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Jackson Estate Ready to Pounce on Profiteer

6/22/2010 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Katherine Jackson 86's Probate LawyersThe lawyer for the Michael Jackson estate thinks the businessman who partnered with Katherine Jackson is hurting Michael's children -- and is threatening legal action if the dude doesn't stop.

Howard Mann -- whose business ventures include online nude gambling -- got Katherine Jackson to agree to publish the book, "Never Can Say Goodbye," scheduled for release this week.

Mann also told TMZ he and Katherine will make record deals for 273 unreleased Michael Jackson songs -- part of an MJ treasure trove he acquired in a fire sale after Joe Jackson failed to pay a storage bill.

But estate lawyer Howard Weitzman is ticked, claiming Mann "may be using his relationship with Mrs. Jackson to infringe upon Michael Jackson's copyrights ... to the detriment of, among others, Michael's 3 kids."

Weitzman says Mann has no right "to exploit any estate assets" and he will take "whatever action is necessary to prevent him from unlawfully profiting."  TMZ translation -- the estate will sue his ass if Mann goes forward.
We're told Katherine Jackson is happy with the job the executors have done -- namely filling the coffers with hundreds of millions of dollars -- but sources say family members are in her ear, getting her to sign off on ventures that end up hurting the estate, MJ's kids, and Katherine herself.


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Kathrine is going to rue the day she ever got in cahoots with that motherf*c*er mann. Poor thing, the Jackson's have NO idea what they're doing when it comes to business anymore. They MIGHT have been with it in the past,'s not 1960... anymore and things HAVE CHANGED.

1552 days ago


Can someone please tell me what happened to the Jackson brothers reality show? It's running in my country now, and the second part was obviously from after Michael's death. It was painful to watch, because the brothers are totally unorganized, they are talking about some mysterious concert and they certainly don't look like people in mourning to me.

I guess they have to be grieving, but it is not showing. Perhaps I should have watch the whole thing to get that part, but I'm unable to do that. Did they ever do that concert or album?

This episode contained Jermaine saying in an interview that he couldn't profit from Michael's death because he was part of Jackson 5, and Jackson 5 was the foundation for Michael and Janet. Hence, it was understood, if he profited from Michael's death, he merely had what was rightfully his. I never heard such nonsense.

1552 days ago


I don´t like what is happening at TMZ the last weeks.
Michael (the murder victim) without exception VILIFIED in each and every story, the Jacksons VILIFIED (with the so called fans as more than willing participants).
Dr. Murray (the KILLER) without exception GLORIFIED.

I think I am going to barf.

1552 days ago


CNN's Don Lemon speaks exclusively with friends and family members about Michael Jackson's last days in "Michael Jackson: His Final Days," 8 p.m. ET Friday on CNN.

(CNN) -- Michael Jackson blew it.
"Michael wanted his legacy to be for people to understand the plight of children, the pain of childhood neglect," says Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who was a Jackson spiritual adviser until the pop star ended their relationship in 2001. He observes that the guardians of Jackson's assets want the estate to "remain as lucrative as possible," and any devotion to Jackson's most heartfelt causes hasn't materialized. "That part of his legacy has been lost completely," he says ruefully.
Michael Jackson nailed it.
The pop star, who died a year ago Friday, was "a groundbreaking artist, a complete package in a way the Beatles and Elvis never were," says Ashley Dos Santos, a pop culture and marketing expert for the public relations firm Crosby-Volmer International. She ticks off his successes -- spectacular showman, music video pioneer -- and is confident a Jackson shrine, like Presley's Graceland, will eventually come to pass, with his legacy in the joy of his music and performances.

In life, Michael Jackson was whoever you wanted him to be: Humanitarian. Media-savvy artist. King of Pop. Or: Accused child molester. Has-been. World-class freak.

