Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mandalay Bay to be mecca for Michael Jackson fans in Vegas

At a press conference today it was announced that Mandalay Bay will be the new home to everything Michael Jackson in Las Vegas.

Through the hotel’s partnership with The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil, Mandalay Bay will offer the next-best thing to Neverland with the launch of a Jackson-themed lounge, an all-access Jackson exhibit, the IMMORTAL World Tour, which starts in December, a Jackson Fan Fest in conjunction with the tour and a permanent show that will open in early 2013.

“My co-executor John McClain and I are thrilled to establish Michael’s home away from home here at the Mandalay Bay. Very few fans would ever get to visit Michael’s Neverland Ranch because of its remote location, but millions of Michael’s fans can come to Mandalay Bay to hear Michael’s music and experience Michael in many other ways,” said Co-Executor of The Michael Jackson Estate John Branca.

An exact site for the Jackson-themed lounge, the all-access Jackson exhibit and the permanent show is still being decided upon, but all three entities will be positioned together in one location within Mandalay Bay.

Cirque du Soleil is paring up with Ubisoft to create the Michael Jackson All Access Exhibit. Ubisoft is the same company that created the Michael Jackson The Experience video game for Nintendo Wii. The exhibit will feature both Jackson memorabilia and interactive state-of-the-art technology enabling fans to experience everything they love about the King of Pop in a new way.

The fan fest will be the first ever Estate-authorized Michael Jackson fan fest. It will start on Dec. 3, 2011, the same day the IMMORTAL Tour starts. The fan fest will include a variety of elements including Jackson memorabilia, items from Neverland Ranch, photo opportunities in re-created sets from some of Jackson’s iconic music videos and more.

Writer and Director of THE IMMORTAL World Tour Jamie King was also at the press conference to discuss the upcoming tour. King was selected by Jackson to dance in his Dangerous Tour, which started in 1992.

Nine months ago King was approached by Cirque to put the IMMORTAL tour together. During that time he’s been working on getting an all-star group of dancers, gymnasts and performers from around the world together for the show. He’s also put together a group of highly-talented musicians, some of whom have performed with Jackson. During the next six months the tour will go into the production phase where King will be working with the cast in Montreal at Cirque du Soleil’s main headquarters.

“I’m the director and writer of the show, but I also feel like I’m not doing it alone. I feel like I’m doing it with Michael as my co-director the whole way. It’s as if he’s kind of watching me and leading me and guiding me on which story to tell, and that story keeps evolving,” said King.

As part of his research for the show King went to Neverland. His experience there helped shape his vision for the IMMORTAL Tour.

“In this traveling show you’ll actually be able to experience Neverland really come to life before your eyes in an arena. So that’s the setting, that’s the environment and that’s what we’re making happen during the next six months,” said King.

The world tour is going to be different from the resident show. Both are going to have different creators and visions, explained Branca.

Some of the differences discussed at the press conference are that the tour is going to create a rock concert experience for fans, whereas the resident show will be more theatrical and intimate because of the size of the theater.

Both the tour and resident show will feature all of Jackson’s hit songs and other elements to represent everything that fans know and love about the iconic performer.

“We have given Cirque du Soleil and Jamie access to everything we have to create the best possible show,” said Branca.

That includes access to footage from “This Is It” and other performance videos that Jackson produced throughout his prolific career.

“The world lost an extraordinary entertainer, and more importantly a person. Through the eyes of the creative geniuses at Cirque du Soleil, Michael will live in many new ways and for new audiences for years to come, and I think that’s a wonderful gift to us all,” said President and COO of Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Chuck Bowling.

 By Caroline Fontein

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Michael Jackson Estate Can Proceed with Lawsuit Against Memorabilia Website

A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit brought by the Michael Jackson estate to continue against the operator of a website that sells various MJ memorabilia.

The lawsuit was filed last year against Howard Mann, who operates, which sells rare artwork, photographs, sound recordings and other merchandise. Notably, Mann is a former business partner of Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, and the lawsuit represented an aggressive attempt to police the late singer's intellectual property and likeness after his passing.

In an order denying a motion to dismiss, Judge Dean Pregerson is allowing the lawsuit over whether Mann is trying to cash in on Jackson's legacy to continue.

