Michael Was Right, Someone Was After His Catalog. What If It Wasn’t Sony Corp.?

NOTE from MJJJP- There are a few people in the fan base who question the legitmacy of the legal executors of Michael Jackson’s Estate. They often make claims that John Branca and John McClain have illegally usurped the power and even go so far as to claim they are complicit in Michael’s death. We all know that Michael did speak of a “conspiracy” prior to his demise but just who was/is involved in it, is a mystery.  Michael Jackson was surounded by wheeler dealers his whole life and had many people, with their own self-aggrandizing agendas whispering in his ears. Who could he really trust?  Who was protecting him and who was using him?  The information, quotes, comments, opinons and clarifications below have been sent to MJJJP from a MJ fan Twitter Account – ItsBlackItsWite–  Their wish is to present this information and let the Michael Jackson fanbase come to their own conclusions and we are willing to oblige this request.

Michael Was Right, Someone Was After His Catalog.
What If It Wasn’t Sony Corp.?

1 Undue Influence

From “Hit Men” by Fredric Dannen:
Pg 145
Walter Yetnikoff’s first meeting with Allen Grubman took place in 1977….The subject of the meeting was the third man at the table, artist manager Tommy Mottola, who handled Hall and Oats and some other acts. Mottola was Grubman’s client and closest friend.

Pg 150
(about 1987) Grubman did all of Geffen Record’s East Coast legal work. “He is my partner,” said Geffen, “but he’s called my attorney.”

Pg 151
In a 1984 lawsuit…The plaintiff was Sandy Linzer, who had been Tommy Mottola’s partner in artist management. Linzer was one of Grubman’s earliest clients, and even took credit for introducing Allen (Grubman) and Tommy. He apparently believed that Mottola had somehow deprived him of stock he should have had…Linzer alleged that Grubman admitted in a conversation with him that Mottola had defrauded Linzer, but said he was “unable to act in Linzer’s behalf if Mottola directed otherwise.”…The suit was settled out of court, and the terms have not been disclosed.

Pg 156
The same year (1980) Grubman completed his first deal for David Geffen…(details are not applicable to our subject)…In the meantime, Geffen became a Grubman fan.

Pg 312
(1988) The new president of CBS Records US was Tommy Mottola…Apart from being one of Walter’s (Yetnikoff) closest friends in the business, Mottola had few apparent qualifications to run the largest American record company. It was true that David Geffen and Irving Azoff had also begun as artist managers, but no one put Mottola in their intellectual league. Even Walter noted, somewhat ambiguously, “I think one of the more interesting facts about Tommy is that he’s extremely smart. He’s hidden that from the world until recently.”

Pg 336
Walter had allowed Tommy to restaff the upper echelons of the company with his own soldiers, and to some, that seemed like a surefire recipe for a palace coup….Surely, Tommy Mottola, whom Lynda Emon (Yetnikoff’s girlfriend) referred to as “Walter’s personal valet”, would never be disloyal. There were onlookers, however, who believed Tommy would turn on Walter in the blink of an eye. The late Morris Levy, for instance… “Mottola is a no-talent mover-upper,” Morris concluded. “He’s a user.”

Pg 337
Allen (Grubman) had done all he could to regain the good graces of David Geffen….If Yetnikoff was overthrown at CBS, Grubman could not lose. He represented the three top people below Walter: Tommy Mottola….by mid 1990 the friendship (between Grubman and Yetnikoff) was over.

Pg 337 – 340
…what Geffen wanted most was a Michael Jackson single for the movie “Days of Thunder”, since his record company was going to put out the soundtrack album. When Jackson declined to write an original song for the movie, Geffen agreed to settle for an outtake from the “Bad” album – a cover of John Lennon’s “Come Together”.

The trouble was, Walter did not agree that Geffen could have the recording. Worse, his method of delivering the bad news was crude even by Walter’s standards…Yetnikoff had occasionally made sarcastic references over the years about Geffen’s bisexuality….

…If he (Geffen) couldn’t get a Michael Jackson single, could he get Michael Jackson himself? As Geffen was well aware, the singer’s recording pact with CBS had been negotiated under California law, which provides that contracts can be abrogated after seven years – an amount of time that had already expired in Jackson’s case. And Geffen certainly had set the stage for making a pass at the singer. For more than a decade, Geffen had served as an unpaid business adviser to Jackson….

The signer’s former manager, Frank DiLeo, a diehard Yetnikoff loyalist, might have saved the day for Walter. But he had been let go in early 1989, partly at Geffen’s urging.  {*Source: Transcript  Sawyer interview wDileo 2004 )Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 10.15.36 AM

* Geffen, Mottola and their attorney Allen Grubman

DiLeo had not been replaced. Instead, his role was filled by Jackson’s lawyer of more than a decade, John Branca. Branca was very much Walter’s man and therefore an obstacle between Geffen and Jackson. Geffen had never had much love for Branca.

Despite Branca’s presence, however, it seemed that Jackson was increasingly willing to take his cue from Geffen…..

Jackson replaced Branca with a manager and three attorneys. The manager, Sandy Gallin, happened to be one of Geffen’s closest friends. For publishing, Jackson now used Lee Phillips – Geffen’s West Coast attorney. For litigation, he hired Bert Fields, who was also Geffen’s litigator. For records, he retained Allen Grubman.