No wonder his legacy is so confusing. Is it about compassion? Talent? Money? Or the dark circus that kept intruding on it all?
"I think that when you're talking about Michael Jackson and you try to analyze him, it's like analyzing electricity, you know? It exists, but you don't have a clue as to how it works," Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborelli told CNN.

A year after his death, there is little in the way of commemoration, outside of some media specials (including a CNN do***entary, "Michael Jackson: His Final Days," that airs Friday).
Perhaps it's too soon. "I'm still mourning," brother Jermaine Jackson told CNN.

Perhaps there are still too many things to work out. Neverland is still in limbo, family relationships are still strained and the case concerning Jackson doctor Conrad Murray still in the works.
And perhaps Michael Jackson remains too complex. "Do I contradict myself? / Very well then I contradict myself / (I am large, I contain multitudes)," wrote Walt Whitman in "Song of Myself," and Jackson fulfilled that passage in spades.

Boteach, who admittedly feels disappointed by the loss of Jackson's friendship, is still upset that the pop star didn't push harder for things bigger than himself. He observes that John Lennon, despite an open-book life that included divorce, avowed cynicism and various rock-star excesses, is today remembered for his hopes for peace and memorialized in a bucolic chip of New York's Central Park called Strawberry Fields.

"That's a successful life," says Boteach. "We understood that in addition to being very fallible, he had these beautiful ideals we could all buy into and salute."

Jackson had those ideals as well, Boteach adds, but he became focused on getting back on top toward the end of his life -- focused on money, fame and material things.

"All of us make mistakes, all of us are fallible, but there's a right way to live your life -- the right way for a superstar to live his life is to be like Bono," he says. "Just do things for other people. It's that simple."

But it's obvious that Jackson, despite the messiness of his later life, touched people.

Dos Santos observes that people flew thousands of miles just to stand outside July's memorial service at Los Angeles' Staples Center. "That speaks to the level of forgiveness and willingness to forget a lot of the controversy that surrounded him," she says. "He spoke to the heart of his fans in a way that I don't think we've ever seen before or since."

One reason he reached so many, says University of Rochester music professor John Covach, was because of his ability to overcome genre boundaries. The Jackson 5 appealed to teenyboppers and Motown enthusiasts; Jackson's solo work, particularly on the albums "Off the Wall" and "Thriller," couldn't be pigeonholed as R&B.
And then there were his performances, whether on MTV, which became a force partly through Jackson's videos, or live.

"Jackson used his success to really raise the whole level, not only of music videos, but of concert productions -- almost like taking a Broadway show on the road," Covach says.

All this has had a positive effect on another kind of legacy: the bottom line.

After Jackson's death, sales of his albums went through the roof. He'll continue to be a valuable property, says Joe Maddalena, president of the collectibles firm Profiles in History, who observes the handwritten lyrics for "Beat It" recently sold for $27,500, about five times what Maddalena estimates they would have gone for before Jackson's death. He believes other Jackson paraphernalia, such as stage outfits, will also do well.

And a little notoriety won't hurt, he adds. After all, celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Jim Morrison and Elvis Presley are huge draws, despite their flaws.

In fact, Elvis might be the most apt comparison to Jackson. Toward the end of his life, Presley -- overweight, drug-addicted, a shadow of his former, groundbreaking self -- was a figure of mockery. After his death, however, the mocked Elvis receded, replaced by the vibrant, virile figure of the '50s and '60...s.

Jackson's legacy has undergone the same transformation, and that will continue, says "Inside Edition" chief correspondent and former CNN anchor Jim Moret.

"Prior to Michael Jackson's death, and for the years since the criminal case, Michael Jackson was, in many was, a broken man," Moret told CNN. "And he was the butt of jokes, he was the punch line for comedians, and he was thought of as a has-been, in some ways.
"This death has catapulted him to the status of Elvis, in that he's now a legend. And he was probably worthy of that status even in life. But all of the aspects of his life that were questionable when he was alive, have almost been dismissed in his death."
Will that be enough? Will the messy life of Michael Jackson be smoothed out to a simple story of a charismatic boy-man?
Jackson biographer Taraborelli wonders.

