Thriller Live

I haven't posted about "Thriller Live", the unauthorized Michael Jackson musical for a while.
Their touring team just stopped making performances in Europe. However they will open a new resident show in Japan next to the already running London shows. See more details here: ThrillerLive.jp

In other related news, the Estate of Michael Jackson and Triumph International Inc. opposed against the team registering the "Thriller Live" trademarks in England. I think they are OK with the team performing there, but don't want to make the same mistake as with Melissa Johnson, and give out the control if the intellectual properties.

Howard Mann's Lies

Henry Vaccaro had another deposition this March in regards of the Michael Jackson Estate vs. Howard Mann case.

Vaccaro testified that he and Mann had a fake contract in order to mislead Katherine Jackson. Mann told to Vaccaro that Katherine would not do anything with the Jackson Collection, until Vaccaro is an interested party (Katherine was still furious over Vaccaro because he seized some of the family items in a previous litigation).

It was Mann's idea that they should create a fake agreement saying that Vaccaro sold everything to Mann, however nothing such has happened. As a result of this maneuver they can get Katherine i
involved with the Mann businesses.

Based on the deposition transcripts, Vaccaro is disappointed with Mann's actions. He is criticising him, and insisting that he only wanted to see some money from the deals, but had nothing to do with the everyday operations.

Vaccaro furthermore stated that Mann lied about the sale numbers of the "Never Can Say Goodbye" book. Mann's website, JacksonSecretVaults.com stated that they sold 25,000 copies within 48 hours, however Mann admitted to Vaccaro that it was "all for hype". Vaccaro recalls that the total numbers were very far from this.

In regards of the "Vintage Pop Media" logo what clearly shows MJ leaning from the "Smooth Criminal" video, one of Mann's lawyers said it's a "public domain" and it was Fred Astaire's lean, not MJ.

Mann claims in his papers that the infamous "Destiny" song fiasco was caused by Vaccaro, as Vaccaro sent the sound recording to him represented to be an "original".

In the meantime both parties filed their witness lists. Two names may be interesting from Mann's side: "Dr." Tohme, MJ's infamous manager; and Charles Sullivan, the Promoter of the Jackson Victory Tour.


Updates In Jackson vs. AEG Case

"An entertainment company blamed for Michael Jackson's death wants a North Carolina court to subpoena a dentist who "may have been present" when the late pop icon was sedated with propofol.

As the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother, Anschutz Entertainment Group has asked the Union County Superior Court to subpoena out-of-state witness Dr. Mark Tadrissi, D.D.S.

AEG claims Tadrissi, based in Waxhaw, N.C., is a "healthcare provider who likely treated and/or consulted with Michael Jackson, including in or around 2008."

It says Tadrissi has information and knowledge pertinent to the case, as he "may have been present when Michael Jackson was given sedation, including propofol," the surgical anesthetic that killed the entertainer on June 25, 2009.

Katherine Jackson has accused AEG of instructing her son "to stop seeing and taking medications from his current doctor" and to rely on Dr. Conrad Murray, whom it hired to ensure Michael Jackson attended rehearsals and shows for his "This Is It" tour.

AEG agents went to the entertainer's Beverly Hills home on June 18 and "demanded Michael Jackson stop seeing Dr. Arnold Klein and stop taking the drugs Klein gave him," Katherine Jackson claims. "AEG said Klein's drugs made him sleepy and prevented him from rehearsing. AEG demanded Michael Jackson take only the medications given to him by Murray."

Murray was hired as Michael's personal physician in May 2009 for $150,000 a month. Jackson says he administered "various controlled substances and other medications" to her son, "including Valium, Ativan, Versed, and Propofol."

A week after AEG agents allegedly came to his house, the singer died of a propofol overdose.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his role in Michael Jackson's death and was sentenced to the maximum four years in prison.

AEG says Tadrissi has crucial knowledge in this case that requires a subpoena.
"Among other issues, Michael Jackson's health, medical history, and history of drug use are central to this wrongful death lawsuit," it claims. "This witness possesses knowledge and information, including documents, communications, and records, directly relevant to this case that cannot be obtained from any other source."

