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Michael Jackson / Conrad Murray in the news > Michael Jackson's controversial Will - some facts to ponder

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30 Apr 2010

Michael Jackson's highly controversial

Will dated July 7, 2002. Some facts to ponder.

Note from Bonnie Vent:  TMZ did address this issue back on October 21, 2009 and dismissed it as a non-issue.  Not everyone agrees and TMZ does not tell you in their article where Michael Jackson was and what he was doing at the time this vital document was executed.  This is not speculation, it is a fact documented by New York newspapers at the time they occurred.  Michael Jackson's brother Randy Jackson is 100% correct that Michael Jackson was in New York, not Los Angeles.   

According to TMZ


The Mistake in Michael Jackson's Will

Michael JacksonjMichael Jackson's 2002 will has a mistake in it, TMZ has learned -- but it looks like a case of no harm, no foul.

As we first reported, according to the will -- dated July 7, 2002 -- it was signed in Los Angeles. But Randy Jackson told TMZ Michael was in New York City on that date.

Randy thinks the signature on Michael's will is a forgery. But Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for the estate, tells TMZ the signature is valid and the witnesses saw Jackson put pen to paper.

We've now confirmed Jackson definitely signed the will in New York City on 7-7-02. So the reference to Los Angeles is clearly a mistake.

Our sources say the person who wrote "Los Angeles" is one of the witnesses to the will and simply forgot where he was.

This mistake will not invalidate the will. Ironically, if the will were declared invalid, the prior 1997 will would be probated. Just like the 2002 will, the 1997 will creates a trust. We've learned the '97 trust -- just like the 2002 trust -- leaves the same percentage to the same people: Katherine Jackson gets 40% for her lifetime, MJ's kids get 40% and the remaining 20% goes to charity.

By the way ... guess who one of the executors is in the '97 will? John Branca.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2009/10/22/michael-jackson-will-trust-mistake-witnesses-new-york-city-los-angeles-probate/#ixzz0mcJ89PRq


 Here are the articles from the New York Times:


Record Industry Is Attacked By a Top Star

Michael Jackson took a feud with his record company to the streets of Manhattan yesterday, charging the recording industry with racism and opportunism at the expense of minority performers.

Mr. Jackson appeared with the Rev. Al Sharpton at that National Action Network in Harlem, and rode a double decker tour bus past the Sony building on Madison Avenue in a protest against his own recording company, Sony Music, and its chairman, Thomas D. Mottola.

''The recording companies really, really do conspire against the artists -- they steal, they cheat, they do everything they can,'' he told an audience at the National Action Network, headed by the Rev. Sharpton.

Mr. Jackson told the group that Mr. Mottola was ''mean, he's racist, and he's very, very, very devilish.''

Mr. Jackson's relations with Sony have frayed since the release of his most recent album, ''Invincible,'' which has had disappointing sales. Fans of the singer have criticized Sony Music for failing to do enough to promote the album.

But some in the music industry say weak sales of ''Invincible'' reflect the flagging appeal of Mr. Jackson, 43, who has been one of the most successful pop singers since he was a child.

In a statement yesterday, Sony Music said it was ''appalled that Mr. Jackson would stoop so low in his constant quest for publicity,'' according to The Associated Press.

The statement called the singer's charge of racism ''ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful,'' and said the criticism of Mr. Mottola was ''particularly bizarre'' since Mr. Mottola has championed Mr. Jackson's career for many years.



Recording Industry Questions a Bitter Attack by a Pop Star

LOS ANGELES, July 7— Recording artists have been warring with record labels for a few years over sharing a dwindling pool of profits. But a highly publicized fight between Michael Jackson and Thomas D. Mottola, the chairman of the Sony Music Group, whose Epic label released Mr. Jackson's lackluster ''Invincible'' album, has turned particularly bitter and bizarre.

Some recording executives said they believe Mr. Jackson's real motive was to get out of his contract without having to repay Sony millions of dollars in promotional fees that he may not want to give up -- or may not be able to afford.

In an unusual display for the reclusive Mr. Jackson, he drove around Manhattan in a bus on Saturday, calling Mr. Mottola a racist and picketing outside Sony's offices.

''What is Michael thinking?'' said one Los Angeles-based music manager, who represents several well-known artists.

Of Mr. Jackson's involvement with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who started a coalition to fight for beleaguered artists, Hilary B. Rosen, the chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, said today, ''In Michael Jackson they have not found a race issue or an oppression issue.''

The battle between Mr. Jackson and Mr. Mottola, like so much of what is going on in the troubled recording industry these days, is over power and money. Recording companies, flush with cash more than a decade ago but now hurt by faltering record sales as online services flourish, are cutting costs, unwilling to give large promotional budgets to artists who do not deliver profits. Artists are fighting for more autonomy and better contracts.

But the war of words between Mr. Jackson and Mr. Mottola is far more personal than that, say recording industry executives, with Mr. Jackson wanting to get out of his contract without having to repay Sony for promoting ''Invincible,'' which sold only two million copies in the United States. One person close to Sony said: ''If this is how he is trying to pressure Tommy to reassess his record deal or spend more money promoting 'Invincible,' that is not going to happen.''

Mr. Mottola could not be reached for comment, but on Saturday Sony executives called Mr. Jackson's racist charge ''ludicrous'' and ''spiteful.'' A representative for Mr. Jackson did not return telephone calls. But executives close to Sony said that the company had spent as much as $25 million to market ''Invincible'' and, when it failed to catch on, did not want to spend more. According to two industry executives, Mr. Jackson wants Sony to pay to make another video as well as support a world tour. Sony has refused.

