That Thomas Barrack has been arrested and is actually in jail today should come as no surprise to Michael Jackson fans.
Barrack’s arrest now has to do with Donald Trump’s 2016 Inauguration and possible influence peddling with the United Arab Emirates. Barrack is accused by the US of acting as that country’s foreign agent.
But we know Thomas Barrack from before his dealings with Trump and the Arabs. He owns Colony Capital, the company that swooped in back in 2008 and bought Neverland out of the brink of foreclosure from Michael Jackson.
Tohme Tohme, who called himself a doctor, and became Michael’s final manager, worked for Barrack. As Tohme ate his way through what was left of Jackson’s life and career circa 2007-2008 and into the final year of his life, he acted as Barrack’s agent. When I interviewed Barrack about Tohme in 2008, he sang Tohme’s praises.
In the end, Barrack and Tohme caused the final upheavals in Jackson’s life financially and otherwise. Tohme introduced Michael to Dr. Conrad Murray, who hastened the end of his and went to jail for it. Tohme also introduced Jackson to Barrack, who bought the note on Neverland and took control of it. The irony was that for a decade Barrack was stuck with Neverland, which he renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch. No one would buy it. In the end, Michael’s friend, Ron Burkle, took it off his hands.
Tohme sued the Jackson Estate in 2012, claiming he was owed a 15 percent commission on compensation Jackson received during his last year of his life. He also wanted a cut of the concert film “This Is It,” which was released a few months after the singer’s death, and a finder’s fee for securing a loan that prevented foreclosure on Neverland Ranch.
And, of course, it was Barrack who provided that loan.
Tohme finally settled for $3 million in 2019, and was paid last year. He and Barrack had done their damage.
So it was no surprise when Barrack turned up in 2015 as a Trump associate, now wheedling his way into what became presidential affairs. How ironic that first Murray was behind bars, and now Barrack. Michael Jackson is having his revenge after all.