Mann attempted to dismiss the case based on a 2004 lawsuit that was dismissed at a preliminary stage, but the judge rules that the record in that case was "undeveloped" and the identity of the claims are subject to factual dispute.

In another legal development involving the Michael Jackson estate, it has reached a settlement with a nonprofit that claimed to be continuing the singer's Heal the World charitable work. The estate claimed this is infringing its trademarks and the pop singer's likeness rights. Terms of the settlement are confidential.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Official Statement from the Co-Executors of the Michael Jackson Estate

Sent From @MJonlineteam April 21st

Please let the fans know that we are aware of the many questions from the fan community regarding the recent settlement of the HTWF lawsuit. The Estate will need at least ninety days to gather information, as well as all of the property that will be coming back to the Estate from Melissa Johnson and the HTWF.

We want the fans to rest assured that all decisions on the use of a charitable foundation or, as an alternative, making direct contributions to recipient charities, and any and all personnel decisions, will be made with complete regard to Michael’s wishes and Michael’s legacy, which we intend to honor and perpetuate.

We also value the opinions of Michael’s fans who, above all, have shown unwavering support for Michael and his legacy. We therefore want to assure the fans that all actions being taken by the Estate, past, present and future, will be guided by the paramount objective of doing the right thing by Michael.

John McClain and John Branca

April 19

@MJonlineteam said: "Press reports on TMZ and other media sites regarding the settlement terms between the Michael Jackson Estate and the Heal the World defendants are wrong. The Estate is taking back the Heal the World Foundation and all of the Michael Jackson trademarks it allegedly owned.

The Michael Jackson Estate owns the Heal the World name, and neither Melissa Johnson nor her companies will ever be able to use Michael Jackson's name or the Heal the World name."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prosecutors in Murray Trial want to show Jackson’s last days

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors in the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor want to show footage of the “King of Pop” rehearsing shortly before his death in order to show he had no intention of ending his life.

With less than three weeks to go before the opening of the trial of Conrad Murray, the physician accused of manslaughter in Jackson’s 2009 death, the defense is fighting against the presentation of the footage.

On Tuesday the prosecution requested permission to exhibit video clips from a few days before the pop star’s death on June 25, 2009, in which Jackson is seen singing and dancing in a rehearsal for his “This is It” tour.

Prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil argued in the motion that the images show an “active, energetic” Jackson involved in the creative process.

The clips “support the prosecution’s theory that Michael Jackson was actively involved in preparing for his upcoming tour, that he was engaged in the decision-making process and that he had every reason to want to live.”

“These video clips are completely at odds with someone who, as the defense has claimed, would recklessly take his own life just hours after the last clip was filmed,” they wrote. The clips were filmed on June 23-24, 2009.

The pop icon died at the age of 50 from an overdose of propofol, an extremely powerful anaesthetic he used as a sleeping aid.

Prosecutors allege that Murray, 58, “abandoned his patient” after administering the powerful sedative and then tried to cover it up after the singer’s death.

Murray’s defense team has argued that Jackson took an extra dose of the drug without his doctor’s knowledge in order to end his life, saying the pop star was concerned about his mounting debts.

Murray acknowledged that he had used propofol, but insisted that on the day of the singer’s death he administered only a small amount of the drug that should not have been fatal.

The trial is set to begin on May 9, and if Murray is convicted he faces up to four years in prison.

The prosecution has also requested to show photos from Jackson’s autopsy, a demand rejected by the defense, which said the publication of the images would prejudice the jury.

The prosecution said the pictures in question are not gruesome, but instead show the star in “excellent health,” further eroding the suicide theory.

“Put most simply, these limited photographs will help demonstrate that Michael Jackson was generally in excellent health and that, while thin, his body weight was within the normal range,” prosecutors said in the motion.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Michael Jackson Estate VS Mellisa Johnson HTWF Settles out of court

Heal The World Foundation will NOW be reactivated as a legitimate Michael Jackson charity ALL rights and copyrights going back to the MJ Estate. I will update as More info comes in ~ Qbee

Michael Jackson's estate reached a settlement Tuesday that ended its lengthy fight with a nonprofit that claimed it was the successor to the singer's Heal the World charity. The deal came just as a trial was set to begin to decide ownership of lucrative trademarks.

