most probably testing Michael’s ‘likeability’ and selling power for a new brand of clothing and accessories he was planning to start with the help of Michael and his ideas.
Michael’s likeability proved to be absolutely smashing. Audigier’s VIP guests went crazy upon Michael’s arrival and yelled like teenagers at hearing Michael’s music and seeing him in person. Even if you don’t know French you can still feel the suspense of all that waiting for his arrival and the joy and genuine feeling of happiness that swept the audience when they finally saw Michael:
In his greeting speech Michael addressed Christian Audigier with words of appreciation for Audigier as an artist and as a human being. At that moment I didn’t know much about Audigier and so high Michael’s opinion of his friend and of his human qualities produced a big impression on me. Michael said:
- “I’d like to say…I’d like to say, it’s wonderful to be here for Christian, his family and all you beautiful people. And to celebrate his 50th birthday. God bless you man. And um…in my opinion…in my opinion, not only you are a wonderful artist, you are a wonderful human being. And the King Of Fashion!”
It was also a big surprise to see that one of the guests at the party was Peter Lopez – a lawyer of exceptionally high repute and great integrity who wished Michael only good, so a mere fact that Lopez was in the company of Christian Audigier warmed me up to this man even more, especially since it looked like Lopez and Audigier were offering Michael some alternative projects different from those of Tohme, Barrack and AEG.
And indeed soon after that May 2008 party newspapers reported that Audigier and Michael Jackson were working on creating a new brand – a Michael Jackson clothing line. The news came only two weeks later, on June 12, 2008:
Michael Jackson And Christian Audigier To Collaborate
June 12, 2008 by: Bridget Daly
Michael Jackson is reportedly striking up a deal with fashion designer Christian Audigier. MJ is working with the Ed Hardy designer on the very first stages of a clothing line. The two are hoping it gets really big, and Michael is dedicating a lot of his time to the design of the clothes.
Well as long as he’s spending as much time in the studio, it’s fine with us! Could the two be designing wardrobe for Michael’s upcoming tour when the album is released? We’ll keep you updated!
Later Christian Audigier explained how his cooperation with Michael Jackson started:
Ed Hardy Designer Christian Audigier Talks Jon Gosselin, Michael Jackson
by Gina Serpe, Cristina Gibson and Claudia RosenbaumWed., Aug. 19, 2009 10:41 AM PDT
Ed Hardy designer Christian Audigier knew Michael Jackson. He partied with Michael Jackson. And Jon Gosselin is no Michael Jackson.
At least not when it comes to people he had plans to collaborate with on potential clothing lines.
Despite reports to the contrary, spurred on by an Audigier-funded trip to St.-Tropez for Gosselin and girlfriend Hailey Glassman, the T-shirt purveyor tells E! News that the only celebrity he ever discussed going into business with was the King of Pop.
“I invited him to my birthday,” Audigier says of Jackson. “And he showed up. It was his last public appearance. He was testing [the public mood about him] at my party. So we became friends. He told me one day he would like to collaborate with me on a collection.”
A binding contract if ever there was one. Too bad no such deal ever existed with The Lying Channel’s No. 1 dad.
“I never said I was going to do a line with Jon Gosselin. I don’t want to do a line with Jon Gosselin.”
Well, not this week, anyway…
The next time Audigier appeared in public together with Michael was on February 7 [27?], 2009 in California when both of them visited a Dolce & Gabbana shop. Surprisingly, Peter Lopez was accompanying them again.
Peter Lopez’s presence there meant to me that as Michael’s lawyer he was seriously looking into the business side of the future project, and that Michael’s visit there was not a mere shopping visit but was one more step in taking their project further.
For a mere shopping occasion Michael did not need a lawyer, so it had to involve some business connected with designing fashion clothes or researching the market. Peter Lopez was probably there to offer Michael his legal and other professional advice:
However the photos and videos of that period are valuable for us not only as a source of information of the business Michael was planning at the time, but also as evidence of his state of his health, mood and general demeanor and in this respect the video and photos made in February 2009 are somewhat worrisome.
The video gives the date as February 27, 2009 and the pictures from the same event date it as February 7, 2009, however the exact date is not even that important.
