Sunday, July 21, 2024

Michael Jackson’s Mother Unlikely Legal Opponent for Estate: Sources Say She’s Being “Encouraged” by Kids Who Need Money


Katherine Jackson, Michael’s 93 year old mother, has been in the news lately. She’s been trying to stop Michael’s estate from selling a half ownership in his MJJ Music for $600 million d to Sony.

Having lost the case, she wants to fund an appeal and have the estate pay her lgal bills, according to reports. The Estate refuses. Meantime, the sale is going through.

This weekend it was announced that her only ally in the case, grandson Prince Michael II aka Blanket or Biji, was no longer on her side. Michael’s two other kids are out of it, as well.

So what’s going on? Katherine Jackson’s name may be on the papers, but she’s not actually trying to stop the sale of her own volition. Sources tell me she’s being “encouraged” by her eldest daughter, Rebbie, and son, Randy. Since none of Michael’s siblings are heirs to the estate, when their mother dies the siblings are out of luck for money.

“Katherine wants to leave her kids money,” says a source. “But she doesn’t have any.” Indeed, the estate pays all her other expenses, including use of a grand estate in Calabasas, California. Rebbie — whose husband died several years ago — lives with her full time and enjoys those benefits. Randy is said to be working for sister, Janet, but has always lurked in the background.

Not all the Jackson siblings are involved in this mess. Jermaine, for example, is remaining silent. His son, Jafaar, is starring as Michael in the new biopic, so he’s not going to rock the boat. Jermaine also remains out of the country, I’m told. Jackie Jackson joined the estate some time ago. Janet has her own money, obviously. Tito Jackson is said to be spending his time in Oklahoma pursuing business interests.

Michael — who died in 2009 –cdid not want his brothers and sisters to get any part of his estate, which is now worth hundreds of millions. The Estate — lawyer John Branca and record executive John McClain — have turned what was a bankrupt business at Michael’s death into a huge money making venture, with the film, a hit Broadway show, a Las Vegas show, and increased sales of records.

The Sony deal — which means MJJ Publishing is valued at $1.2 billion — is not the Beatles catalog. It consists of songs Michael wrote, and others that he bought over the years by artists like Sly & the Family Stone as well as hits written or performed by Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, Dion and others.

What will happen? The deal is going through, Michael’s heirs — his children — will benefit. His siblings will not. Are there more lawsuits in the future? Without a doubt.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

Read more

In Other News