Website TMZ got punk’d today by a concert promoter who wants a chunk of Michael Jackson’s money.
The site has published a letter purportedly from Frank DiLeo, Michael’s manager, instructing anyone who wants to produce a Jackson tribute concert to come through him. The letter bears a scrawled, indeciperable signature and the very funny sentence “Frank Dileo is the’manager of Michael Jackson (deceased)’in life and in death.”
The problem is, DiLeo tells me it’s not his letter, nor is it his signature. He didn’t write it, and has no idea who some of the people are who are named in the letter including a Fadi Rashed. “I’ve never heard of Fadi Rashed,” says DiLeo, and a Google search doesn’t help either.
DiLeo immediately called TMZ’s Harvey Levin, but Levin has yet to remove the fake correspondence.
Who wrote this piece of fiction? Well, yours truly received an email post-haste from publicist Ren Gravatt, who represents Patrick Alloco, of AllGood Entertainment in New Jersey. Alloco, in business officially and unofficially with a group that wants a piece of Jackson’s estate, claims to be suing DiLeo over Jackson family concerts that were supposedly to take place in Texas.
Gravatt was all too quick to send me the TMZ posting with this added information: “This latest expose piece on Frank DiLeo and his partner, Mark Lamicka, spells out the same sort of dubious behavior that has landed Mr. DiLeo and his company in Federal Court with AllGood Entertainment.”
The only problem with that last assertion, of course, is that DiLeo has never been served, and is not in federal court with AllGood Entertainment.
Strangely enough, Alloco is still trying to sue everyone connected with Michael Jackson over his alleged concert scheme, even through the singer is dead. The theory behind this latest move ‘especially after Gravatt’s email’is that Alloco and his group’including Joseph Jackson, Leonard Rowe, and Tohme Tohme‘may have fabricated the letter to make DiLeo look bad.
TMZ, like a lot of blogs, would do well to check each piece of paper that comes in rather than wind up in situation like Dan Rather’and have to deal with fiction.