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Michael Jackson was harangued and harassed for the last few weeks of his life by his father, Joseph. The point of it: to install Leonard Rowe as Michael’s financial adviser and to let Rowe promote Michael’s lucrative London shows.

Michael, afraid of his father, may have finally caved in just to shoo the pair away.

But what Michael didn’t know is that Rowe, not related to Debbie Rowe, has quite a colorful history when it comes to the law–and to the Jacksons. The only time the Jacksons used him as a concert promoter was in 1979. But that ended badly when Rowe stopped payment to them on a $150,000 check. Joe Jackson may have forgotten this. Consequently, Rowe was not asked to help on either the 1981 or 1984 tours.

According to records, Rowe has served time in prison at least twice for fraud and writing bad checks. He’s well known to the U.S. government and law enforcement officials for writing checks on non-existent banks, being arrested, and then failing to make restitution. He’s also been convicted for wire fraud. He wasn’t at Michael’s last live concert in 2001, because he was serving a two-year sentence.

Rowe also has in legal history several federal and local tax liens in Georgia, and an arrest for possession of marijuana.

In 1998, Rowe started what would turn out to be a seven-year nuisance campaign against a number of talent agencies. He brought a massive lawsuit against them that was ultimately thrown out of court on appeal in 2005.

Last year he was ordered to pay R. Kelly $3.4 million after losing a lawsuit filed by the singer, again for fraud. Rowe was found guilty of booking fake concerts. He also had to pay Ne-Yo $700,000. A Lexis Nexis search of Rowe’s resume also turned up a 1984 bankruptcy.

The fear now by Jackson insiders is that if Katherine Jackson were to be added as an executor to Michael’s will, husband Joseph would exert his influence over her to bring Rowe into the picture. For Jackson’s kids, the result could be devastating.

Even though the Jacksons live separate lives, Mrs.Jackson has conceded that she has “no stomach” for fighting or “ugliness” and usually gives in to her husband’s wishes.

More to come on that subject…

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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