28 May 2010
Michael Jackson Estate -- MJ Belts Are Bogus!
An extremely fancy belt commemorating Michael Jackson -- and allegedly "sanctioned" by Joe Jackson andKatherine Jackson -- can be yours for the bargain basement price of $1,500 -- problem is ... the whole thing may be illegal.
Check out this picture we got -- showing Joe and Katherine Jackson signing one of the belts ... and according to the official website promoting the belts, MJ's three kids -- Prince, Paris, and Blanket -- also signed their names.
Here's the problem. The belts feature several images trademarked by Michael Jackson -- including dancing feet, MJ's silhouette and the MJ crest -- and MJ's estate must authorize any commercial use of those trademarks, as well as MJ's name or image.
So of course we called MJ estate lawyer Howard Weitzman, who said the belts were news to him and that the executors never authorized the sale. Weitzman says, "The Trustees of the Estate of Michael Jackson did not authorize the making or the sale of the Michael Jackson Tribute Belts." Weitzman continues, "We would never condone the use of Michael's children's signatures to promote the sale of merchandise."
We haven't found out who's behind the website ... but Jerry Olivarez, a PR guy and friend of the Jackson family, has been touting the sale of the belts. We're told the site goes live today and 7,000 belts will go up for sale. And, there will be an auction for the belt signed by Joe, Katherine, and the kids -- opening bid is $5 grand.
Attempts to speak with Olivarez were unsuccessful.