Death boosts Jackson's finances
Michael Jackson is turning out to be worth much more dead than alive.
Like the estates of Elvis Presley and Yves Saint Laurent, Jackson's has grown immensely since he died on June 25 last year.
Without Jackson around to indulge in his lavish spending sprees, and with the help of new revenue pouring in from nostalgia over the reign of the King of Pop, estate co-executors John Branca and John McClain have dramatically turned around Jackson's finances.
Long-standing debtors have been paid and a kingdom that was on the verge of collapse from more than 500 million dollars debt now looks to be able to support his three children and his mother and donate healthily to children's charities.
The estate has earned more than 250 million dollars in the year since he died. Executors used some of that to pay off 70 million dollars debt, including the 5 million dollar mortgage on the Jackson family compound in Encino, part of Los Angeles. The interest payments on the remaining debt are now covered by a steady flow of cash.
"They're off to a spectacularly good start," said Lance Grode, a former Jackson lawyer and professor at the University of Southern California Law School. He added, however, "there's a long way to go before they pay off all of their debts."
A rundown of deals suggests that Jackson's fortune will be even bigger than could have been realised by a planned series of comeback concerts:
A posthumous deal to sell unreleased Jackson recordings with Sony Music guaranteed 200 million dollars over seven years. It has already brought 125 million dollars to the estate.
The film "This Is It," based on his final concert rehearsal footage, grossed 252 million dollars worldwide. Sony Pictures paid the estate 60 million dollars in advance, with an undisclosed amount more to come from DVD sales.
Licensing deals on merchandise sold by Universal and a new dance game by Ubisoft Entertainment brought in 26 million dollars in advances.