One of Michael Jackson’s former personal managers testified Tuesday that the financially strapped singer had ambitious plans to rebuild a career that by 2006 had remained tarnished despite his acquittal in a child molestation case the prior year.
Raymone Bain — one of four people claiming part ownership in a company created by Jackson — took the witness stand on the second day of a non-jury trial resulting from a petition filed by the Jackson estate, which is seeking to have the estate declared the sole owners of the Michael Jackson Co. LLC.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at age 50 of a drug overdose while in Los Angeles preparing for a series of comeback concerts in London.
Bain, Qadree El-Amin, Broderick Morris and Adean King say they collectively own about 15 percent of the company under a 3 a.m. deal to which Jackson agreed in a Tokyo hotel room on June 1, 2006. King was the only one of the four not present when the alleged accord was reached.
After a well-publicized trial, Jackson was found not guilty of all child molestation charges against him in June 2005. According to Bain, the singer desired to change the public’s opinion of him, which had hit a sour note because of the trial.
“He was interested in turning ’round the negative image prior to, during and after the child molestation trial,” Bain said.
Bain said Jackson flew to Tokyo from London to be present at the meetings with the claimants as well with businessmen who he hoped could help him realize his dream of building a studio for 3D projects.
“He was ahead of his time,” Bain said. “This was before ‘Avatar.”‘
Jackson also was interested in animation work, Bain said. But he needed the help of investors who were willing to put up $50 million to $60 million to build the 3D studio, Bain said.
No deals occurred despite lengthy meetings, Bain said.
“It seemed we met 24 hours a day,” she said.
Bain said Jackson also was in need of immediate income. Asked by the Jackson estate’s attorney, Howard Weitzman, how much the singer desired, Bain replied, “Anything that he could get.”
Maxwell Blecher, an attorney for El-Amin and the three other respondents, said he does not know how much his clients may be entitled to if they win the case because the estate’s lawyers have not given them documents demonstrating the value of the estate. However, he said that despite the lack of information, it is worthwhile for the four to push forward.
“I believe there is substantial money there,” Blecher said.
— City News Service
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