WHAT THE PHOTOS SAY
In contrast to his previous appearance with Audigier in May 2008 where Michael looked happy, confident and vibrant, these February 2009 pictures (whatever their exact date is) show him as frail, insecure and probably even in not too good health.
If the picture was taken on February 7, 2009 then it shows Michael only a week after signing that contract with AEG and it means that it was this frail man that AEG signed up for three and a half years to do a world tour for them involving at least 186 shows as Gongaware put it down in his projections for AEG.
And if this is February 27, 2009 then it is happening only a week before AEG took Michael to a press-conference in London where they will first announced 10 shows and eventually increased them to 50.
In both cases it makes me wonder how come that AEG did not notice Michael’s frailty and how come they could so easily announce 30, then 45 and finally 50 shows for this frail-looking man?
Didn’t they realize that they should have got Michael’s proper consent for increasing the number from to 50 shows and that setting concerts with one day of rest between the shows for him was really too much?
If Randy Phillips saw what we see now how could he dare put Michael Jackson on a plane despite his will, make him go to London and slap him forcing him to do a press-conference which wasn’t even needed as tickets were selling at a wild pace anyway?
I understand that what I am saying now about Michael’s health is going against the strategy of Katherine Jackson’s lawyers at the AEG trial, but though I fully support Katherine Jackson in her lawsuit against AEG I am simply incapable to stretch the truth that much.
Let me make myself clear.
I also think that Michael was an incredibly strong man and could have done any number of shows – however this was possible only if they he had not been in association with AEG Live.
Under AEG’s supervision Michael was doomed to die, as the only method AEG knew for treating Michael Jackson was bullying, insulting, taking advantage of him and squeezing out of him the maximum profit for their own precious selves irrespective of the interests of the artist who was to toil on their arenas.
And considering that to be able to survive any artist needs at least 7 hours of sleep, for an insomniac like Michael Jackson the AEG bully was absolutely no partner.
Now the Jacksons’ lawyers are keeping to AEG’s then official position that everything was super fine and 50 shows were a great beginning of a long world tour that could last for three and a half years.
We all know that this way they are using AEG’s own lies against the liars themselves. But my purpose here is to tell the truth and the harsh truth of the matter is that Michael would have never survived his cooperation with AEG for the simple reason that it was impossible to survive it.
How was it possible to survive it if despite seeing how frail Michael was in winter-spring 2009 they still totally ignored his state of health and set him up for an enormous number of concerts?
How was it possible to survive cooperation with these people if they never even asked for Michael’s opinion and set all dates between them and Tohme only, as they themselves say now?
How was it possible to do those shows if they spaced them so close together that Michael had to perform with only one day of rest in between?
How was it possible to survive if they planned at least 186 shows for him at the age of 50, and at a mad and inhuman schedule of three shows a week too?
Look at how terribly thin Michael was already on March 14, 2009. This was was the very midst of AEG’s happy craze over almost a million tickets sold and at the same time one of the most tragic periods of Michael Jackson’s life.
His demeanor at this moment reflects how terrible a blow those 50 shows were and how hard he took this news. He probably stopped eating altogether as over here he is a ghost of his former self.
No, the pictures of the end of February/middle of March tell us that AEG were simply obliged to have better regard for the well-being of the artist – they should have stuck to the original 10 shows only and announced them without forcing him into any press-conferences, and should have done it as all normal people do, via a notice in the press. They should have left him alone and relieved him of all the pressure, and allowed him to prepare for the show the way he saw fit – and only then things would have been perfectly okay.
The fact that he would have surely regained his strength had he been treated by his partners in a humane way is again proven by the photos – this time by those made in April 2009.
At that time Michael felt very well. The huge success of fully selling out his concerts and the enthusiastic welcome Michael received in London gave a tremendous boost to his spirits.
The boost was so big that despite all his worry and disappointment over those 50 shows he regained his energy, resumed training, and even visibly gained weight under the good care of his chef Kai Chase. Here is an excerpt from Kai Chase’s testimony at the AEG trial where she describes him the way he was in April and then in June (in May she did not see him):
Q. “The time that you left Mr. Jackson in April you described him as upbeat. How would you describe his physical condition when you last saw him?
A. In April?
A. His physical … He was strong. He was healthy he was active. He was interactive with a lot of us. And … Yeah. He looked good.
