Michael Jackson’s lawyers fired off a nasty legal letter over the late pop star’s sister LaToya after she released a memoir with wild accusations about the people running his estate, RadarOnline.com has learned.
RadarOnline.com has obtained a cease and desist written by MJ’s lawyer Howard Weitzman to the book publisher Simon and Schuster.
"Michael Jackson’s closest sister pulls back the curtain to reveal the inner workings of the Jackson family, Michael’s tortured soul, and her own love for her brother in this intimate portrait of a beloved, yet troubled, pop legend," Simon and Schuster described the book.
The estate told the publisher, “In connection with the promotion of the book Ms. Jackson has made repeated public statements accusing the Executors of murdering Michael in order to “steal” his music catalog.”
The estate said, “We understand these same absurd accusations are included in the book. Ms. Jackson has also made statements to the effect that John Branca [MJ’s other lawyer] stole $150 million from Michael Jackson and hid it in an “offshore account.”
The letter continued, “Even though you most certainly know this, these statements are outrageous, false and unlawful.”
At the time, the estate said while the statements gave “Ms. Jackson the attention she obviously craves” the remarks were “likely to cause substantial harm to the Estate, the beneficiaries of the Estate and its Executors.”
“By falsely accusing those in charge of killing Michael and stealing his money, the statements can reasonably be expected to cause people and companies who would otherwise do business with the Estate to avoid or refuse to do so,” the estate wrote.
The letter warned the publisher was on formal notice that the estate intended to hold it fully “responsible” if they continued to allow Ms. Jackson to make the public statements.
“These false and sensational statements have obviously been made to peddle the book, and with total disregard for the harm it causes to the estate and its beneficiaries,” the letter said.
The estate demanded a retraction from the publisher that said neither LaToya or the company had any basis to accuse the executors of murdering Michael Jackson, whether for his catalog, or otherwise.
“If you do not make this retraction, we have been authorized to pursue any and all of the Estate’s legal rights against all those involved in the creation, distribution, and publication of the false statements, whether contained in the book or repeated elsewhere,” the note ended.
Publicly, no lawsuit was ever filed over LaToya’s book.
As RadarOnline.com first reported, LaToya’s ex-fiancé Jeffré has been battling the estate over accusations he stole MJ’s property from his home in the days of his death.
Jeffrê said MJ’s mother Katherine instructed him to take the property and he kept it ever since. He denied intending to sell it off to a third party. The battle is ongoing.
He submitted the cease and desist as part of the current lawsuit.