(Yetnikoff’s version of the Come Together/Days of Thunder issue differs only in that he says Michael told Geffen he could use the song, then called him [Yetnikoff] and said he didn’t really want it used, so would he tell Geffen no? Walter agreed, and apparently told this story frequently at social events as well as writing about it in his book, “Howling At The Moon.” Michael never publicly denied it, and Geffen must have heard it. It’s noteworthy in that a record executive’s job is to maximize revenue from any artist’s work, and a Michael Jackson song in a Tom Cruise film would have been gold at that time, so this illustrates how these men let their personal conflicts affect business.)

Back to “Hit Men” Pg 337 – 340
(after discovering it was far too costly to get MJ from CBS to Geffen Records) Geffen had to settle for a consolation prize. Jackson owned two publishing companies (this is before the merger of his ATV with Sony, so MJ owned ATV and MiJac)… Suddenly, ATV dropped EMI Music as its administrator and hired MCA Music. It was easier to see how this benefited MCA Corporation employee David Geffen than how it did Michael Jackson. Unlike EMI, MCA was not equipped to manage the catalog outside the United States….

Though he did not get Michael Jackson on his label after all, Geffen would nevertheless have his revenge against Yetnikoff. All it would take in the end was an article by Laura Landro that appeared in the August 17, 1990 edition of The Wall Street Journal. She reported that Yetnikoff’s relations with Jackson and Springsteen had soured, and that he had just signed a new contract under which he would gradually phase out his managerial duties and groom a successor. Tommy Mottola was described as the “most logical candidate” to take his place… Someone had leaked this information with a decidedly negative spin. Landro would not reveal her sources, but Walter was sure that Geffen and Mottola were involved.

From “The Operator”, by Tom King:
Pg 23 – 24
Apparently Batya had failed to teach her young son one fundamental lesson: the difference between right and wrong. Although she herself was morally grounded…David early on found it was easy to cheat and sometimes simple to get what you wanted if you lied.

Pg 48
Having tossed aside all notions of right and wrong, young David Geffen simply lived by different rules than did the rest of society around him.

Pg 115
Geffen had recognized how easy it was for him to manipulate the press. The media were to become some of his most powerful tools to help him get what he wanted.

Pg 319
Grubman and Geffen were sort of simpatico on their outlooks on life, and they shared the belief that rules were made as guidelines and not as hard-and-fast laws. If one needed to bend a rule here or there to achieve a goal or make a deal, Geffen and Grubman both believed, then so be it.

Pg 92
(1966) Gallin and Geffen quickly became inseparable, incorrigible gossips….

(the following are not to judge Geffen’s life style but to show that the stories about Raffles Van Exel could be true)

Pg 278
During his relationship with (Marlo) Thomas, Geffen had a fling with a 21 year old, sandy haired adult film star named Gavin Dillard.

Pg 285
He (Geffen) began hosting small parties at his beach house in Malibu, filling the guest list with attractive men in their twenties.

Pg 321
As had been the case on many previous nights, lying next to him was a male prostitute.

Pg 587
(late 1990s) He (Geffen) continued to pursue men who were half his age and presided over parties that seemed to have been stocked with decorative young men.

From http://divinevarod.com/2012/04/03/raffles-van-exel-knew-no-shame-lied-to-michael-jackson-and-created-a-scam-in-the-name-of-the-911-victims-duping-jermaine-jackson/
In the early years of the 21st century Raffles Van Exel had landed firmly in the camp of the Jacksons. Having wangled his way up via a relationship with toyboy loving David Geffen… (this links Raffles with Tohme)

From http://diaryofahollywoodstreetking.com/raffles-van-exel-connected-to-gay-mafia/
…the story about David Geffen sending his limo to pick Raffles up for a party the music mogul was holding. Only, as Raffles told it, the party was just for the two of them….three separate sources have confirmed to HSK that back in the 90s Raffles worked as a male escort. (this also connects Raffles to Tohme)

More information regarding Geffen, his activities with porn stars Again, this is only added as supplemental information.  http://gawker.com/pornstar-feared-for-his-safety-after-iding-david-geff-1716736313

Back to “The Operator”
Pg 327 – 328
Geffen (who had had a nose job) told Eisner he needed to get a nose job and suggested a plastic surgeon…Similarly, Geffen told Carole Childs she needed an eye lift….he himself (Geffen) had become an ardent supporter of a Beverly Hills dermatologist named Arnold Klein.

Pg 337
(1981) Geffen called his attorney friend Allen Grubman…”You get me $15M to $17M and you’re my lawyer!” Geffen said gleefully…And David Geffen had a new lawyer.

Pg 382 – 383
…Geffen had a year or so earlier (so 1982) forged a relationship with pop superstar Michael Jackson and offered to create a big-budget movie musical around him….Geffen believed Jackson was tailor-made for the movies and predicted that he would be a huge star on the silver screen…

Pg 385 – 386
He (Geffen) had an uncanny ability to understand people, recognize their weaknesses, and capitalize on them…David Geffen at his worst, as a man willing to implode any business or personal relationship to attain his goal.

