For Michael Jackson estate, the money is already rolling in
Michael Jackson’s estate is poised to double the performer’s net worth by the end of this year with earnings of $200 million, according to a longtime associate and co-administrator of the performer’s affairs.
In an interview today, entertainment attorney John Branca said that deals hammered out in the seven weeks since Jackson’s death -- including a film project, merchandising deals and other agreements -- had brought $100 million to the estate. Two of those deals are still awaiting court approval.
The revenue will go into a trust that benefits Jackson’s mother, two sons and daughter and charities that help children.
Branca began representing Jackson in 1980, but the pair parted in 2006. Jackson rehired Branca on June 17, eight days before the entertainer’s death, during a meeting in which they discussed an array of projects, including Broadway show, a movie, a coffee table book and a major charity event that they hoped would attract Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama's participation.
Branca also said a new Jackson song would be included on a soundtrack from the Sony Pictures film of Jackson's rehearsals, to be released in October. He said Jackson left about 60 new recordings -- enough to support multiple albums in coming years. Branca also said the estate had no plans to sell its 50% stake in the lucrative catalog of songs by the Beatles and others that it owns with Sony Corp; he thought the relationship between the estate and Sony would remain about the same.
-- Harriet Ryan
Photo: Jackson rehearsing at Staples Center on June 23. Credit: AFP/Getty Images