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Beat It!: Michael Jackson's Estate Executors Fight His 93-Year-Old Mom Katherine Over Secret Nine-Figure Deal to Sell Pop Star’s Assets

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Source: mega

Mar. 7 2024, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

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The executors of Michael Jackson’s estate said the late pop star’s mom Katherine has no authority to block a massive deal they secured.

According to court documents obtained by, John Branca and John McCain, who have been serving as executors since Jackson’s 2009 death, asked a California appeals court to reject Katherine’s recent petition.

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Branca and McClain have fought Katherine over a top-secret deal for over a year. The beneficiaries of Jackson’s estate are his 3 children: Prince, Paris, and Blanket. The pop star’s Will had a provision that instructed the executors to take care of Katherine for the remainder of her life.

As reported, in late 2022, Branca and McClain asked the court to approve a lucrative transaction involving selling off Jackson’s assets.

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The executors did not reveal the details of the deal in their court filings. They said the proposed transaction could net the estate over $400 million.

Katherine filed a heavily redacted motion that asked for the deal not to be approved by the court.

The executors asked the court to dismiss Katherine’s concerns. They said she had a history of objecting to deals they secured. McClain and Branca pointed to the concert film This is It! — which they said pulled in a $60 million advance and a substantial back-end for the estate despite Katherine’s objection to the project.

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John Branca with Jamaican model Kamini Chinloy

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The parties duked it out at a court hearing. Katherine testified that she did not like the deal. She said Paris and Blanket were on her side.

In the end, the court granted the executors’ motion despite Katherine’s testimony. The judge said McClain and Branca could move forward with finalizing the deal.

The order stated, “The proposed transaction is approved, and the executors are authorized and instructed to take all actions necessary to implement the proposed transaction, including but not limited to signing all contracts and performing all obligations required of the estate.”

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As we first reported, Katherine filed an appeal seeking to reverse the decision.

She argued her late son’s Will had a specific provision that prevented the executors from selling off Jackson’s assets until the assets were transferred into The Michael Jackson Family Trust — a trust that she and Jackson’s children are the beneficiaries of.

“Michael’s intention is crystal clear. Article III states in plain language that the “entire estate” shall be given to the Trust,” the motion read. “The Proposed Transaction does not give the entire Estate to the Trust. It does not give most of the Estate to the Trust. It gives none of the Estate to the Trust.”

Katherine Jackson
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She said the executors had “no power” to cause the Estate to enter the proposed deal.

All signs point to the deal being the recent $600 million deal in which the executors sold half of Jackson’s music catalog to Sony. The deal was announced on February 9.

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In her appeal, Katherine’s lawyer mentioned the music catalog for the first time in a public filing.

They noted that the probate judge ruled that if Michael “had wanted to exclude the Music Catalog from sale … he could and should have said so.” Katherine argued Michael had done that in the Will despite the judge’s interpretation that he hadn’t.

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In their newly filed response, McClain and Branca claimed Jackson’s Will gave them full authority to sell off his property.

Their lawyers argued, “Over the past fourteen years, the Executors have exercised their powers with extraordinary care and extraordinary diligence with extraordinary results. As the probate court recognized in its decision below: “What started out as nothing but debt and substantial ongoing obligations has been turned into a $2 billion estate.”

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They continued, “If Michael wanted to restrict the power of his Executors to sell Estate property, he could have said so. Instead, he did just the opposite: He expressly gave them “full power . . . to sell” Estate property as they “deem best.”

Regarding assets not being transferred to the Trust, the executors said that was due to an ongoing tax dispute with the IRS. They said even if the assets were held in the Trust, they have the power to sell them.

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Michael Jackson died 16 years ago.

In addition, the executors point out that Katherine had not objected to previous sales by the executors of Jackson’s assets.

As a result, the executors asked that Katherine’s appeal be dismissed.



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