Pg 399 – 400
(1985) Plans for Geffen’s Michael Jackson movie floundered amid a host of problems, including Geffen’s inability to find the right script…The deal soon expired and The Gloved One again was a free agent.

Pg 435
(1988) …Michael Jackson continued to seek and value Geffen’s advice. He asked him to become part of a three-man board of advisers who counsel him on career and financial matters. Shortly after taking the job, Geffen became the most influential voice in Jackson’s life.

Geffen was soon handed the task of finding him a new manager….

Pg 439
(1989) When Grubman called Geffen to announce that Chrysalis had made a deal with Thorn EMI, Geffen erupted…incensed that Grubman had not leaked the news to him. He (Grubman) tried to explain that he had been sworn to secrecy… “You’re fired!” Geffen bellowed, hanging up.

The next month was the worst month of Allen Grubman’s life. He was well aware of Geffen’s power to destroy people, and he feared that he would attempt to ruin him….He was desperate to figure out a way to get back into Geffen’s good graces.

Pg 449
(later in 1989) Geffen realized the ally he heeded most at that moment was Allen Grubman… “I don’t want this ever to happen again,” Geffen said, referring to the Chrysalis fiasco… “You understand what I’m saying?… I don’t want this ever to happen again.” (Geffen rehired Grubman b/c he wanted to sell Geffen Records. Grubman realized he had to do as told.)

Pg 468
When an article in The Wall Street Journal said that Yetnikoff would be gradually phased out of his job amid souring relationships with Jackson and Springsteen, music-industry executives speculated that Geffen had been the source. Although the article reported that Yetnikoff had signed a new contract, it said that Tommy Mottola, Yetnikoff’s number 2 and a friend of Geffen, had signed a longer one was was “the most logical successor”.

Geffen also turned on John Branca, Michael Jackson’s lawyer, who had become Jackson’s de facto manager since he’d fired Frank DiLeo. Branca was close to Yetnikoff, and Geffen wanted him out, too. Influenced by Geffen’s reports that Branca was getting too large a share of the singer’s income, Jackson soon told Branca he was letting him go.

Screenshot X1blogger.blogspot.com post re: John Branca

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.10.22 AM

In addition, Geffen went on a rampage to ruin Branca, working the early-morning telephone and instructing many other people to fire him as well…. When Lowenstien refused to heed Geffen’s call, Geffen turned on him, too. Their friendship, dating to 1969, was finished.

Pg 474
(1989/90) And Lisa (Eisner, wife of Eric Eisner, president of The Geffen Company) thanks to a Geffen recommendation, had picked up a valuable contract to offer image-consulting services to Michael Jackson.

2 Mottola, Malnik and The Mob

From “The Trials of Michael Jackson” by Lynton Guest:

Pg 50
“Tommy Mottola” Jackson said, “is mean, racist and very, very devilish.”… There can be no doubt that the most important part of Jackson’s statement as far as he was concerned, comes at the end, when he accuses Mottola of being “very, very devilish.”… Since signing a famous, ten to fifteen year so called $1 billion contract in 1991, he had become ever more disillusioned in his relationship with his record label. That deal came hard on the heels of Tommy Mottola convincing Jackson to support him in his battle to take over the job of his then boss, Walter Yetnikoff… (which) swayed Sony’s Japanese leadership to take Mottola’s side against Yetnikoff….Jackson was….implying that Tommy Mottola was actively engaged in an attempt to sabotage his, Jackson’s, career, hence the use of the word ‘devilish’. Michael Jackson had no idea how close he was to the truth yet how far away he was from understanding the reality of what was occurring. He thought it was about CD sales and marketing. It was actually about survival.

Pg 64
(after LWMJ aired and Sneddon went into overdrive) It was time (for Sony) to pass some information to the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office…The information concerning Jackson’s finances, which neither Sneddon nor any one else could have guessed, gave the prosecutor exactly what he required. Michael Jackson’s career was in the doldrums, Sony could give proof of that. His borrowings were such that if the investigations proceeded to a trial, it could well bankrupt the singer as he would be forced to default on his loans. To Sneddon, that knowledge was crucial.

Sneddon now had a narrative he thought he could credibly present to a jury…

This is where the conspiracy charge comes into play…

This, at any rate, was Tom Sneddon’s version of events now he had the financial information. It provided motive for the conspiracy and the abuse. The conspiracy was pivotal to his case…

The source of the leak was carefully concealed. If my information is correct, even from the Santa Barbara DA. I have been told that the story emanated from Tokyo but was delivered from New York. Something ‘very, very devilish’ had indeed been going on. It is unsurprising that Sony’s lawyers were so concerned that Paul Russel (former CBS Records exec and Sr VP for Sony, knew and liked MJ) had put two and two together they tried to intimidate him into silence.

Pg 75
There can be no doubt that of all the Sony executives involved, Tommy Mottola was instrumental in the demise of Walter Yetnikoff, whispering poisonous stories into the ears of artists and their managers.