"It's going to take us time to put it into perspective," he says. "It's gonna take many years I think for us to really understand the impact that Michael Jackson has had on us. Because it's not a simple story, you know?"

CNN's Jessi Joseph, Don Lemon and Jeff Reid contributed to this story.

1552 days ago


ng to earn money off Michael's memory and body of work outside of the estate clearly has the sole purpose of earning money for the benefit of others (most likely Joe and other family members).

Posted at 11:25 AM on Jun 22, 2010 by Pie

I read your complete post & I totally agree with every point you made. So understanding. It just seems to me that the family, is trying, every way possible to get to MJ's $$$ at KJ's expense, i.e. reputation etc. I'm on the side of the estates as over 200 tracks are on the line. That guy should just sit home & enjoy the music, rather than profit from them commercially.

1552 days ago


CNN's Jessi Joseph, Don Lemon and Jeff Reid contributed to this story.

Posted at 12:12 PM on Jun 22, 2010 by Marty

Thanks for your post. I'll look out for this special. 8pm eastern, that means 6pm Calgary time. Thanks again. Looks like a lot of programs on MJ. Nice.

1552 days ago


This episode contained Jermaine saying in an interview that he couldn't profit from Michael's death because he was part of Jackson 5, and Jackson 5 was the foundation for Michael and Janet. Hence, it was understood, if he profited from Michael's death, he merely had what was rightfully his. I never heard such nonsense.

Posted at 11:41 AM on Jun 22, 2010 by aston

LOL, they should just give it a break.

1552 days ago


"(with the so called fans as more than willing participants)."

Sorry, I should have been more specific: SOME fans, not all.

1552 days ago


69. .

Posted at 10:13 AM on Jun 22, 2010 by Butterfly

Bonjour, comment ca va? Butterfly, "big hello" from Calgary, Canada.

1552 days ago


The same goes for the museum project going on in Gary, Indiana. While the group (aka Joe, et. al) can proceed with fundraising, etc., at some point in time, they will have to obtain permission from the estate for use of the logos and other intellectual property owned by the Michael Jackson estate.

Posted at 10:36 AM on Jun 22, 2010 by Noel

This is funny, Joe et al. LOL. I agree with your post. I'm not so sure that all the siblings are into this. I've a lot of respect for Jackie, the eldest sibling. Somehow, he comes across as someone who's quite stable. In the back of my mind, I kind of know who's involved. LOL x 2.

1552 days ago


74. .

Posted at 10:13 AM on Jun 22, 2010 by Butterfly

Hi Butterfly! Long time no see... I hope you are fine!

1552 days ago



1552 days ago


"Jackson had those ideals as well, Boteach adds, but he became focused on getting back on top toward the end of his life -- focused on money, fame and material things."

Boteach should just shut up. Even though he met Michael Jackson, he doesn't have a clue as to what the man was all about, which was music and art. In the interaction between the two, Boteach was certainly not the spiritual advisor. Stop interviewing the man.

And all this talk about how "messy" Michael's life was. It wasn't that messy. The trial was brought about on false grounds, and the messiness was confined to unethical media who, for the lack of real scandals, had to resort to talking about - his nose.

1552 days ago


40. Someone other than family (like a probate judge who is gonna bring it home to her somehow?) needs to help Ms. Katherine understand that she does not have the authority to market these things, that she does not represent the estate, and that she might end up in serious hot water regarding whatever influence she has with the estate representatives if she keeps allowing Joe and Jermaine and Randy (or whomever else wants a piece of the pie) to sway her into selling things outside and independently of the official process.

Posted at 6:56 AM on Jun 22, 2010 by Raejean

Now, if she backs out of it, could this Mann person sue her? See, this was how she got herself in trouble before. Wasn't she sued by some Korean concert promoter, & this is why, now, she has to pay $$$ to them.

1552 days ago
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