A legal war erupted Friday over earnings from Michael Jackson’s estate with a former manager claiming a 15 percent stake and the singer’s executors seeking to block any payments to the former adviser.
Attorneys for Jackson’s estate and Tohme R. Tohme filed dueling cases over the adviser’s claims that along with Jackson’s mother and three children, he is entitled to a sizable share of the singer’s post-death earnings. The estate has earned more than $300 million since Jackson’s June 2009 death.
Jackson’s estate claims Tohme used undue influence to get Jackson to sign several deals that lined his pockets and that he improperly gave away some of the singer’s property. The contracts involved a refinancing of Jackson’s debt related to Neverland Ranch and a producer’s fee that Tohme negotiated for himself for Jackson’s series of planned comeback concerts in London.
Tohme’s lawsuit, filed in Santa Monica, California, claims he was influential in reviving Jackson’s career after he was acquitted of child molestation charges. His lawsuit states he worked diligently to create “a financial and career strategy that would provide stability for Jackson and his children.”
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Jackson Estate, Ex-manager Sue Over Earnings Share