Pg 96
(regarding copyright reversion as pertains to the controversial 1991 Sony/MJ contract)
I believe that what in fact happened can be traced ultimately to Tommy Mottola, via his eternal sidekick, a lawyer called Allen Grubman… Mottola and Grubman came as a package, with Mottola the streetwise manager and Grubman his full time networker and negotiator…

Tommy Mottola had deployed Grubman to perform various tasks on his behalf for years. When Yetnikoff brought Mottola to CBS, Grubman, as always, was at his side…

…he (Mottola) became used to sending Allen Grubman to smooth his path, to oil the wheels. When he became a company man, he continued the pattern that had served him so well. Soon the lines between who was acting for whom became blurred. At various times after Mottola joined Sony, Grubman found it necessary to have a word in Michael Jackson’s ear. At around the time when Walter Yetnikoff was losing it and the new contract was being negotiated, Jackson fired his manager, Frank DiLeo, and his lawyer, John Branca. For a while, Jackson’s confidant was unofficially Allen Grubman.

From http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n_8387/
Mottola ran his team like a little Mafia family. And loyalty to the dysfunctional famiglia was prized…He (Mottola) would sometimes hire detectives to check up on artists who were litigious with the company – most famously Michael Jackson…..But there were also sanctioned leaks to the press…. “The biggest influence on my (Mottola’s) life, everything, was Morris Levy.”

(The article explains who Levy was [Considered the Godfather of the American record industry, in deep with the Mafia via the Genovese family and a very dangerous man]. Anyone who wants to get more into the Mafia’s control of the American music industry should read “Me, the Mob and the Music” by Tommy James.[this book mentions Mottola as a frequent guest of Levy’s] Mottola owns rights to the life story of one these mobsters and meant to make a feature film about him.)

From http://www.foxnews.com/story/2002/07/12/jacko-may-claim-threats-by-mottola/
It’s all about Tommy goading Michael to respond the way he has… he has been present during speaker calls between Jackson and Sony Music President Tommy Mottola in which Mottola threatened Jackson. “Not physical threats but certainly the threat that Michael would be destroyed and his career would be over if he didn’t agree to Tommy’s terms. It’s Tommy saying ‘I’ll ruin you’ “….It’s as if he awoke from a long, deep coma to find his financial house on fire and Mottola standing there with the matches.

6-26-2009 Al Malnik claims he’s executor of MJs will
http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/updated-reputed-mobster-al-malnik-says-hes-executor-of-michael-jacksons-will-and-blanket-s-new-dad-6452862

From http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/the-malnik-familys-michael-jackson-photo-dump-6439351
He’s (Malnik) been quoted in several publications regarding his friendship with Jackson, saying he’s Godfather to the pop king’s youngest son, Blanket, and that, last Malnik knew, he was executor of the estate….

Jackson also said he (Malnik) received a phone call from Mottola while he was there, which aroused his suspicion…

Michael and the family wanted Novel to gather proof of the Malnik/Mottola conspiracy and further find evidence that Mottola was behind the criminal child molestation charges…

He (Novel) said Jackson’s mental state was “excellent” and that the pop star was lucid and extremely intelligent.

“He (MJ) thought that Mottola was Mob connected and that Malnik was representing the Mob… I don’t want to get on Mottola’s bad side. My sources in New York say he’s a very dangerous guy.”

(We know Morris Levy was deeply involved with the Genovese crime family, that he was friends with Tommy Mottola and that Mottola openly admits he patterned himself after Levy. We know that Al Malnik was a friend/protege of Meyer Lansky, known mobster. According to this book, Lansky was also part of the Genovese crime family. The name Vincent Gigante is significant in that Mottola intended to make a film of that man’s brother’s life. Vincent Gigante was a friend/business partner of Levy’s. I’ve read many articles and bio’s [like that of Lucky Luciano, Lansky’s partner] that have Lansky affiliated w/ the Genovese family even if he wasn’t actually “in” it.)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/genovese-crime-family-source-wikipedia/1114565041?ean=9781156480090

From http://mafiatoday.com/tag/alvin-malnik/
Reader’s Digest rather famously dubbed Malnik as Lansky’s “heir apparent” when the mobster died in 1983.

It was in the parking garage there that Malnik’s brand new Rolls Royce was blown up in 1982. Malnik’s ties to organized crime run long and deep, beginning with Meyer Lansky….

…Hollywood film producer Brett Ratner who is so close to Malnik that he calls Ratner his “11th son”.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Luciano
He (Luciano) was the first official boss of the Genovese crime family. He was, along with his associate Meyer Lansky…

From http://www.thewrap.com/tv/column-post/showtime-ending-big-c-49986/
The network also announced plans for a documentary about music executive Tommy Mottola by director Brett Ratner.

From http://prince.org/msg/8/156577
“Tommy Boy” by Robert Sam Anson, Vanity Fair, November 1996
Tommy Mottola….tucks a 9mm Glock into his briefcase, and travels in an armor plated limo with a cop badge on the back (also mentioned in Hit Men & other books)…

…sometimes at one of the Mob joints in Little Italy, Tommy grinning at the curbside soldati. “Relax, just a couple of civilians coming in.”…

Senior CBS officials….their pique swelled when Tommy showed up in a 1986 NBC report on Mob infiltration of the music business…

…a call to Sony from a CBS corporate officer. “Do you know this guy (Mottola) has a Mafia background?”…. The FBI said “No, this guy (Mottola) is not somebody who will start dealing with people we should worry about, but he has friends who do.”…

…in the middle of Grubman’s divorce from his long time wife, who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, he (Yetnikoff) heard Tommy phone attorney Barry Slotnick, who has represented Vinnie “The Chin” Gigante and John Gotti….

