Michael Jackson's mom SAYS she's doing a heartfelt documentary about her son's life ... but the reality is ... it seems to be a shameful money grab.
Katherine Jackson has announced she wants to do the documentary, but needs the fans to send her money to pay for the licensing of Michael's image and music. Translation -- she's insinuating the big bad Michael Jackson Estate is being coldhearted and greedy by charging Michael's family.
Here's the reality ... Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for the Estate, tells TMZ NO ONE from the Jackson family has contacted him or anyone else from the Estate asking for permission to use MJ's image and music. Weitzman wants to make it clear ... "The Estate would never ask Michael's fans to contribute their money to finance any speculative project."
Katherine is using a website to solicit donations and is offering MJ merchandise as bait. FYI, the license for merchandising is held by Bravado, so Katherine can't do that without permission.
If Katherine makes the documentary, the people it will likely hurt are Michael's kids. That's because THEY are the ultimate beneficiaries of the Estate, and if the Estate does an MJ documentary in the future (which is almost certain), it will probably be devalued by anything Katherine does.
And it still gets worse ... Katherine and company have enlisted the help of Blanket, Paris and Prince to solicit funds from fans. It's pretty clear -- they don't understand the implications of helping her out.
It's a safe bet the Estate will not give Katherine permission. Weitzman says, "The Estate will continue to release only the highest quality finished, professional projects showcasing the genius and humanity of Michael such as the 'This is It' film and the 2 very successful shows with Cirque du Soleil."
So the bottom line -- if the Estate doesn't give permission to use MJ's music and image, the documentary won't get made. So what happens to the money the fans contribute? Well Katherine is using a website to solicit donations that allows her to keep all funds even if the project isn't made. So guess who ends up with the loot?