Producer seeks $30 million from posthumous releases like ‘This Is It,’ ‘Bad’ reissue and Cirque du Soleil show
Quincy Jones, one of Michael Jackson’s key collaborators, is currently involved in a court battle with the King of Pop’s estate over money owed to the producer.
Jones sued the Jackson estate in 2013, claiming he was owed $10 million from a series of projects that were released after the singer’s death, including the 25th anniversary reissue of Bad, a Cirque du Soleil production and the This Is It concert film and live album.
Nearly four years later, the trial over the lawsuit has reached Los Angeles Superior Court, with Jones now seeking upwards of $30 million, Variety reports.
Jones’ lawyer Mike McKool argued that the producer did not receive an adequate share of licensing fees from the posthumous releases, nor did Jones get the appropriate royalties from the renewed interest in Jackson’s catalog following his June 2009 death; in the case of This Is It, Jones allegedly received $455,000 while the estate claimed $90 million from the film, which grossed $500 million worldwide.
The Jackson estate, represented by attorney Zia Modabber, stated in their opening arguments that Jones has been properly paid for his contributions, although testimony revealed that the estate offered Jones between $2 million and $3 million – the amount they feel Jones is owed – to settle the case.
“We believe the evidence will show that Mr. Jones is not entitled to anything but a fraction of the money he’s after,” Modabber said, adding that since Jackson’s death, “Mr. Jones has been paid over $18 million, and he will make millions more.”
Jones’ slice of the royalties will also come down to how the jury defines the term “videoshow” in the producer’s contract with Jackson, and whether concert films and the Cirque du Soleil show fall under the term’s umbrella.
Jones is expected to testify during the trial, which will likely last three weeks.