Another headache was journalist Frederic Dannen, whose best-seller, Hit Men, had sketched the darker chapters of Tommy’s past all too vividly. Now Dannen had another story, told to him by a reputed Mottola acquaintance named Michael Franzese. According to Franzese, whom Mottola doesn’t remember meeting, he’d lately been approached about buying Tommy’s stake in Champion. Franzese passed, though not out of lack of regard for Tommy. “I heard from guys on the street that, you know, Tommy was a guy that understands us,” Franzese told Dannen. “Let’s put it this way: I don’t know what affiliation he’s had. I’m not going to say that about him. But he’s a guy that could relate to somebody like me….Tommy, we knew he was a friend of ours.” What made Franzese’s comments noteworthy was his previous occupation. Until he became a cooperating government witness, he’d been a high-ranking caporegime in the Colombo crime family, a career at which he’d been so proficient that Fortune listed him as one of the top Mafia bosses in the country…

Joel’s business manager invested his money in a string of racehorses and invited Tommy and Allen to do the same. By and by, Tommy decided to reclaim his cash, only to be informed by the business manager that the money was gone. The manager advised Tommy, however, not to worry: he was going to bump off a nag and collect on the insurance. Without alerting Joel or the authorities, Tommy (who remembers thinking the whole thing a joke) passed the news on to Grubman, who later referred to the alleged scheme as “comic gossip.” However, the horse in question did die-officially of natural causes. The suit settlement was even neater. The same day Billy dropped his litigation, a $2.4 million check arrived from Sony, along with a pledge of an additional $600 000-supposedly for future record royalties and commercial endorsements. Few in the industry believed it. “Why would Sony put up $3 million for Grubman, when they’d not been named in the suit?” says Joel’s lawyer. Leonard Marks. “the answer is he’s got the Mottola connection.” ….

Of course Tommy knows there are other opinions out there, so he’s had his lawyers remind ex-employees of their confidentiality agreements. Quite on their own, his old friend Daryl Hall and John Oates have also been consulting lawyers in an attempt to find out where all the money went.

(Thinking about the Malnik Photo Dump article above, dated June 29, 2009 – why do that so soon after MJs death? Preemptive damage control? Part of a plan to insinuate himself as Executor before it became clear that was going to be John Branca?)


3 The Hiring & Firing of John Branca; Who Wanted Him Out Of The Way?                           (a few paragraphs are repeated from above, for clarity’s sake)

From “Hit Men” by Frederic Dannen, Pg 337 – 340
The singer’s former manager, Frank DiLeo, a diehard Yetnikoff loyalist, might have saved the day for Walter. But he had been let go in early 1989, partly at Geffen’s urging. DiLeo had not been replaced. Instead, his role was filled by Jackson’s lawyer of more than a decade, John Branca. Branca was very much Walter’s man and therefore an obstacle between Geffen and Jackson. Geffen had never had much love for Branca.

Despite Branca’s presence, however, it seemed that Jackson was increasingly willing to take his cue from Geffen…..

Jackson replaced Branca with a manager and three attorneys. The manager, Sandy Gallin, happened to be one of Geffen’s closest friends. For publishing, Jackson now used Lee Phillips – Geffen’s West Coast attorney. For litigation, he hired Bert Fields, who was also Geffen’s litigator. For records, he retained Allen Grubman.

From http://prince.org/msg/8/156577
“Tommy Boy” by Robert Sam Anson, Vanity Fair, November 1996
By far the most formidable was David Geffen, the billionaire record impresario and implacable Yetnikoff foe. More than once Geffen had urged Schulhof to get rid of Yetnikoff, and Geffen also urged Michael Jackson, Yetnikoff’s most prized act to leave CBS. Jackson was unwilling to do that but did drop several key members of his entourage closely identified with Yetnikoff. In their place, he installed figures tightly linked to Geffen. Notable among them was an attorney Tommy had recommended to David years before, Allen Grubman….

Then, with Grubman, he (Mottola) drew up a fresh contract for Michael Jackson. (the controversial 1990 contract)…

.. Yetnikoff, and he presented the Japanese with an ultimatum: it was either Tommy or him.
Word of the threat promptly reached Mottola, who began planning countermeasures with Geffen and Grubman….

Long suspected as a repository for Mottola leaks, the Journal reported on Aug. 17 that Yetnikoff had recently signed a contract which would phase him out of the record groups management. The most “logical candidate” to replace him, the paper noted, was his trustworthy lieutenant, Tommy Mottola….

From “The Operator” by Tom King Pg 468
Geffen also turned on John Branca, Michael Jackson’s lawyer, who had become Jackson’s de facto manager since he’d fired Frank DiLeo. Branca was close to Yetnikoff, and Geffen wanted him out, too. Influenced by Geffen’s reports that Branca was getting too large a share of the singer’s income, Jackson soon told Branca he was letting him go.

