A judge said Wednesday June 21 that videos to be played during the upcoming trial of producer Quincy Jones’ multimillion-dollar breach-of- contract lawsuit against one of Michael Jackson’s companies will be his introduction to some of the late singer’s biggest hits.
“It will be the first time I’ve heard most of the music,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern said. “I may be the only one in the room who can’t differentiate between `Thriller’ and …”
Stern did not finish the sentence, but Jones’ lawyer, J. Michael Hennigan, stepped into the conversation and said, “Billie Jean.”
“You’re right, I can’t,” Stern said during a status conference before trial of Jones’ lawsuit against MJJ Productions Inc.
Jones produced “Thriller” and co-produced “Billie Jean” with Jackson.
After another hearing on June 29, trial of the case will go forward as scheduled on July 10, Stern said.
Among the allegations in Jones’ suit against MJJ Productions are that royalties from the film “This is It” were allegedly disguised as profits and diverted to three Jackson estate entities: the Michael Jackson Co., MJJ Ventures and Triumph International.
“This is It” is a 2009 documentary that traces Jackson’s rehearsals and preparation for a series of London concerts that never happened. The singer had been rehearsing for the shows when he died in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009 – – 18 days prior to the tour’s start date — of a drug overdose at age 50. Sunday is the eighth anniversary of his death.
Jones, now 84, also alleges that master recordings he worked on were wrongfully edited and remixed so as to deprive him of bonus profits. The 28- time Grammy winner also maintains he was denied credit for his work on the singer’s works released after his death.
Jones made agreements with Jackson in 1978 and 1985 for work on the singer’s solo albums in which the producer claims he was given the first opportunity to re-edit or remix any of the master recordings. He also maintains that the coupling of master recordings with other recordings required his permission and that was to be given producer credit for each of the master recordings.