Q. And could you tell us approximately when you did return to the Carolwood house?
A. I returned June the 2nd.
Q. All right. Now, previously I had asked you what Mr. Jackson was like when you had left in April, and now I’m going to ask you did you notice any difference in Mr. Jackson in June of 2009 from the last time that you had seen him.
A. Yes. I noticed that Mr. Jackson — he looked very different.
Q. How did he appear to you?
A. He appeared very — very weak. He looked very much thinner, he looked undernourished, and he didn’t look as well as I had seen him in April.
Q. Would you say that the — this was a subtle difference or an obvious difference?
A. It was an obvious difference.
Q. Okay. Did it alarm you?
A. Yes, it did. It concerned me greatly.
A. He came to me and he asked me — actually, he told me — he said, “I need you to keep me healthy. I don’t know why you left, I don’t — I need you to keep me and my children healthy.” I looked at him with great concern, and I felt bad, but he — he was saying, basically, “I need you to take care of my health and feeding me healthy and feeding my children healthy. They’re killing me.” So when he said that to me, I thought that he was being overworked, he was over rehearsed.
….Q. Can you describe his emotional state or what you observed in him daily after that meeting? [with AEG bosses in MJ’s house seen by Kai Chase in June]
A. He was — he seemed like he was — had a lot of — just he was thinking, and the weight of the world on his shoulders, and just concerned and frightened and scared. It was a lot of — a lot of those emotions.”
But let us get back to April 2009 when Michael was still fine. Another reason why Michael looked and was so well and upbeat in April 2009 was because at that time he managed to get rid of his manager Tohme.
Some paparazzi made a rare photo of Michael having a serious talk with Tohme on April 1, 2009.
By then Michael had already fired Tohme and judging by the uncharacteristic askance look on Tohme’s face he was making some requests of Michael but Michael was not even looking at him and this shows how determined he was not to have anything to do with this person any longer.
By providing all these pictures here I mean to say that Michael’s deterioration of health was not just a steady process which started at one point and ended at another.
No, the period of January–June 2009 was a period of ups and downs in Michael’s life and his health was deteriorating and recovering again depending on the number of blows, insults and humiliation he received from AEG and the amount of love, hope and encouragement he got from his fans and other people supporting him in his endeavor.
By these pictures alone you can almost certainly say when Michael was desperately fighting for his dignity in a struggle against his bullies, and when they more or less left him alone and he was able to live a relatively comfortable life raising his children, working on his music, training for the show and still being hopeful of the future ahead of him.
The photos for that period enable us to decipher the events taking place in Michael’s life, allow us to make a travel back in time and see what factors were dominant for Michael at its different points.
Our next stop in this time travel is April 27, 2009 and it will again be connected with Christian Audigier as on that day Michael Jackson and his children visited an Ed Hardy shop.
ED HARDY SHOP AND AUDIGIER AGAIN
What does Michael’s visit to Ed Hardy have to do with Audigier?
It has to do a lot, because Ed Hardy is Christian Audigier’s label.
Audigier does not impress me as an exceptional designer, but he definitely has a knack for using other people’s talents for creating new brands for himself and his partners.
Thus he used the tattoos of artist Ed Hardy for making some new designs and this is how he created his new Ed Hardy label. The same was probably meant to be done for Michael Jackson and his glamorous style.
So I see it as absolutely no coincidence that in April 2009 Michael visited an Ed Hardy shop – this visit was most probably connected with his then project with Christian Audigier.
When seeing those pictures for the first time I thought that Michael arrived there to do some shopping, but after learning of Michael’s plans with Christian Audigier I now realize that he was simply doing marketing research for his own brand of clothing and accessories.
He inspected every single piece on sale at Ed Hardy and was surely doing it to acquire some ideas for himself and better familiarize himself with Audigier’s designs.
To be able to spend some time at his pleasure there Michael tried to look as inconspicuous as he only could and therefore used his usual means – a mask, an oversized jacket and other ridiculous clothes, this way only attracting maximum attention to himself.
By the way the media approach to Michael Jackson will never cease to surprise me.
When Michael’s looks were at their best no one was really paying attention and this is the reason why we never saw his pictures from that Audigier’s party.
But when he was at his ridiculous worst all the media was immediately there, and his visit to Ed Hardy’s shop was no exception.