OFFICIAL Statement From the Estate of Michael Jackson:

@MJonlineteam said: "Press reports on TMZ and other media sites regarding the settlement terms between the Michael Jackson Estate and the Heal the World defendants are wrong. The Estate is taking back the Heal the World Foundation and all of the Michael Jackson trademarks it allegedly owned.

The Michael Jackson Estate owns the Heal the World name, and neither Melissa Johnson nor her companies will ever be able to use Michael Jackson's name or the Heal the World name."

Additional Imformation coming in ..The Estate has taken back all rights to the Heal the World Foundation. It will be re-activated and directed by John Branca, John McClain and Katherine Jackson

There are rumors Mellisa Johnson may be allowed to sit on the board but untill the foundation is reactivated under the MJ Estate the board hasnt actually been formed yet. Regardless she will hold no control and can only advise as a board member. Details still being worked out with Melissa Johnson, but she no longer has any rights to Michael's name or the charity.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Michael Jackson's Mom, Estate, Clash Over _Estate VS Mellisa Johnson

What disturbs me most is Howard Mann who recently Partnered with Mellisa Johnson will have access to these trademarks and domains she aquired  for his own personal gain. Joe and Kathrine Jackson are now sitting on the board of directors of Melissa Johnson HTWF.  Mann and Jackson's had no prior interest in this foundation untill Mellisa dangled these copyrights, which are worth millions in front of them like a carrot.  The intelectual property of Michael should belong to his estate so they can build the estate, which the children will inherit.  Now Johnson's attorney has suggested the Estate should fund Johnson's HTWF foundation wth the 20%  from the trust. ~ Qbee

Michael Jackson's mother and singer's estate clash over foundation and charitable legacy

"Heal the world. Make it a better place for you and for me." So sang Michael Jackson in his mega-selling 1992 anthem for change.

Now the singer's estate and Jackson's mother could use a little healing themselves as they fight each other over the non-profit Heal the World Foundation, which claims it's the successor to the pop star's defunct charity inspired by the song. At stake in the skirmish are trademarks worth millions of dollars and a piece of Jackson's legacy.

The dispute, which is playing out in a federal court in Los Angeles, is the latest example of the sometimes strained relationship between Jackson's family and the estate he left in place that has already earned hundreds of millions of dollars.

But the fight against the new incarnation of the Heal the World Foundation has also raised questions about which causes the singer would want to focus on if he hadn't abandoned his charity to fight off allegations of child sexual abuse.

His mother, Katherine Jackson, left little doubt about where her sentiments lie in a recent court filing: "It is not my desire, nor would it be the desire of my son Michael, to continue this lawsuit against Heal the World Foundation."

Last year, Jackson's mother and father joined Heal the World's board of directors and elected to have their three children added to a youth board. Jackson's mother and his children were prominently featured on a recent "Good Morning America" story that also included footage of Heal the World giving a $10,000 donation to a shelter in Los Angeles.

It was a high-profile plug for an entity that according to tax filings reviewed by The Associated Press has done little fundraising or charitable giving, but has fought to stake its claim to several Jackson-related trademarks and likeness rights that the singer's estate maintains it should own.

The estate did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment about how Katherine Jackson's support for Heal the World is impacting the case or the estate.

The foundation's director, Melissa Johnson, claims the pop singer handed her control of Heal the World through intermediaries in 2005, when he was defending himself against child molestation accusations. Despite never having personally met the singer, Johnson's attorneys claim she has the right to manage the charity, use various trademarks and that the permission now comes from the Jackson family itself.

The singer's estate counters that even if Michael Jackson granted Johnson rights to the charity, which it denies, the estate has revoked the permission and Johnson should be barred from using Jackson's name, likeness, and the name Heal the World for any future endeavors. The estate owns Jackson's likeness rights and numerous trademarks and copyrights that have been used to market new products since his June 2009 death.

"People are saying I have been manipulated by Melissa Johnson and that we are exploiting my grandchildren because we joined Heal the World, all while the executors convince people they are only doing what Michael wanted or what is in my best interests by suing everyone who help (sic) us," states Katherine Jackson's declaration, which was offered as sworn testimony in the case. "Please do not believe them. It's not true."

Complicating Katherine Jackson's involvement with the foundation is her business relationship with Howard Mann, a businessman who obtained some of Jackson's recordings years ago. Mann, who is paying to defend Heal the World in court, is also being sued by the estate in a separate lawsuit that accuses him of infringing on estate copyrights.

