Michael Jackson Estate Claims His Mother Has Received $55M Since His Death

Michael Jackson’s estate claimed in legal filings Thursday (Mar. 21) that his mother, Katherine Jackson, has received more than $55 million since the singer’s death — a revelation that came during an acrimonious dispute between the estate’s executors and the elder Jackson.

The new filings, obtained by Billboard, were aimed at proving that the estate itself shouldn’t have to pay for Katherine’s recent legal bills, which stem from her efforts to block an unspecified business transaction — believed to be the estate’s recent estimated $600 million catalog deal with Sony.

In making that argument, estate executors John Branca and John McClain argued Thursday that “virtually no request of Mrs. Jackson for her care or maintenance has been declined” in the years since Michael’s 2009 death.

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“Contrary to claims made by Mrs. Jackson’s counsel, the executors have in fact provided liberally for Mrs. Jackson’s maintenance, care and well being,” attorneys for Branca and McClain wrote. “Since Michael’s death, the executors have expended for Mrs. Jackson’s benefit more than $55 million.”

The elder Jackson allegedly received more than $33 million in cash, including an ongoing allowance of $160,0000 per month, plus a $15 million luxury home, the estate claimed. Branca and McClain also claimed that they provided Katherine with an emergency $3.7 million payment in December to satisfy delinquent income tax liabilities.

“It is difficult to imagine that the trustees could provide any more liberally for Mrs. Jackson,” attorneys for the executors wrote.

Thursday’s filing is the latest development in an ongoing feud between Katherine and the executors over her opposition to the unspecified business transaction. While the disputed deal has not been named in court documents, the Jackson estate recently struck an estimated $600 million deal to sell part of the singer’s catalog to Sony, the terms of which were first reported by Billboard last month.

After the Jackson estate sought court approval for the unnamed deal in 2022, Katherine filed objections with the court. But in April 2023, the judge overseeing the estate rejected those objections and ruled that the deal could move forward. Katherine then filed an appeal, which is still pending.

In December, Katherine filed motions asking that the estate pay for the legal bills she had incurred in making her objections, including the ongoing appeal. In an initial response earlier this month, Branca and McClain strongly opposed the request to pay for what they called her “failed objection” and “meritless appeal.”

Earlier this week, Michael’s son Blanket echoed those objections, arguing that his grandmother’s appeal was an “extreme longshot” and that it would be “unfair” to force him and his siblings to pay for that case.

In their new filing on Thursday, Branca and McClain went even further — claiming that the estate should not have to pay Katherine’s lawyers for filing objections that had caused “substantial damage.”

“Importantly, this petition is not about Mrs. Jackson’s maintenance, care, comfort and support,” the executors’ attorneys wrote. “This petition is about payment of attorneys’ fees for an objection filed on Mrs. Jackson’s behalf, which the court overruled, and the subsequent, frivolous and still pending appeal.”

An attorney for Katherine Jackson did not immediately return a request for comment.

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