Michael Jackson A.D.
After death disputes
When historians speak in terms of where we are in the stream of time they occasionally use the letters "AD" after a specified year. For example, the current disaster film 2012, loosely based on the premise that according to the Mayan calendar the world as we know it will end in 2012, could have easily been entitled, 2012 AD. The current year is, of course, 2009 AD. For many who profess Christianity, the letters AD stand for "After Death," that is, the period of time after the death of Jesus Christ. In reality, AD are the Latin initials for Anno Domini, which mean, "The Year of Our Lord [Jesus]." Anno is related to the English word "annual," and Dominus means "lord" or "master" in Latin. A couple of days ago, one avid fan on my Facebook page affirmed that death elevated Michael Jackson from the King of Pop to the "God of Pop." While some fan wouldn't make this claim, for them he certainly is the undisputed master of their musical tastes. But what disputes continue to rage after the death of this Dynasty of One?
The "Will" That Won't: To Joseph Jackson, the father of the Jackson 5, the dispute over the alleged "Will" won't go away. In fact, he would have it no other way. The court document Mr. Jackson filed on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 (Case No. BP 117321) contesting the appointment of John Branca--Michael's former attorney who was terminated--and John McClain as the Executors and Special Administrators of the Estate of Michael Jackson is indicative of this reality. Here's what Joseph Jackson asserts through his attorney:
"Branca Used His Own Attorney to 'Dupe' Michael Jackson to Sign the Leibler-Stoler Conflicts Waiver. On August 27, 2002, Branca sent a letter to Michael Jackson's Attorney Martin Singer of the law firm of Lavely & Singer asking Mr. Singer to review the August 14, 2002, Conflicts of Interest disclosures as independent counsel and to have Michael Jackson sign them. (Exhibit 'I'). On September 10, 2002, Martin Singer sent a letter to John Branca dated September 10, 2002, where he transmitted the signed conflicts waiver dated August 14, 2002, which he advised Michael Jackson to sign...
"However, Martin Singer and Lavely and Singer were Branca's 'personal' attorneys, and they were not independent counsel for Michael Jackson. They represented Branca and his wife Linda Hoffman Branca in the case of John G. Branca v. American Airlines, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. SC 063321, which was filed on September 9, 2000, and removed to the federal court on March 7, 2001, as case number 00-11640 GHK (Rz). (Exhibit 'K'). Martin Singer was lead attorney in that case, and the case remained pending in federal court until April 1, 2002, only three (3) months prior to the purported July 7, 2009 [sic], Will, and only four (4) months prior to the conflicts waiver of August 14, 2002.
"Branca used his own attorney to assure his 'patsy' client, Michael Jackson, that his conflict with Michael Jackson should be waived. The conduct was a violation of fiduciary duties and fraud. It affects not only this Court, but also the real victims in this matter, Katherine Jackson, Joseph Jackson, Michael Jackson's children, Prince, Paris, and Prince Michael II, and all of the members of the Jackson Family. This 'sordid' transaction should have been disclosed to this Court before Branca asked this Court to appoint him Executor. What might be ok for the client should not be ok for this Court or the parties to this Estate because this Court must pass independent judgment on conflicts of interest. Branca concealed the conflicts of interest from this Court when he filed the July 1, 2009, Probate Petition, and that concealment disqualifies him from being Executor." Stunning. Joe Jackson is mad as hell, and he isn't going to take it anymore! But, what about wife Katherine?
Many are asking, "Why isn't Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, contesting the infamous 'Will' of dubious origin?" Family members and observers close to the family retort that her hands are tied due to some rather dark, unhealthy, external influences. For example, family supports say the very clever (some say diabolical) parties who crafted the "Will" installed a clause that states if Katherine Jackson challenges the legitimacy of said "Will," she faces the disturbing probability of being excluded from it completely, effectively losing all her inheritance. "Would Michael have placed such a clause in his Will?" doubters ask. Again, this is seen as a deliberate strategy to remove any possibility of a challenge to what family members are alleging is a bogus "Will." Since Joseph Jackson is not mentioned in the "phony" Will, he stands to lose nothing by exposing what he considers to be its glaring deficiencies. More to come.
The Accuser Confession?: In the past, in this very column, I have stated that Michael's 1994 accuser Jordan Chandler reportedly admitted to having lied when he said Michael molested him. However, while this may have been said in hushed tones, it has never been stated publicly. And while my comrade in arms Geraldine Hughes exposed the entire scheme, alleged to have been cooked up by Jordan's recently deceased father, to hit Michael up for money in her book Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations (2004), she does not allege that he admitted to it in any subsequent statements. (She's the resident expert on the case.) So, we'll just have to leave it there for the time being. There are many 'good words' (Greek, eu, "good," logos "word") that can be said about Michael Joseph Jackson as fans and others continue to eulogize him. Is his reportedly willing the Beatle's catalogue back to Paul McCarthy among these? Stay tuned for the revealing answer.