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New Court Filing Reveals Michael Jackson’s Estate Had Over $500 Million in Debt at Time of Death

Recently filed court documents have disclosed that Michael Jackson owed more than $500 million to various creditors when he passed away. John Branca and John McClain, the executives managing Jackson’s estate, submitted a petition to the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking authorization to compensate several law firms for their services from July to December 2018.

According to the legal filings obtained by Entertainment Weekly, the documents outline the financial complexities Jackson’s estate faced before and after his death in 2009.

“The Executors have encountered exceptionally difficult circumstances,” the petition states. “At the time of Michael Jackson’s death, his most substantial assets were burdened with debts exceeding $500 million, including claims from creditors with high interest rates and some in default.”

Prior to his death at age 50 due to acute propofol intoxication, Jackson was preparing for his This Is It residency, which added further financial strain.

Since then, Branca and McClain have reportedly managed to significantly stabilize the estate’s financial situation. They claim to have resolved nearly all creditor claims and legal disputes, establishing MJJ as a prominent entity in the music industry.

Key financial maneuvers included the estate’s acquisition of a stake in EMI Publishing and rights to songs by Motown classics, Carole King, and Norah Jones in 2012 for $50,000, followed by their sale to Sony for $300 million in 2018.

Due to these financial successes, Branca and McClain are now seeking court approval to allocate $3 million to law firms for their services during the specified period.

Recent ventures such as the Tony-winning Broadway show MJ the Musical in 2022 and an upcoming biopic directed by Antoine Fuqua have also contributed to the estate’s financial growth.

Despite these achievements, Jackson’s estate continues to face legal challenges. Last year, a California appeals court revived a lawsuit from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege Jackson sexually abused them as children. The estate’s attorney has vehemently denied these claims, asserting that the allegations lack credible evidence and were motivated by financial gain following Jackson’s death.

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