In addition, Geffen went on a rampage to ruin Branca, working the early-morning telephone and instructing many other people to fire him as well…. When Lowenstien refused to heed Geffen’s call, Geffen turned on him, too. Their friendship, dating to 1969, was finished.

From http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/michael-jackson-4-brancas-fired-rehired-fired-22423/
Three years later (1993) Branca got a phone call. “Branca, It’s Michael. You think I should sell half of ATV Music for $75M?”…

One of several lawyers was proposing just that…

And with Branca now owning the 5% stake…

But instead of an outright sale, he (Branca) proposed a merger of Sony’s music publishing operations and ATV.

Thus, in 1995, Branca pulled off another coup: Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Jackson owned half of a much larger company…

February 2003, the letter firing Branca http://www.scribd.com/doc/43788480/You-Re-Fired
Note that the “return address” is Aventura, Florida. MJ was with the Malniks in 2003. Al Malnik owns The Forge Restaurant in Miami and lives in Palm Beach County, Florida. Miami is 18.47 miles from Aventura.

April 15, 2003 is the date on the Interfor Report.

From http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/secret-report-got-branca-fired-22850/
Known as the Interfor Report…. it gave Jackson an excuse to get rid of his superlawyer….

But the investigation provided no credible evidence to corroborate those and other assertions. In fact it seems little more than part of an elaborate smear campaign intended to influence Jackson to fire Branca…

About Interfor and its owner, Al Malnik wrote, “I have heard negative and unreliable comments about that company and its director, Juval Aviv.”

(This page from the Interfor report seems to accuse Branca, Mottola and Malnik. Based on The Wrap’s summary and LeGrande’s testimony, “I was given no credible evidence to support the charges. I would be doing Mr. Branca a great wrong if I said other wise”, I can’t help but wonder if this is clarified later in the report but was reproduced here because it’s controversial. )http://www.scribd.com/doc/44182289/Smear

Full transcript of LeGrande’s testimony http://www.geniusmichaeljackson.com/court/Transcripts/Court%20Transcript%205%2013%202005.txt

July 28, 2003 (this letter from Branca to Koppleman makes clear that Branca is again working for MJ. As you can see, he’s trying to make sure MJ retains some control and walks away with cash beyond payment of his debts. Ultimately it was Branca’s recommendation that MJ pass on this deal.)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/43788206/Branca-s-Secret-Letter

From http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/michael-jackson-1-can-john-branca-save-jackson-again-22420/
The due date for the mammoth loan loomed this month (December 2010) and missing it might have meant a loosening of the estate’s grip on its half of Sony/ATV. But Branca beat the clock by months, arranging to refinance the loan in September through the Swiss financial services giant UBS…

From 2003 – 2004, virtually the identical financial crisis – almost $300M in debt with the songs at stake – was met with a momentous initiative led not by Branca but by a power cast that included Wall Street savvy Goldman Sachs, veteran music entrepreneur Charles Koppleman and a Florida entrepreneur dogged by Mob suspicions, Alvin Malnik….

…Branca advised Jackson that he would be giving up too much control based on the proposal and Jackson vetoed the deal.

From http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jackson-defends-self-off-stand/
Two men who took over Michael Jackson’s management in 2003 were discovered to have diverted $965,000.00 of the singer’s assets….

LeGrande said he had been brought in to straighten out a maze of transactions involving Jackson when he met the two men, Ronald Konitzer and Dieter Weisner, who he said were determined to manage all of Jackson’s affairs….

“I became concerned they were in a position to divert funds”… when the accounting report came back, he said “there were hundreds of thousands of dollars dispersed to Ronald Konitzer and Dieter Weisner… wrote a letter to Dieter Weisner asking him to account for $965,000.00”.

“Did you ever find out what he did with the money?” asked defense lawyer Tomas Mesereau, Jr.

“No. I was terminated by Mr. Jackson within 2 weeks of that letter” LeGrande said.

From http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/12/16/jackson-nears-financial-ruin/
Branca has a 5% stake in the Sony catalog. Experts tell me that his percentage is tied to Jackson’s, whatever happens. (other articles say Branca’s share was “an estimated 2.5%”)

Last April (2005) he (MJ) was offered a chance to sell half of his interest in the Sony catalog, which would have freed up enough cash to pay all his bills and debts. The deal would have left him with a 25% interest in Sony/ATV Publishing as well….

The deal in fact had been constructed by bankers at Goldman Sachs and two of his advisers, Alvin Malnik and Charles Koppleman.

From http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/people/2009-08-14-jackson-branca_N.htm
In 1990 Jackson tearfully told Branca he wanted to try different representation; though Branca wouldn’t confirm it, it was widely reported that Hollywood mogul and record company executive David Geffen advised Jackson that Branca’s influence in his affairs had grown too large. They remained apart for 3 years.

Branca returned in 1993 at a time when Jackson was being sued in a child molestation case he ultimately settled.

By 2006, Branca says, his relationship with Jackson was troubled once again. The star was listening to an increasingly odd set of advisers who Branca feared did not have the singer’s best interests at heart.

“He was surrounded and I had to resign,” he said. “He did not ask me to stay. I resigned amicably.”

