Home Celebrity Michael Jackson’s Mother, the Estate, and Money–the Real Story

After a weekend of wrong headed reporting and terrible TV specials that didn’t get much right–like ABC’s ridiculous “20/20” extravaganza and Ian Halperin‘s hideous “documentary”–here’s the real story of Katherine Jackson, Michael’s estate, and money.

Mrs. Jackson went behind her own lawyer’s back–that’s Adam Streisand–and signed a contract with Howard Mann, the Toronto entrepreneur. Mann has said on TV that his deal with Mrs. Jackson makes her a wealthy woman. But that’s not exactly true.

According to the contract between Mann and Mrs. Jackson, which I’ve seen, Katherine Jackson is getting $10,000 in advance and 10,000 a month for promoting audio and video recordings that could be turned into a book or biography called “The Katherine Jackson Story.” The contract was signed on February 3, 2010 and witnessed only by Sonia Lowe, Mann’s collaborator. Streisand has never seen the contract. “The Katherine Jackson Story” became her book, “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

“My expectation is Katherine nets $10 million,” says Mann of Mrs. Jackson’s participation in the project. He thinks “Never Can Say Goodbye” will sell a million copies. So far it’s sold between 25,000 and 50,000.

The contract for these “performances” states that Mrs. Jackson will receive $5000 for promotional appearances. In other words, she was paid for showing up at the Jackson family event on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton. That may be why she agreed to return from Indiana on Saturday morning to promote “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Those audio recordings, transcribed and written by Sonia Lowe, became the copy for the book. The video interview was used in part for the NBC “Dateline” show on Friday night.

Insiders are scratching their heads wondering Mrs. Jackson entered into such an agreement, especially without legal representation. Going along proper channels, Mrs. Jackson could have picked up a seven figure advance from any New York publishing house.

“we did the deal between us,” Mann says. “Who was she going to call? Adam Streisand? He’s paid by the estate.”

Indeed, until the estate is settled–there are still outstanding claims–Michael’s estate is paying his mother’s lawyer’s fees. But that is not unusual.

And it’s not like Mrs. Jackson needs the money. According to those familiar with the as yet unsettled estate, Mrs. Jackson’s financial life since Michael died has been an easy one. Before he died, she was constantly in debt with the threat of foreclosure.

But since then, the Jackson executors have paid off the $5 million mortgage on the Encino estate known as Hayvenhurst (and always owned by Michael, not his parents); given Mrs. Jackson a new $90,000 Cadillac Escalade; paid salaries for everyone at the house including private chefs and Mrs. Jackson’s secretary, Janice; and all of her needs separate from funds which the children receive.

“She’s never been denied one thing she’s asked for,” says an estate source.

But Howard Mann insists that Mrs. Jackson is receiving “only” nine thousand dollars a month. It’s not enough, he says, to cover her expenses in Encino and at homes she maintains in Las Vegas and Gary, Indiana.

As for the children attending private school this fall, my sources say Mrs. Jackson has never even asked the estate for help or guidance.

Altogether, I am told, approximately $8 million has been spent on Mrs. Jackson this year including the buying out of the mortgage. So where has it all gone? And why would she make a deal for $10,000 a month to be in business with a total stranger?

The overriding theory: that Joe Jackson–who has no income and has tried to get an allowance of his own from the estate without success–is prevailing upon his much beleaguered wife for funds. He lives in Las Vegas, for example; Mrs. Jackson does  not.

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16 replies to this post
  1. I agree with everything Cassie has said. I have felt this way all along. Poor Michael, even now that he is gone, they are still concerned about the money he can make for them. Most of his family members (not all) should all be ashamed of themselves. Sometimes, I feel that he fans care more about him than some members of his family. I just hope and pray that his children will be protected and continue to love and respect theire father no matter what.

  2. how old are these people really and how long are they expected to be around? Michael’s children have a trust fund, so who is the money being saved up for?


  4. ” Everyone is being placated to keep custody and paternity suits from being filed.”

    The only person who could, and may, file a paternity suit is Prince Michael Malachi Jet Jackson, a twenty-five year old who has been trying to establish that Michael Jackson is his father. He’s been ignored by the media, just as they ignore Prince Jackson’s vitiligo.

  5. It all comes back to the kids. The pittance she gets is for show! Schaffel and Mann coming around to do their thing at the same time is no coinkidink! Rowe (not Leonard) is getting her cut too. Everyone is being placated to keep custody and paternity suits from being filed. We know she does not want the kids but they make great leverage in the interim.

  6. Alan Streisand should quit. She will keep doing this to him, and the estate, until he does quit. And the Estate should go after her NOW, to show her who is boss, ie., NOT HER.

  7. Just for accuracy I think you should check on
    Joe Jackson’s retirement fund situation.
    I think he gets two pensions: one from the union
    for professional managers, and of course his
    Social Security from the government.
    Of course, he has already expressed that he
    wants more money.

  8. This is the story of a stupid old woman, with a greedy old husband, whom she should have divorced years ago.

    Katherine Jackson is being used by pretty much everyone in her family nowadays, with the exception of a couple of her children.

    Jermaine is a deadbeat dad who can’t pay child support for his two youngest children, so he sticks them in the Encino home with his mother. Joe Jackson, who she has stupidly and inexplicably remained married to for all these years fathered a child out of wedlock behind her back. And still she stays.

    Mrs. Jackson is a prime example of what any woman DOESN’T want to be at her age. Stupid, easily manipulated, ignorant and greedy.

  9. be honestly, Roger you should get a life. he was not here, i don’t understand why people like foucs on a dead person and his family, it is wasten of time. give a break to his family and kids. i am enought of watching anything about mj.

  10. Well, I believe you have written the truth.
    My prayer always is that God will allow
    Michael Jackson to continue to watch over
    his children: Prince, Paris, and Blanket
    from Heaven.

  11. Katherine Jackson is shooting herself in the proverbial foot. The terms of Mr. Jackson’s Trust are inordinately specific. Katherine Jackson is clearly under the undue influence of her husband and others. Adam Streisand is a fine attorney. She would be wise to avail herself of his counsel.

    The Estate will challenge Howard Mann, the book, and his claim to rights over the memorabilia in question – and they will win. The law does not support Mr. Mann’s assertions.

  12. Howard Weitzman said in an interview that Katherine’s allowance goes straight to the Japanese creditor. Has that changed recently?

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