Jacksons v AEG Timeline Top Stories

Jackson merch deal approved, exhibition questioned, and birthday burial announced

By | Published on Tuesday 18 August 2009

A judge in LA has approved that deal for the sale of Michael Jackson merchandise, following a similar ruling on a documentary film about the rehearsals for the singer’s ill-fated O2 residency. A final ruling on a travelling exhibition of Jackson’s possession will be made later this week.

The newly approved deal between merchandising company Bravado, concert promoters AEG Live and Jackson’s estate is – officially – an attempt to combat the rise of counterfeit merchandise going on sale since the singer’s death. Cynics might argue it’s also an attempt to get some money in the bank before the late king of pop’s creditors come knocking. The deal will presumably open the floodgates for endless amounts of tat with Jacko’s face on (though which face remains to be seen), although I’m sure everything will all be done in the best possible taste. On its website, Bravado promises that it “develops and markets high-quality licensed merchandise to a worldwide audience” and creates “innovative products carefully tailored to each artist or brand”.

But a few t-shirts and a lunchbox or two is nothing. We want to see Jacko’s actual belongings, and we want them to be brought to a town near us. This is exactly what is being proposed in the final deal between AEG and Jackson’s estate awaiting approval.

However, the singer’s mother, good ole Katherine Jackson, has raised concerns over the project. She has questioned whether a travelling exhibition of stuff that Jacko had in his house is really the best thing for his legacy, and also questioned the split of profits with AEG.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has scheduled a hearing for Friday to discuss these matters. However, if Jackson’s mother can delay it long enough, her problems might be solved anyway. One of AEG’s lawyers, Kathy Jorrie, has said that there is a tight deadline to get things moving (both figuratively and physically) and that the company’s interest in the project may wane if is not approved soon.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s father Joe has announced that his son will be buried on what would have been his 51st birthday, 29 Aug. The singer will finally be laid to rest just over two months after his death at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in LA.

There were rumours earlier this month that Michael had already been buried in an unmarked grave (so as to stop fans digging him up) at a private ceremony in the same cemetery. This was denied by Joe last week, though.

With security fears reportedly surrounding the burial (I think there are genuine fears that a fan might dig him up), it’s always possible this is a red herring and that Jacko’s body has already been dumped in the sea. Maybe not. But maybe.