I’ve also looked up Audigier’s designs and can tell you frankly that I am unimpressed, but a couple of things he did for Michael got MJ’s approval and are not that bad.
This collection was shown to the Estate in the hope for selling them at triple the prices after Michael’s death but the Estate was evidently not interested. And this is when Audigier showed himself at his absolute worst.
Even before Michael’s death MJ’s name was used by the designer for extensive promotion of himself, but now the process went beyond any control.
First he called himself Michael Jackson’s favorite designer and said that Michael admired him. Well, this is quite possible, so let me not argue the point:
MICHAEL JACKSON’S FAVORITE DESIGNER, Christian Audigier has just released his newest collections this October. And I believe, me and Michael have something in common. I also love the eccentric French man who is widely considered one of the most rising designer in fashion industry. In fact, American Super Star Magazine called him ‘perhaps the greatest marketing genius in the world today’. Wow!
The native of Avignon, France –CHRISTIAN AUDIGIER is no stranger to fashion world. He was the primary force behind the rise of Von Dutch and making the Von Dutch hat a style trend. Later he found his own line ED HARDY – based on the work of an American tattoo artist, Don Ed Hardy and his own namesake ‘Christian Audigier’. He has a daughter named Crystal, and has made a brand with her called ‘Crystal Rock’. Christian Audigier is also behind the SMET – Born on the Street, in collaboration with his long-time friend, Johnny Halliday who is widely considered a French version of Elvis Presley.
King of Pop Michael Jackson is one of Audigier’s admirers. In fact, they’re both a close friend. Since 2007 the self-made French fashion mogul had been developing a clothing line with Michael Jackson prior to his sudden death last June. Unveiled on August 2009, the range includes a pair of rhinestone socks and sequined gloves.
Christian Audigier is the new owner of Michael Jackson Neverland Ranch as he bought it on September 2009. He plans to obtain authorization to turn the house into a museum, and later would open it every June on the anniversary of Jackson’s death and organize exhibitions and shows.
As you have seen from the above Audigier said he was buying Neverland and even assured everyone that he was getting the keys to it in two weeks. He wanted to turn Neverland into a museum and a place for Michael’s fans to flock to where Michael’s memorabilia would be sold accompanied by Audigier’s brands.
The news was announced together with the photos of Michael Jackson and Audigier placed on the walls inside and on the roof of his shops:
Christian Audigier Buys Neverland Ranch
The Neverland Ranch has just gotten a new owner! According to reports, Christian Audigier has just purchased the estate.
According to AFP, Audigier bought the $90 million ranch to serve as his company’s headquarters for Ed Hardy.
Audigier said in an interview, “I can have the house in one month now. I get the keys two weeks from today.”
He’d planned on turning the house into a museum to honor Michael, but hasn’t been able to obtain authorization to do so. So now instead, Christian will open the doors of the estate on each anniversary of Michael’s death in June, and organize exhibits and shows.
Great! So instead of circus animals roaming the property filled with carnival rides, Neverland will be dripping from ceiling to floor with Ed Hardy crap.
The negotiations with the Estate over authorization to organize shows at Neverland evidently went nowhere, however some details of the deal with Tom Barrack disclosed on the way turned out to be interesting.
Tom Barrack was universally called by all those newspapers the new owner of Neverland (which he really was as all that talk about a joint venture was simply dust thrown into people’s eyes), and the sum of $22 mln he paid to Fortress for buying the foreclosure note on Neverland in 2008 only a year later quickly turned into $97 mln which was the real price Tom Barrack assessed Neverland for.
So our conclusion that Tom Barrack regarded buying that foreclosure note for Neverland as a lucky acquisition of great property almost for peanuts was correct – the price he really estimated the property for was at least four and a half times higher.
I know that for some it is legitimate business but let us not call such deals “saving” Neverland or “helping” Michael Jackson, okay?
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY JD ON JULY 13, 2009
POSTED UNDER: REAL ESTATE
LONDON – French fashion tycoon Christian Audigier is set to buy Michael Jackson’s Neverland home.
“I have decided to buy that house,” the Mirror quoted him as telling French TV.
The designer is also planning to build a theme complex dedicated to the icon similar to Elvis Presley’s Graceland.
He may also offer online tours for fans to the ranch that Jackson turned into a personal theme park.
