Two men administering Michael Jackson’s estate are seeking 10 percent of profits they’re able to generate from the late pop superstars work, court documents filed Friday show.
Attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain filed a motion asking a court to approve the compensation, which will pay for a variety of services both men promise to provide. The filings state that the 10 percent will exclude profits from the “This is It” documentary and Jackson’s interest the Sony/ATV music catalog, as well as his own songs.
It is unclear exactly how much Branca and McClain would be paid; an accounting of the estate has not been filed. The men are seeking to become the co-executives and creative directors for a company that will oversee a business based on Jackson’s works.
Jackson’s estate’s value has been estimated at $500 million, but the singer died in significant debt and the estate faces a number of creditors’ claims and lawsuits.
The business interests excluded under Branca and McClain’s plan are some of the late singer’s most significant. Jackson’s stake in the Sony-ATV catalog includes publishing rights to music by The Beatles and numerous other artists, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and other stars. They are also forgoing an interest in Jackson’s music, which has sold briskly since his death June 25 at age 50.
Branca, who was Jackson’s longtime entertainment attorney, would continue to act in that capacity under the arrangement laid out in Friday’s filings. McClain, a music executive and childhood friend of Jackson, would agree to create new albums based on Jackson’s unreleased music at a studio he founded with the late Marvin Gaye.
The men, who were designated by Jackson to control his estate in a 2002 will, have controlled its interests since early July.
Branca and McClain are also opposing a bid by Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson, to receive more than $15,000 a month from the singer’s estate. The Jackson family patriarch has failed to prove that he is due the money, the estate contends in a motion filed Thursday.
The filings also note that the singer omitted his father as a beneficiary in his will and trust, and that any money paid to Joe Jackson would reduce the estate’s assets available for Michael Jackson’s mother and children.
The children, Katherine Jackson and various unnamed charities are the only beneficiaries of Michael Jackson’s estate. Katherine Jackson and the children are receiving more than $86,000 a month, and the administrators recently moved to increase the monthly stipends. The exact allowance amount has not been released.
Joe Jackson’s attorney, Brian Oxman, said the opposition filing means the issue will now likely be decided after lengthy proceedings. “It’s a pretty difficult thing to go through,” Oxman said. “Michael took care of most of his life.”
Oxman said he intends to prove to a judge, who will have to decide whether to award Joe Jackson an allowance, that the superstar supported his father.
“I was present when Michael would take care of his father,” Oxman said. “I saw it happen. Lots of people saw it happen.”
Joe Jackson filed for the monthly stipend in November, saying he had little income and relied on his son’s help to survive.
It will be up to a judge to decide whether Joe Jackson receives any money from the estate. A hearing on the petition is scheduled for Jan. 28.