The singer's estate, which has paid millions in the nearly two years since the pop singer's death to support Katherine Jackson and her grandchildren, claims the organization is trying to supplant the trademarks and has no legitimate affiliation with the singer.

The estate won a preliminary injunction in April 2010, barring Heal the World Foundation from using Michael Jackson's name, likeness and trademarks on its website, but in recent weeks several of the pop singer's former confidantes and his mother have cast their support with Johnson.

The lawsuit has reignited division between Jackson's family and the overseers of his estate, namely co-executor John Branca. Branca was Jackson's longtime attorney, but did not work with him for several years until being re-hired shortly before the singer's death.

Since Mann's involvement in the Heal the World lawsuit, several former figures from Jackson's sphere signed statements saying they were aware Michael Jackson had given Johnson authority to run his charity. Among those expected to testify are attorney Brian Oxman, who was fired from Jackson's criminal defense team and now represents Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson, and the singer's former manager and spokeswoman Raymone Bain. Bain sued Jackson before his death for $44 million dollars, claiming she was cut out of her share of the deal for the singer's planned series of comeback concerts titled "This Is It."

In written testimony, Bain stated she became aware of Johnson's actions in 2006 and that Michael Jackson told her that he had handed her the reigns of the foundation in 2005. Oxman claims Jackson told him to confer rights to the foundation to Johnson in 2005, but estate attorneys have cast doubt on the statement and say Oxman's name was never mentioned in years of correspondence from Johnson to Jackson's attorneys and representatives.

Johnson's attorney, Edgar Pease III, admits that there is no formal written agreement between Michael Jackson and Johnson regarding Heal the World. But he says the involvement of Jackson's mother and three children, who are entitled to 80 percent of the estate's earnings, means the foundation should have some legitimacy.

"The estate is suing their left foot," Pease said. "They're suing themselves."

He said Johnson's aim in applying for various trademarks was to preserve them for the charity and protect them from others. Tax records show in recent years, Johnson has not received a salary for her work on Heal the World Foundation, and in court filings claims she has spent tens of thousands of her own money to develop it.

Since Jackson's June 2009 death, there at times has been an uneasy relationship between the Jackson family and the estate. Michael Jackson's 2002 will calls for his mother and three children to receive 80 percent of his estate, with the final 20 percent designated for an unnamed charity.

Katherine Jackson had sought to challenge Branca and co-administrator John McClain's authority to run the estate in 2009, but dropped the bid.

In the meantime the estate has worked to repair major financial damage incurred by Michael Jackson during his lifetime. The "Thriller" singer died more than $400 million in debt, but in the first 17 months after his death earned more than $310 million, court records show.

More than $9 million has been paid to and for Katherine Jackson and her son's children. Nearly $4 million of that paid off the family's longtime home in the San Fernando Valley, with portions of the rest paying for security, staff and other expenses for the family.

For its part, the new incarnation of Heal the World Foundation spending has far outpaced its donations. Tax records for the nonprofit show that in 2009, the last year available, Heal the World, spent more than $76,000 in trademark and advertising fees. It handed out roughly $5,000 in donations.

In court filings, Johnson states she registered 1,800 website domain names and dozens of trademarks, which Pease said would give the foundation the basis it needs to fulfill Johnson's vision for the charity.

Pease claims Johnson came up with the idea for a Cirque-du-Soleil-style show featuring Jackson's work, as well as a telethon, television show, board game and other merchandise that would elevate Heal the World to a major charitable organization.

Jackson's estate is hoping next week's trial before U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee will end Johnson's efforts.

"The ultimate fact critical to this litigation remains, after over a year and a half of litigation, unchanged," the estate's attorney's wrote in a trial brief. "Defendants have infringed and will continue to infringe on (the estate's) intellectual property and Mr. Jackson's name, image and likeness to the fullest extent they are able to do so."


Thursday, April 07, 2011

While lawyers discuss money and Michael Jackson, jury search resumes

Jury Search Resumes in Jackson Doctor Case

With lawyers raising a new theory involving money and its role in Michael Jackson's death, a judge is summoning a third panel of prospective jurors for the involuntary manslaughter case against Dr. Conrad Murray.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, who has already screened 340 prospects and cleared 147 of those for availability, has said a larger pool is needed from which 12 jurors and six alternates will be chosen.