Colony Capital who had purchased the California ranch in 2008 for 20 million-pound is keen to sell it after the legend’s demise.
Neverland is now worth an estimated $97,150,000.
However for some reason the Neverland deal was never realized and then Audigier announced that he was buying the house in Carolwood drive where Michael died – in order to use it as his office and a Michael Jackson museum.
He said that he already started to buy for it some of Michael’s memorabilia.
The deal was to be finalized when Michael’s lease on the house expired in December 2009 – so the lease was paid for the full year beginning with December 2008 when Michael moved in there and therefore should have amounted to $1,2 mln:
Christian Audigier hasn’t bought MJ’s Neverland
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2009
LONDON – French fashion designer Christian Audigier has refuted claims that he has purchased Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch home in Santa Barbara County, California.
However, the creator of fashion line Ed Hardy has bought the LA home the King of Pop passed away in.
“I have purchased the home Michael passed away in… I want to create a memorabilia and museum,” the Daily Express quoted him as telling HollyScoop.com.
“So far, I’m buying a big collection of memorabilia and personal objects that he has,” he added.
The designer added that he would not buy Neverland as it only held bad memories for the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker.
He said: “He didn’t like Neverland. He didn’t want to go back there… so it’s not Neverland at all.”
Jackson had quit Neverland in 2005 after he was hit with child molestation case and investigators raided the estate.
Audigier has reportedly paid 90 million dollars for his friend’s former home. (ANI)
Then we learn from some gossipy real estate site that Audigier did not buy the house in Carolwood Drive either and bought the house belonging to Nicolas Cage instead. As to the house where Michael Jackson died it turns out that he was simply planning to lease it.
Somewhere in between this news we learn that the house when Michael died actually belongs to Audigier’s partner Hubert Guez, who is the CEO of his Ed Hardy label. World is a small place indeed!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2009
UPDATE: Nic Cage and Michael Jackson
…Reports are starting to trickle out that prolific property collector Nic Cage has sold his legendary Bel Air, CA mansion for $14,500,000 in a private deal to the perma-tanned and publicity hungry French fashion designer Christian Audigier. Your Mama smells a rat.
Although the Cage estate on Copa de Oro Road was removed from the open market in late May of 2009, property records we accessed do not yet reflect a transfer of ownership. In an effort to sort out the truth of the matter, we put out some feelers for confirmation and even though it’s practically the crack of the damn dawn we heard back instantly from Gary Gabsallthetime who said, “Don’t believe it.” We don’t, and neither should you until some real evidence presents itself.
The children may recall that Mister Audigier, a man who manages to get hundreds of dollars for t-shirts and jeans emblazoned with sparkly things, has cut quite a swath through the gossip glossies lately. Over the summer Mister Audigier was seen humping around the South of France with octodad John Gosselin whose Warholian 15 minutes should have been up a very long time ago.
But it’s Mister Audigier’s connections to Michael Jackson that is really launching Mister Audigier into the gossip stratosphere. First it was reported that Mister Audigier planned on leasing the Holmby Hills mansion where Michael Jackson was given a lethal dose of Propofol by his personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray. His plan, it was reported, was to use the N. Carolwood Drive mansion as his company headquarters. Some reports have said Mister Audigier is actually a co-owner of the Carolwood Drive estate making him Mister Jackson’s landlord.
We don’t find any documents that link Mister Audigier to the property, but that does not mean he does not have a financial stake in the property that official records show is owned by Roxanne and Hubert Guez who also happens to be the CEO of Ed Hardy, one of many labels “designed” by Monsieur Audigier. Coinkydink? You decide.
Ever the publicity opportunist, on the heels of Mister Jackson’s death Mister Audigier has launched a line of clothing he claims he worked on with and was approved by Michael Jackson, because every damn fool needs a pair of rhinestone socks.
The newest rumors (and reports) say that Mister Audigier has finalized the purchase of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, CA. We don’t know if that’s true, and we’re skeptical, but in an interview with the Agence France-Presse, Mister Audigier is quoted, “I bought the Michael Jackson house. It’s something I’m gonna open just for the birthday (sic) of his death every June, where the media is gonna be able to come in and we’ll do exposes, etc.”