And then, a little more than a month before Jackson died, the call came from Jackson’s former manager Frank DiLeo…. Branca drafted an agenda and met with Jackson on June 17 (2009) at The Forum in Los Angeles.

(So reports vary on Branca’s percentage of Sony/ATV – 5% or 2.5% – but whichever, it came from MJ not from Sony. This means that technically, Sony became the majority shareholder with 50%, MJ at either 45% or 47.5%, Branca with the remainder. Yet all reports continue to list MJ as having a 50% stake, being a 50% owner. This corroborates Friedman’s report that Branca’s share was “tied to” MJs. Together, they made up Michael’s half. At some point in 2005 or 2006, it seems Branca sold his share back to MJ as part of a refinancing deal, restoring MJ as a full partner w/ Sony. We also know that in 2006 into 2008 R Bain was manager of all MJs financial affairs and really messed up. On her watch Mesereau was not paid in full, MJs Vegas body guards were not paid, NL insurance lapsed and payroll was not met, etc. Although in my opinion she did right when she hired Peter Lopez to replace Branca.)

(By 2009 we learned that the Michael Jackson Estate owned 50% of Sony/ATV, so all those blogs insisting that Branca sold his share to Sony are obviously wrong.)

From http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/business/20fund.html
July 2009, Colony Capital “inquired into buying the Jackson estate’s 50% share in Sony/ATV.”
(At this point I’m sure I don’t have to explain to anyone why Colony Cap/Tom Barrack’s interest is overly opportunistic, if not suspicious.)

(Also from the article and many others) “John G. Branca….saying only that the Jackson stake in Sony/ATV ‘is not for sale’…. some members of the Jackson family have pondered the merits of selling.”

Additional reading of “Howling At the Moon” by Walter Yetnikoff written in March 2004 confirms much of what has been previously written by the other authors cited herein. 

“Howling At The Moon”  by Walter Yetnikoff http://www.amazon.com/Howling-Moon-Odyssey-Monstrous-Excess/dp/0767915364
Pg. 5
Michael (Jackson) wasn’t entirely wrong… In this case, (David) Geffen had been working behind my back to get Michael’s ear. Once a friend, soon to be a nemesis, Geffen spent all his waking hours manipulating the fortunes of famous artists.

Pg. 113
I (Yetnikoff) didn’t know it at the time, but insecurity and vanity made me an easy mark for ass-kissers. Enter Tommy Mottola and Allen Grubman.

Pg. 114
Two such men – Tommy Mottola and Allen Grubman – were especially solicitous. Mottola was a music man, a former singer and promoter, and the manager of Hall and Oates. Grubman was Tommy’s attorney….

Sensing my need for a protege, he (Mottola) filled that need with brotherly sympathy. He asked about the big decisions I had to make. He listened worshipfully as I described the challenges of running my worldwide operation. He lavished praise on my abilities. He made me feel great.

Pg. 125 – 126
“Geffen’s looking for international distribution for his label,” Grubman told me.

“You’re in touch with Geffen?” I asked.

“He’s not happy with the deal Warner is offering.” (Grubman)

“Warner bankrolled his label,” I said. “Warner will do his overseas distribution.”

“At the right price, Geffen would let CBS distribute internationally.” (Grubman)

“That would aggravate the hell out of Ross,” said Mottola. (They’re talking about Steve Ross, head of Warner Brothers.) ….

“What are you getting out of this, Allen?” I asked.

“The satisfaction of a good deal.” (Grubman)

“You’re using me to sell yourself to Geffen.” (Yetnikoff)

“I’m bringing you business, Walter. But I want you to know, my loyalty is to you. Always to you.” (Grubman)

… I was in business with Geffen and Geffen’s lawyer, Allen Grubman.

Pg. 226
In the twenty months or so between the sale to Sony (of CBS Records) and he physical collapse that forced me to rehab, Mottola and Grubman – Tweedledee and Tweedledum – gave me much love. And Why not? After bugging me for years, Tommy finally convinced me to appoint him head of the domestic division of CBS Records. The press screamed that he wasn’t qualified…

Grubman was equally adept at working me. With my help, he had built up a clientele that included (Bruce) Springsteen and Billy Joel.

Pg. 254
In early 1990, David Geffen sold his record company to Wasserman and Sheinberg at MCA for a half-billion. Now richer than God, Geffen went on a power tear. He was pissed at me for a couple of reasons: at Michael Jackson’s whining insistence, I (Yetnikoff) told Geffen that he couldn’t use a Michael track for (the film) ‘Days of Thunder’…

Meanwhile, Allen Grubman had become Geffen’s attorney and partner in office politics. I didn’t like that. Out of whimsy, I had created him. I had handed him the industry’s most prestigious client list on a silver platter. Why should he cavort with Geffen?

Pg. 255 – 261
(Grubman speaking) “You don’t need to aggravate the situation. You’re making it hard on yourself. You’re going against your own artists.”

“Who are you talking about?” (Yetnikoff)

“Michael Jackson. He looks to Geffen like a father.” (Grubman)

“I’m getting sick” (Yetnikoff)

“You better get wise.” (Grubman)…

Michael Jackson first fired Frank Dileo, my (Yetnikoff’s) former employee and loyal supporter, and then fired his lawyer, John Branca, another guy who liked me. Michael’s new lawyer? Allen Grubman.