The judge, who has seen some of the answers to questionnaires from those who have the time to serve, indicated many prospects will have to be eliminated because they hold strong views on the highly publicized case. Only three of the initial pool said they hadn't heard about the upcoming trial.

After this initial phase, prospects who remain will be questioned in person beginning May 4. Pastor has set opening statements for May 9.

On Wednesday, defense lawyers disclosed a new component of their case — a claim that Jackson was on the brink of financial ruin and feared he would be unable to fulfill his commitment to a concert tour because of severe insomnia.

Attorney Edward Chernoff posed the theory that Jackson was so distraught over his inability to sleep that he took "desperate measures."

Defense lawyers previously suggested the pop star might have self-administered an overdose of the anesthetic propofol while Murray was away from his side.

While seeking access to Jackson's financial records, Chernoff added that the singer was in anguish over his financial situation and faced ruin if he failed to perform during the upcoming tour.

"The crux of the defense is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death," Chernoff told the judge. "We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man in relation to his financial affairs."

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren accused Chernoff of trying to distract from the main issue of the trial — whether Murray acted with gross negligence when he gave Jackson propofol and other sedatives on the day he died.

"This is an irrelevant sideshow designed to take issues away from the jury and smear Michael Jackson," Walgren said. "It has nothing to do with the case on which Dr. Murray is being prosecuted. "

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of gross negligence in administering propofol, an anesthetic not intended for home use or as a sleep aid. Jackson died of an overdose of that drug and other sedatives.

Attorney Howard Weitzman, who represents the Jackson estate, questioned the defense theory..

"Is the theory that Michael Jackson committed suicide, took his own life?" Weitzman asked. "I don't think that's a salable theory."

Defense lawyers have never used the word suicide and implied Jackson's death was accidental but self-inflicted. At a preliminary hearing for Murray, the singer was quoted by a witness as saying if he didn't sleep he would have to cancel the tour.

Chernoff's attempt to see Jackson's financial records was blocked by Judge Pastor, who said he would not allow such a "deep sea fishing" expedition.

"I'm not going to turn an involuntary manslaughter trial into some kind of an escapade in analysis of the finances in Michael Jackson's entire life," Pastor said.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Fulham FC owner Al Fayed Unveils Michael Jackson Statue

I'm loving this man more and more :)
I may be in the minority but I really appreciate his love for MJ and wanting to honor him with a statue.  I don't agree with fans from either side telling him how or where he should do that.  It tickled me that he said they could go to Hell or to Chelsea if they don't like it. The man loved Michael and was his friend. I commend him for staying his ground and find fans from both sides arrogant for trying to derail his effort.

The statute isn't an exact replica of Michael but it is a good likeness and its cute. I especially LOVE LOVE the costume they chose. Its gorgeous and those who don't like it can go to "Hell or Chelsea" your choice  LOL .. I LOVE that he said that 

But hey you don't have to like it,  If you don't it probably wasn't for you anyway .. It was for people who appreciate Michael being honored and Al Fayed for doing so ~ Qbee

Mr Fayed looks so Happy here to honor his friend Michael :)

Fulham FC owner Mohammed al Fayed has said fans can "go to hell" if they do not appreciate the new Michael Jackson statue at Craven Cottage.

Mr Al Fayed unveiled the tribute to his late friend ahead of Fulham's Premier League match against Blackpool on Sunday.

He had wanted to put the statue outside London's Harrods store, which he previously owned, but could not get permission.

So Mr Al Fayed decided to erect the memorial near the football club's ground in the city's southwest - to much consternation from Fulham fans.

But the chairman dismissed criticism of the statue as "stupid".

"Football fans love it. If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell," he said.

"I don't want them to be fans. If they don't understand and don't believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else.

"People will queue to come and visit it from all over the UK and it is something that I and everybody else should be proud of."

Mr Al Fayed invited Jackson to watch a Fulham match in 1999.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Was Michael Jackson addicted to propofol?

True Crime with Aphrodite Jones: Michael Jackson's Drug Use
Was Michael Jackson really addicted to propofol? Aphrodite Jones meets with Michael's former doctor in Ireland, Dr. Patrick Treacy to get his thoughts.