Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Linfield is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday before issuing a final ruling on Katherine Jackson’s motion.
Lawyers for the Jackson estate maintain the estate owns 100 percent of the Michael Jackson Co. because the singer was the sole owner when he was alive.
However, in her court papers, the 86-year-old Jackson family matriarch agrees with the other claimants that she has a 10 percent interest in the entity. She says the executors, John Branca and John McClain, “failed to properly apprise her” of the proceedings.
“Mrs. Jackson has a right to intervene in this action to protect her 10 percent ownership interest in TMJC,” her lawyer, Ryan Baker, stated in his court papers. “Any resolution of this matter without Mrs. Jackson’s participation will impair her ability to protect her ownership interest in the TMJC.”
Baker further argued that his client was not able to try to become a plaintiff in the case earlier because she was only recently informed about the proceedings. Baker’s court papers do not identify who told her about the case other than to state it was not the executors.
Attorneys for Qadree El-Amin, Broderick Morris, Raymone Bain and Adean King maintain that their clients collectively own about 15 percent of the company under a 3 a.m. deal Jackson made with them in a Tokyo hotel room on June 1, 2006.
The four claimants say it was Jackson’s idea to form the company and that he reserved 75 ownership for himself; 10 percent each for his mother and Bain, his general manager; and 1.68 percent each for El-Amin, Morris and King.
Judge Maria Stratton heard testimony in the claimants’ case during a non-jury, probate court trial that began in late 2015. She ruled March 27 that the Jackson estate owns 100 percent of TMJC.
The quartet’s lawsuit, which was separate from the probate action, was put on hold pending the outcome of the probate court proceedings. In his tentative ruling, Linfield said the civil case will remain stayed for now and that a status conference is scheduled before him on May 25.
The lawsuit was filed in May 2013 by El-Amin and Morris. Bain and King joined the case as plaintiffs later.
King worked at the time for Bain, who testified in a sworn declaration that she met Michael Jackson through tennis star Serena Williams. El-Amin was the manager of the R&B vocal group Boyz II Men, and Morris was the chief operating officer of Positive Productions Inc., a Japan-based company that promoted concerts and other events in that country.
The four maintain they tried to help the singer recharge his career through public appearances, performing on tour and making more music.
He died from an overdose on June 25, 2009, at age 50.
–City News Service
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