As far as we know, Mister Audigier, who in a stunning display of narcissism has his every move recorded by a private videographer, still lives in a mansion on S. Muirfield Road in Hancock Park that records reveal he bought in January of 2007 for $4,780,000. Mister Cage’s Bel Air behemoth was first listed about 1,000 years ago at a ridiculous $35,000,000 and was last on the open market with a much less insane asking price of $17,500,000. Neverland Ranch is owned by Colony Capital who took possession and control of the massive ranch in 2008 as part of a complicated financial arrangement with Mister Jackson and it’s widely believed Colony Capital would like to sell the property to re-coup their investment.
POSTED BY YOUR MAMA AT 7:38 AM
Home Where Michael Jackson Suffered Cardiac Arrest Belongs To Ed Hardy CEO
First Published: June 29, 2009 3:02 PM EDTCredit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — The Holmby Hills estate that Jackson rented for $100,000 a month was owned by Ed Hardy’s CEO Hubert Guez.
The sprawling French chateau-style estate was built in 2002 and has seven bedrooms and 13 bathrooms.
Following the singer’s tragic death, fans gathered in front of the West LA home holding signs that featured Jackson with label founder Christian Audigier.
Jackson was seen shopping at a LA-area Ed Hardy store in April with his children.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the future of the pop star’s most famous residence, Neverland Ranch, remains in limbo. Colony Capital, who purchased the massive Santa Barbara County ranch last year for $22.5 million after Jackson defaulted on it, will not say what it plans to do with the property.
After the rather confusing news that the house Michael was renting for $100,000 a month belonged to Audigier’s partner Hubert Guez, we also learn that Hubert’s wife bought the house in 2004 for $18,5 mln and before Michael’s arrival in Los Angeles in 2008 the Guez couple was unsuccessfully trying to sell it for $38mln.
A year after Michael’s death the price dropped to $28mln and in 2012 it was eventually sold at less than the original price – for $18mln (not to Audigier).
By now we have already formed some impression of Christian Audigier’s ways and all I can say about them is that to a certain extent I am grateful that Michael did not finalize his deal with Audigier because with a partner like him it could have resulted for Michael in a big embarrassment.
MICHAEL’S “LAVISH STYLE”
But the story of renting out the Carolwood drive house to Michael cannot be finished if we don’t look further into who actually rented it for Michael.
From Sullivan’s book we learn that the house was found for Michael by Tohme Tohme who said he knew the real estate developer Mohammed Hadid, who built the house in 2002 and whose other house, in Las Vegas Tohme also tried to sell to Michael when he was living there in 2008:
QUOTE from Sullivan’s book:
By the middle of November, Jackson was telling his manager that he wanted to start looking at houses in Bel Air. Tohme was delighted, until he discovered that the first home to capture his client’s imagination was the most expensive on the entire LA market, a lavish estate that had just been built at the top of Bel Air’s most exclusive street, Nimes Road, by the former owner of the Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Mohamed Hadid.
…Hadid refused when Tohme asked if his client could rent Le Belvedere, but said he would allow Jackson to spend the night in the house with his children “ in order to feel the place.” It was agreed that Hadid and his son would vacate the property on Thanksgiving morning to spend that day and night in Santa Barbara. Tohme and his wife prepared a feast, then transported it, along with their own children, Michael, and Michael’s children to Le Belvedere, where they all dined together. “We stayed late, then left Michael and his children and returned home,” Tohme recalled.
“The next morning I went and picked up Michael and his children and took them back to the Hotel Bel-Air. On the way Michael said he didn’t want Hadid’s house. He said he heard some bad voice there.
Michael was a very spiritual guy, and he was guided by that in his decisions.” Over the next few days, Tohme convinced Michael that renting a home was the right move, at least until they returned from London after the O2 shows.
With the help of a real estate broker friend named Joyce Essex, Tohme located an estate on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills, a neighborhood that—with Beverly Hills on one side and Bel Air on the other—formed the fabled “ Platinum Triangle.” The property’s 17,171-square-foot, three-story, French chateau–style mansion belonged to Christian Audigier’s senior partner in his Ed Hardy stores: Hubert Guez.
It is interesting that Tohme mentions Christian Audiger’s connection to that house but does not say a word of his own connection to it through Mohammer Hadid, its previous owner whom he knew perfectly well. Instead he said that he “located” the house with the help of a real estate broker.
