Michael Jackson, Katherine Jackson, Sony, John McClain, John Branca, Blanket, Estate, Lawsuit

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In recent legal documents filed on Thursday (March 21), Michael Jackson’s estate asserted that Katherine Jackson, his mother, has been the recipient of over $55 million since the passing of the iconic singer. This disclosure emerged amidst a contentious disagreement between the estate’s administrators and Mrs. Jackson, allegedly over the estate’s pending deal with Sony.

Inside the fresh filings, obtained by Billboard, M.J. estate executors John Branca and John McClain argued that they should not bear the responsibility for covering Mrs. Jackson’s recent legal expenses. These expenses arise from her endeavors to oppose a particular business deal, speculated to be the estate’s recent purported $600 million agreement with Sony regarding the King of Pop’s catalog.


Branca and McClain argued Mrs. Jackson could afford her own legal fees.

Branca and McClain asserted that since Michael’s passing in 2009, Mrs. Jackson has been taken care of financially and that “virtually no request” for her well-being or upkeep has ever been denied. They argued that the 94-year-old could cover her own legal expenses, citing the estate’s substantial allowance for her and the payments disbursed by the estate throughout the years.

“Since Michael’s death, the executors have expended for Mrs. Jackson’s benefit more than $55 million,” the executors claimed. 

According to the filing, the Jackson family matriarch allegedly received more than $33 million in cash and a whopping allowance of $160,000 per month. Her home is allegedly worth $15 million, the court document stated. Branca and McClain further asserted that they issued an emergency payment of $3.7 million to Mrs. Jackson in December to settle outstanding income tax debts.

“It is difficult to imagine that the trustees could provide any more liberally for Mrs. Jackson,” the attorneys penned.

“Importantly, this petition is not about Mrs. Jackson’s maintenance, care, comfort and support,” Branca and McClain added. “This petition is about payment of attorneys’ fees for an objection filed on Mrs. Jackson’s behalf, which the court overruled, and the subsequent, frivolous and still pending appeal.”

Although the specific agreement in contention has not been explicitly identified in legal filings, the Jackson estate has reportedly finalized a deal valued at approximately $600 million with Sony, involving the sale of a portion of the late singer’s catalog.

Following the estate’s pursuit of court endorsement for the undisclosed arrangement in 2022, Katherine filed an objection connected to the deal in court. However, in April 2023, the overseeing judge dismissed her plea, permitting the deal to proceed. Katherine filed another appeal, which remains pending at present.

In December, Katherine submitted requests for the estate to cover the legal expenses accrued from her petition, including ongoing appeals. Branca and McClain vehemently opposed this demand in their initial response earlier this month, labeling her objections as “failed” and her appeal as “meritless.”

Recently, Michael’s son, Blanket, agreed with the estate executors, asserting that his grandmother’s appeal was a high-risk endeavor and deeming it “unfair” to burden him and his siblings with the costs of the case.


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