Kathryn Cahan is representing AEG and its co-defendants: AEG Live, AEG Live Co-CEOs Brandon "Randy" Phillips and Paul Gongaware, "This Is It" tour director Kenneth Ortega and Anschutz Entertainment Group CEO Timothy Leiweke.

Source: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/08/16/49367.htm


Raymone Bain is Back!

Raymone Bain sued MJ on May 5, 2009, alleging that she and MJ signed a Personal Services Agreement that entitles her for the 10% of MJ's incomes from certain projects. The amount of money she claims exceeds 44 million dollars.

MJ's then lawyers filed for a dismissal 8 days before MJ died, claiming that Bain and MJ signed a document on December 27, 2007 that released the defendants from any such liability. After the tragical events the Judge entered a stay, the case could continue 5 months later.

Since then the Judge ruled in the MJ Esate's favour a couple of times, the last time he closed the case on June 8, 2012. Now Bain is back, as she filed for an appeal in the case on June 29, 2012!

She claims that her office received a letter from MJ on April 24, 2008, appr. 4 months after she has been terminated saying the followings:
"I have never terminated your services nor did I null and void any of your Agreements. I know nothing about a release form. I neither authorized or [sic] signed the same. Therefore, I am authorizing you to continue to communicate with Mr. Yakoob
regarding the Sultan [of Brunei]’s property in Las Vegas, and to continue your role as my General Manager and President/COO of The Michael Jackson Company."

Bain says that MJ was seriously interested in buying a permanent resident in Las Vegas at the time.

Furthermore she claims that this letter has been moved from her office by a consultant of The Michael Jackson Company LLC, and was returned only around July, 2010. On the top of that she says that the 2007 release does not seem to be signed by MJ.

On the grounds of the above new foundings, Bains wants the case to be re-opened. Unfortunately I couldn't find physical traces of the letter she mentioned.

By the way, Bain did not spend a single minute in prison. Her 90 days sentencing has been suspended, and she is on a 60 months probation period now. On the top of that she has to contribute 200 hours of community service, and pay her due taxes (over 200.000 dollars).

Interesting tidbits:
- Bain sat down with John Branca and Howard Weitzman in late 2009, when the Estate Administrators offered to settle her case. Bain insists that she would have been open to settle, however her lawyers advised her not to contact them.
- Bain has been invited to the Jackson Family event for the first anniversary of MJ's death.

Michael Jackson Asia Rights Co II.

Despite the efforts of the Estate of Michael Jackson, some brave people in the far Japan are still using MJ's image... illegally.

See my previous entry on this matter: http://lesliemjhu.blogspot.hu/2010/07/michael-jackson-asia-rights-story.html

The "Michael Jackson Asia Rights Co. Ltd." is still active, and coming up with new "surprises". Like a "Jackson family dinner" held sometime this July with the participation of guess who? Josehp Jackson and Dieter Wiesner. Only 50 people could attend the event, that had a special Neverland dinner amongst others.

The company furthermore announced on their own that from July 10, 2012 they decided to sell "official" MJ items. See the whole list here: http://mja-rights.com/img/news/Mjgoods.pdf

Well, It seems they did not read the recent news regarding Howard Mann's copyright infrigment case.


Prince Paris Blanket LLC

A little tidbit: The funds from The Michael Jackson Estate to the children are distributed to a Delaware company, called "PPB LLC" (as "Prince Paris Blanket LLC"). It has been registered on November 4, 2010. Already over 10 million dollars has been moved to the company's account.

Another two entities are registered for the same, or almost the same purpose: PPB II LLC in Delaware (August 15, 2011), and PPB (NV), LLC in Nevada (June 27, 2012).

If I should speculate, I would say that the Estate will not only distribute funds through these companies, but will move MJ's (maybe debt free) entities under these new companies/trusts. The multiple names, especially if registered in different states may refer to that.


Corporate Updates

I updated the list of the active Michael Jackson related companies. This is the most comprehensive list ever made in this topic, with some surprises!

The Michael Jackson Company LLC
Register date: 06/13/2006
County: Delaware, California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Intellectual property, general.

MJJ Productions LLC
Register date: 10/30/1979
County: Delaware, California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Intellectual property, general.

MJJ Ventures Inc.
Register date: 02/26/1991
County: Delaware, California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Intellectual property, especially videos.

MJJ Artistic Inc.
Register date: 01/04/1990
County: California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Intellectual property, most likely comics.