''Invincible,'' Mr. Jackson's first album of new material since 1995, was supposed to be his comeback. Last September, audience members paid to see him perform at Madison Square Garden -- his first performance since 1989 in the continental United States. The show, in part, was taped as a CBS television special and marketed as a celebration of the 30th anniversary of his first solo single.

Mr. Jackson's representatives have expressed concern that Sony may try to force Mr. Jackson to relinquish his rights to the catalog of music he owns with Sony in exchange for the money he is said to owe Epic. Mr. Jackson and Sony Music Entertainment are partners in a joint venture that began in 1995 when Mr. Jackson combined his catalog of copyrighted music with Sony's, including songs by the Beatles.

But Sony executives said that the two issues are separate. Instead, said one person close to Sony, ''Michael's worried because he is running out of money.'' That has led many people to question if Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton are sincere in their efforts to improve the plight of artists who they say are exploited. ''I just don't think given how many millions he has made, particularly this year,'' said Ms. Rosen, ''his attacks have credibility.''

One person Mr. Jackson called an industry victim was Mariah Carey, the former wife of Mr. Mottola. But some people do not share Mr. Jackson's assessment. In January, Ms. Carey was given $28 million to terminate her contract with the EMI Group. She has signed a new contract with the Universal Music Group commanding as much as $20 million for a three-record deal.

Photo: A demonstrator outside Sony's offices in New York on Saturday held a poster of Michael Jackson. (Associated Press)



Sony and Its Star Go to War Over the Promotion of Album

Without saying a word, Michael Jackson dashed to his black limousine in Harlem yesterday after a meeting of his newly formed coalition to further the rights of black musicians. He had been expected to address reporters but his silence raised even more questions about his recent behavior, particularly toward Thomas D. Mottola, chief executive of the Sony Music Group.

Mr. Jackson has depicted him as the devil, waving photographs of Mr. Mottola scrawled with horns and a pitchfork at a Manhattan rally on Saturday. Mr. Jackson contends that the music business is racist. But it is widely believed in the industry that his new passion for struggling black artists is an attempt to extract concessions out of Mr. Mottola.

Colleagues and industry executives said they believed that he was pressuring Sony to renegotiate certain aspects of his contract. The company is not likely to agree because it has not yet recouped the $50 million it paid to make and market Mr. Jackson's most recent album, ''Invincible.'' But it has sold a lackluster two million copies in the United States, leading Mr. Jackson to assert that Sony did not do enough to promote it, a notion Sony has denied.

The roots of the brouhaha between Mr. Jackson and Mr. Mottola began earlier this year, people involved say, when Mr. Jackson and his lawyer, John Branca, started negotiating with Sony over how Mr. Jackson could get out of his contract.

Mr. Jackson wanted two things: first, he wanted to take possession of his valuable catalog of master recordings in three years, reduced from the period of at least seven years in his contract. Owning those rights are valuable because once Mr. Jackson owns them outright, he does not have to split royalty payments with Sony as he does now.

Second, these people said, Mr. Jackson objected to Sony's refusal to further support ''Invincible,'' which included declining to pay a proposed $8 million for his third video from ''Invincible.'' Mr. Mottola declined requests for comment.

To further complicate matters, Mr. Jackson and Sony Music Entertainment, Sony's music publishing arm, are equal partners in a joint venture that began in 1995 when Mr. Jackson combined his catalog of copyrighted music with Sony's, including songs by the Beatles. People close to Sony say that Mr. Jackson has approached Sony about acquiring its 50 percent stake in the music publishing business, a notion Sony has balked at. Instead, industry executives say, Sony would like to own Mr. Jackson's share, and he has refused to sell.

In an interview on Monday, the Rev. Al Sharpton said he received a call from Mr. Jackson in late May asking if he would support an initiative to help black musicians. ''Michael had told me he was involved in a negotiation at that point,'' Mr. Sharpton said. ''But I did not know if it had turned hostile or not.''

In fact, people involved say, it already had. In May, according to foreign news reports, European fans of Mr. Jackson began campaigning against Sony for not promoting ''Invincible,'' sending e-mail messages to Sony and faxing black paper to Sony offices.

Mr. Sharpton said he wanted to help Mr. Jackson and called the lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who defended O. J. Simpson.

Mr. Sharpton said he and Mr. Cochran met with Mr. Branca several times in May to discuss their strategy. Mr. Sharpton agreed that the exposure would help him and his National Action Network. ''The fact of the matter is if that is part of the reward, so what?'' he said.

Mr. Branca did not return repeated phone calls to his office. On June 5, Mr. Sharpton held a news conference in New York City to announce the new coalition for black artists. Mr. Sharpton read a statement from Mr. Jackson. But what has surprised many in the industry is how quickly the fight between Mr. Jackson and Mr. Mottola turned nasty. At an appearance last month in London, Mr. Jackson first attacked Mr. Mottola.

Sony has denied it has done anything wrong. ''In launching an unfounded and unwarranted attack on this man's reputation, Mr. Jackson has committed a serious abuse of the power that comes with celebrity,'' a representative said.

Two people close to Mr. Jackson said he was preparing to sue Sony. ''If you look ahead to what can happen, it's in the courtroom,'' one of these people said. ''Then it gets interesting.''

Photo: Michael Jackson, center, met with the lawyer Johnnie Cochran, left, and the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday. Mr. Jackson has accused the Sony Music Group of racism for not enthusiastically promoting his album. (Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times)


The link to this article in the New York Post is no longer available but I did find a video that show the same sign shown on the front cover photo. Look specifically at the 2:16 minute mark on the video.



New York Post article on Michael Jackson in NYC on July 7 2002 - same day as the presented Will was signed



So why does Tommy Mottola (FORMER Sony Executive) consider himself to be the gatekeeper of Michael Jackson's unreleased music catalog, which he claims belongs to Sony??? Listen to his own words in a recent network interview.


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