The latest Jackson lawsuit is specifically targeting the mother of the pop family, with the claimants hoping to get their hands on any money paid out to Katherine Jackson by the Michael Jackson estate.
Mrs Jackson is being sued by a South Korean newspaper called The Segye Times in relation to a Jackson family tour that never happened back in the early nineties. According to US gossip man Roger Friedman, the Segye Times is owned by the Unification Church, the sometimes controversial religious organisation headed up by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon and often referred to as the Moonies.
It seems that in 1990 the Moonies fancied getting the whole Jackson family back on tour for the first time since 1984, and used their Korean media firm to negotiate a deal. The original plan involved Michael Jackson, though he never actually agreed to take part, very possibly because his people were concerned about getting involved in any business venture being spearheaded by Moon’s church. Jacko’s refusal to play ball led to the whole project collapsing, but not before the Moonies, via their media firm, had paid out considerable advances – they claim $5.5 million – to Katherine, Joe and Jermaine Jackson.
The Moonies sued the Jackson clan to get their money back. Michael Jackson settled the specific litigation against him in 1992, but the rest of the family failed to negotiate a deal so the whole dispute went to court in 1994. According to Freidman, Katherine and Joe Jackson basically ignored the litigation, and therefore a judgement was made against them to the tune of $4 million. When they failed to pay up, the Moonies made moves to seize the Jackson parent’s home. At that point the couple did respond, in that they transferred ownership of their property to Michael, thus putting it out of the reach of the bailiff.
The Jackson family’s finances have been in such a state of disarray ever since the Moonies haven’t made much of an effort to claim their cash back. But now, with Katherine Jackson a key beneficiary of the Michael Jackson estate, which has, according to reports, generated nearly a billion in income in the last year, the Moonies are back for their cash. They have filed legal papers requesting that any pay out from the Jacko estate to Mrs Jackson should come to them to make good the 1994 court judgement in their favour. Though, the claimants say, with sixteen years of interest they are now owed $13 million rather than the $4 million they were rewarded back then.
The Jackson clan is yet to respond to the new legal claim by The Segye Times. As previously reported, the Canadian business man who has collaborated with Katherine Jackson on her new book ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’, Howard Mann, last week claimed that the Jackson matriarch has actually seen very little cash from her son’s estate because, while said estate has been bringing in millions from various commercial deals, they are also having to pay out to a stack of creditors and litigants who were chasing or suing Michael Jackson at the time of his death.
That said, presumably at some point those debts will be settled and then the estate will start to pay out to the late king of pop’s mother and children. The Moonies, presumably, want to pre-empt that moment so that the first available cash comes directly to them. If the new legal claim actually gets to court, and if the Jackson’s show up this time, it could make for an interesting case, given the curious history of both sides of the dispute.