Triumph International Inc.
Register date: 03/09/1984
County: California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Intellectual property, trademarks.

Optimum Productions Inc.
Register date: 09/21/1983
County: California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Intellectual property, especially video releases.

World Events LLC
Register date: 04/10/2001
County: Delaware
Ownership: 70%
Profile: Intellectual property, the "30th Anniversary Concerts" (along with David Gest).

Sycamore Valley Ranch Co. LLC
Register date: 07/15/2008
County: Delaware
Ownership: 87.5%
Profile: Owns Neverland Valley Ranch, despite the rumors, MJ is a major owner (along with Colony Capital)!

SEE Virtual World MJ LLC
SEE Virtual World MJ Operations LLC
Register date: 02/26/2010 and 10/14/2009
County: California
Ownership: 50%
Profile: Intellectual property, PlanetMichael.com

Cirque Jackson I.P. LLC
Register date: 08/19/2010
County: Delaware
Ownership: 50%
Profile: Intellectual property, "Immortal World Tour".

Desert Auto LLC
Register date: 02/21/2008
County: Nevada
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Unknown.

521 Montana Joint Venture LLC
Register date: 10/30/1990
County: California
Ownership: 5.5%
Profile: Unknown.

MJ Publishing Trust, New Horizont Trust, New Horizont Trust II
Register date: 11/30/1998
County: Delaware
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Copyright, MJ's own music and fellow artists.

MJ-ATV Publishing Trust, New Horizont Trust III
Register date: 02/09/1999
County: Delaware
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Copyright, Sony-ATV catalouge.

MJJ Records LLC (aka. MJJ Music)
Register date: 09/04/1997
County: California
Ownership: 50%
Profile: Master recordings.

Go For Your Dreams Foundation
Register date: 10/10/2003
County: California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Foundation.

Furthermore the Michael Jackson Estate owns most of the artistic works MJ created in the past through merge-outs and aquisitions (like concert footages, artworks, collaborations, etc.).

Barely known companies, that has been closed down in the meantime:
Branson Media Group LLC
Register date: 07/12/2001
County: California
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Unknown.

Jackson International LLC
Register date: 08/18/1998
County: Delaware
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Investments (the California entity database still shows it as an active company, however it has been long suspended in Delaware).

Monte Cristo Employment Company LLC
Register date: 02/12/2007
County: Delaware
Ownership: 100%
Profile: Unknown.


HIStory logo - Updates

I have been informed that the HIStory logo has been cancelled in Germany due to the a 3rd party request (might be the Michael Jackson Estate). The action happened last October.



Most of the Michael Jackson company addresses has been changed to Howard Weitzman's office address recently.
As well the companies have a new CPA: Miller Kaplan Arase and Co. LLP.

Hamid Moslehi, MJ's past personal videographer registered several audio/video materials recently. The materials consists recordings of MJ concerts and his personal life. Will he expose them somehow?

And if someone reads this from the MJ Estate: all the Estate owned domain redirections are not working, except MichaelJacksonLive.com

Legal Cases - Updates

Michael Jackson Estate on probate court
Other than having a court hearing about the DeMann case can not be expected soon.

Michael Jackson Estate vs. Howard Mann
The case is still ongoing, nothing interesting has happened. Trial date set for September 2012.
As a reminder: the MJ Estate is suing Mann for illegally using some MJ trademarks and to interfere with their business.

Michael Jackson Estate vs. Melissa Johnson
The case is back, or it has never gone! Johnson's lawyers still contend the settlement agreement between the parties that has been amended by the judge earlier. The Estate wants to make sure that they can fully protect MJ's rights. In the new documents Johnson explained that she is open for a settlement.
As a reminder: the MJ Estate is suing Johnson for illegally using some MJ trademarks and to interfere with their business.

John Landis and Ola Ray vs. Michael Jackson Estate
The case is still ongoing and will go on trial early this year.
Both Landis and Ray are suing the MJ Estate for allegedly unpaid royalty fees from the "Thriller" video.

Lloyds vs. AEG Live and Michael Jackson Estate
At the moment I have no further information on the case.

Furthermore MJ Publishing Trust and Bravado Merchandising Group are included in plenty of cases due to copyright infrigments.