Grubman put together a new contract for Michael that I considered outrageous. It gave him his own label with the promise to earn his regular high-share royalties in addition to half the profits from his label.

“In my legal opinion,” I told Mottola, “profits plus royalties could be violating every favored nations clause with our other artists.” (Yetnikoff started in the music biz as an attorney specializing in contracts.)

“No it doesn’t,” Tommy argued. “His income from label profits is seen as separate.”

“Bullshit. Any accountant worth his salt will see it as disguised royalties…” (There was a lot of press about this controversial contract at the time, and many still blame Branca for putting it together. We see, again, that it was Allen Grubman who did it.)

With my approval, Mottola had put in place a management team of his own. I’d thought he was the right guy to run Columbia Records. Now I was slowly getting the idea that he was getting ready to run me out. ….

‘Billboard’ asked me if I was on my way out. Hell, no. I was there to stay. In the same issue, though, Jon Landau (Bruce Springsteen’s manager) gave a statement that stunned me. He said that since the sale to Sony my relationship with him and Springsteen “had ended.” Clearly, Landau had been talking to Geffen. Springsteen had been talking to Grubman. Grubman had been talking to Mottola….

The press made it sound like my two biggest stars, Michael Jackson and Bruce (Springsteen), were deserting me. Were they? All I had to do was call them and get them to issue a statement on my behalf. No big deal. So why didn’t I do it?

Pride.

…..

Fear.

I was afraid that they wouldn’t take my calls. Afraid that they wouldn’t call me back. Afraid that they had, in fact, transferred their loyalty to Geffen, Grubman and Mottola. I was afraid of the truth….

That night I couldn’t sleep. I kept envisioning the gathering storm. Next morning I tried to call Mottola. It was time to have it out with Tommy, who’d been assiduously avoiding me. I’d put it to him point-blank – was he with me or against me? I’d made a place for him, just as I’d made a place for Grubman, in the highest ranks of the music business. He owed me. The very least he owed me was the truth about this back-biting. I had to talk to Mottola. But Mottola was nowhere to be found.

(After describing the cold way he was fired, escorted out of the building via a side door by a security guard, Yetnikoff says) No one said why. Later I learned it was because in the adjoining room Ohga was meeting with Mottola and already planning the new regime.

Book Links:

Hit Men –http://www.amazon.com/Hit-Men-Brokers-Inside-Business/dp/0679730613

The Operator http://www.amazon.com/Operator-David-Geffen-Builds-Hollywood/dp/0679457542/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427996995&sr=8-1&keywords=the+operator+tom+king

The Trials of Michael Jackaon –http://www.amazon.com/Trials-Michael-Jackson-Lynton-Guest/dp/1899750401

Howling At The Moon http://www.amazon.com/Howling-Moon-Odyssey-Monstrous-Excess/dp/0767915364

ADDITIONAL READING ON TOPIC:

The Get Branca Mentality– by X1blogger

John Branca and Michael Jackson Finances – Vindicate MJ – Helena

When First We Practice to Deceive- AndJusticeForSome blog

http://gawker.com/pornstar-feared-for-his-safety-after-iding-david-geff-1716736313

Transcript of Sawyer & Frank Dileo 2004

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This entry was posted in Conspiracy Research, Michael News, Research & Investigations, Soldiers in MJ's Army and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Michael Was Right, Someone Was After His Catalog. What If It Wasn’t Sony Corp.?

  1. The relationship that Michael Jackson had with Sony owners in Japan, over the years was deeper than just contracts .. he truly was emotionally invested in them and the feelings were mutual- It explains how Sony was quite willing to help Michael keep his empire intact. Read this thoroughly researched blog (Part 8b) regarding this topic- https://nonlocaluniverse.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/michael-jackson-captain-eo-and-the-business-of-conquering-the-world-part-8b-this-is-it/

    Excerpt -. In 1995 he released History and at that time had a special shield made to present to Akio, as well as a signed album.

    On the shield it said:
    “THIS ALBUM OF MY MUSIC WARMLY DEDICATED TO AKIO MORITA… FOR OUR EVERLASTING FRIENDSHIP. WE ARE LIVING IN THE SAME DREAM FOREVER… WITH ALL MY LOVE”

    Like

  2. This post is extremely interesting because it examines the words of people who interacted with Michael and it is cross referenced by different sources .. So it’s not just one person’s point of view or agenda driven .. Hopefully, more informational data will be added by the author in the future. As Michael Jackson fans we of all people should realize how important it is NOT to make or jump to conclusions and/or make false accusations against anyone- just on hearsay. We felt this information to be compelling enough to share and let the fanbase draw their own conclusions. We must all keep an open mind and observe the forest- not just a few trees …. We appreciate that Michael’s multiculturalled multilinguiled – racially diverse GLOBAL fanbase will NOT all think alike .. that is what makes MJGlobal so unique, dedicated and strong … … In our diversity, we are strong. Michael understood that .. .. and so should WE.. Much love and light – Buds

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  3. Pingback: Michael Jackson Was Right — – But WHO are the conspirators? | mjjjusticeproject

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