Entertainment behind the scenes
Administrators of Michael Jackson’s estate on Wednesday dismissed questions about whether his legal will is valid, after the celebrity news website TMZ reported that his brother Randy Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, a Jackson family confidant, raised questions about whether the pop star was in Los Angeles to sign the will on the date stated in the document.
Howard Weitzman, an attorney for administrators of the Jackson estate John Branca and John McClain, said in a statement, “Despite any claims to the contrary, we are confident Michael Jackson’s will is valid, that he signed it and that it reflects his wishes. All three witnesses listed on the will recall being present when Michael signed it.”
The will is important, because it names Branca and McClain as administrators of Jackson’s estate, and a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has relied on the will since Jackson’s June 25 death to put the Branca, an attorney, and McClain, a music executive, in charge of the estate.
The will, which is available to view here, bears Michael Jackson’s signature dated July 7, 2002. Another page of the will bears the words, “We declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on July 7th, 2002 at 5:00 pm, Los Angeles.” But TMZ has posted photos that show Michael Jackson was in New York the day before on July 6, 2002, where he publicly protested against Tommy Mottola, the former head of Sony Music Entertainment, in a dispute over how he was being treated as an artist.
Paul McCartney has put to rest any lingering questions about whether Michael Jackson bequeathed to Macca his rights to songs by The Beatles. The reports began surfacing before Jackson died two weeks ago, but when the King of Pop’s will was released last week it contained no reference to any such transfer.
In a post on his website, McCartney wrote that it was all a case of the media getting it wrong.
Details of Michael Jackson’s will began to emerge on Wednesday with all of his multimillion-dollar estate being placed in a family trust, even as plans for his highly anticipated funeral remained sketchy.
The will, signed in 2002, estimates his estate at that time to be worth in excess of $500 million and was filed with a Los Angeles Court. In it, Jackson leaves his entire estate to the Michael Jackson Family Trust, which ultimately benefits his three children, mother and unnamed charities.