Well, learning that both houses Tohme recommended to Michael in Las Vegas and Los Angeles involve one person – Mohammed Hadid – somehow did not surprise me:
Michael Jackson was renting this California mansion for $100,000 a month. The home was built by real estate developer Mohammed Hadid and his wife Yolanda. Mohamed owns Hadid Development. The 20,000 square foot mansion is located on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills, CA. The home was built with the finest imported materials such as Jerusalem marble and Russian wood floors. The home has a gorgeous 2-story entry complete with iron front door, crystal chandelier, and hand carved wooden staircase. The home also has an ornate living room, custom kitchen with walk-in freezer, cozy family room, Russian themed movie theater, wine cellar, exercise room, playroom, and master suite with his and her baths. The home also has a 7 car garage and a swimming pool with pool house.
Being Michael’s manager Tohme was supposed to find for Michael the best offers, the best prices and provide him with at least some choices, however despite that Tohme’s offers to Michael were usually limited solely to his friends as the example of bringing in Colony Capital for “saving” Neverland proves it, so over hereTohme’s ways absolutely did not surprise me.
What really surprised me was the fact that the house belonged to Christian Audigier’s partner Howard Guez. After learning this news it didn’t require too big stretch of imagination to suppose that the house on Carolwood Drive was imposed on Michael by two people simultaneously – by Tohme who ‘located’ it through an agent of his and Christian Audigier who out of all the houses available in Los Angeles evidently also recommend this property only and at a mere $100,000 a month.
Those who work on the real estate market say that the rent for the house was heavily inflated and that a more realistic figure would be $25,000-30,000 a month. We won’t be able to find this information in official sources but in the comments on that gossipy real estate site the insiders exchange their opinions quite openly. Over there they say that the price for renting out this property was not worth the $100,000 Michael Jackson paid for it, and for half a year after his death too (?):
- MJ was paying $100K a month for a house that should’ve rented for $25-30. This partly explains where his money went. The vultures killed their golden goose. They pushed him into 50 concert dates that he had no hope of completing (let alone starting) so that he would make even more money for them to spend. Vultures, every one.
- Hey Mama, I just thought you should know that this property is back up for lease for…. $300,000 fucking dollars a month!!! It is a fully furnished lease that includes a maid and security guard (for those crazy fans).
I can’t believe how the owner of this house is trying to capitalize on Michael’s death. It wasn’t even worth the $100,000/month Michael was paying for it, this is outrageous.
- That house is not worth $100,000 monthly rent. The prices of real estate are dropping continuously.
One of the insiders’ comment was especially enlightening. The commentator called the people involved in the deal a ‘mafia’ which had the most part of the sum paid for the rent as a kick back for themselves.
This kick back probably means that a certain person(s) arranged a lucrative deal for the owner of the house (Hubert Guez) and this owner paid to the person(s) who brought the client (Michael Jackson) a certain share of that money in “gratitude” for the favor done.
This scheme does not surprise me in the least as this was what Tohme did when he brought the Colony Capital to Michael (now we know that he was working there as a consultant and received for his services a fee though he was also Michael’s manager with a salary for his job), so assuming that with a house in Carolwood drive a similar scheme was employed would again be not too much stretch of imagination. And I cannot completely rule it out that Audigers did not take part in the deal too.
Here is the insider’s comment mentioning the “mafia” and “kick back” points:
Mama, it is well known by this time that MJ was being blindsided, bamboozled and bilked by the latest ‘mafia’ ring to leave their boots outside the front door. No way the house is worth that much in rent but MJ had no idea about those things. The inside gossip was that most of that $100k monthly rent check was finding its kick-back way back home if you know what I mean but not into MJ’s coffers of course.
The above is a very clear explanation where Michael’s money was going and why he had to have so lavish a style. This style actually gave an opportunity for those who were supposedly Michael’s admirers, friends, employees and trusted managers to have a lavish style of their own and all this totally free of charge and fully at Michael Jackson’s expense.
In comparison with these creatures densely populating our planet Michael Jackson was the most honest, regular, modest and down-to-earth guy. I agree with the man who said at Michael Jackson’s funeral that it is the world around him that was completely abnormal while Michael Jackson was the most normal person of us all. A normal man who was forced to live in totally abnormal circumstances.
And a mere look at it from aside makes his life story completely heart-breaking.