Michael Jackson estate administrators seek payment


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The administrators of Michael Jackson’s estate and a cadre of attorneys are seeking millions for managing the King of Pop’s affairs after death, court documents filed Tuesday show.

It’s unclear how much exactly will be paid out.

The administrators of Jackson’s estate, attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, are seeking five percent of money the estate has earned so far.

The administrators and attorneys have not been paid since Jackson’s death on June 25, the filings state.

The estate may have earned $100 million or more with the sale of rights to the concert film “This Is It,” new music releases and merchandising agreements.

But Jackson’s estate also faces significant debt and a lawsuit cites at least 10 lawsuits that are still pending. They include suits over the rights to “Thriller,” Jackson’s iconic song and music video directed by John Landis, and lawsuits filed by former associates.

The filings state that a detailed accounting of the estate’s earnings is not ready, but attorneys have filed some financial records for the judge to review.

Many experts believe that Jackson’s estate earnings could eclipse those of another famous, and profitable, music icon — Elvis Presley.

“Unlike the typical estate, the operation of Michael Jackson’s estate is more akin to the operation of a multimillion dollar business enterprise,” attorney Jeryll S. Cohen wrote in a filing.

She wrote that many of the attorneys working the case have spent up to 14 hours a day on the case, and that not approving the fees soon will create a financial hardship.

Branca is asking the five percent be paid to his firm. The filing states he is not asking for a personal fee for administration of the estate.

Payments would also go to a variety of firms, including one representing the interests of Jackson’s children.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 4 to decide how much can be paid out.