Katherine Jackson denied control of Michael's estate
- Bang Showbiz
- 7 July 2009
A Los Angeles judge has ruled Katherine Jackson will not be the special administrator of late son Michael Jackson's estate, at least until August 3
Katherine Jackson has been denied permission to become the special administrator of her late son Michael Jackson's estate.
Katherine argued lawyer John Branca - who was named as a co-executor of Michael's estate alongside lawyer John McClain in a 2002 will - should not be allowed to assume control as he had a conflict of interest.
Lawyers for Michael's mother, who was not present in the Los Angeles court, said: "Mrs. Jackson is more concerned than ever that the co-executors are proper to serve.
"There are a lot of open questions surrounding Michael Jackson's death. Mr. Branca was removed in 2006 as a trustee and Katherine was added, so we have concerns about turning over the keys to the kingdom."
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled Branca and McClain will have control until at least August 3.
Katherine's attorneys claimed "irreparable damage" could be caused if the men were allowed to look after the estate even for just four weeks, and highlighted the fact Branca was only reemployed by Michael three weeks before his death.
Lawyers for Branca and McClain argued "Mr. McClain has been a friend of the family for 40 years, since Michael was 10. And Mr. Branca has been his lawyer since he was 21. That's 30 yrs. It's not like these people are unknown to Katherine. She's well aware of who they are."
During the hearing, which took place yesterday (06.07.09), it was stated that Michael's estate added up to $500 million.
Branca and McClain were issued a £1 million bond to be used to pay employees and legal fees until August 3.
The pair also asked to be allowed to speak to AEG, the concert promoters behind the 50-show comeback Michael was set to perform at London's 02 arena.
They said: "The estate is liable for tens of millions of dollars to AEG. We need to reduce the liability and negotiate. We need the power to deal with merchandising, pay-per-view TV, etc."
Judge Beckloff replied: "I have no issue with you all negotiating that on behalf of the estate, subject to court approval. Katherine can have input on that."
Beckloff added the two lawyers are "at the helm of this ship", although Katherine has "a right to disagree".
Last week, Katherine filed a petition to become guardian of the estate of Michael - who died of a suspected cardiac arrest last month - in which she claimed he passed away "intestate", without making a will.
However, it was later revealed he had made a will in 2002, which his family were unaware of.
After the hearing, Katherine's lawyer stated: "We will not contest the will. We will contest anything not done in good faith."