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Jackson owed $400 million when he died

By | Published on Friday 18 February 2011

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson owed over $400 million to various creditors when he died in 2009 according to official documents seen by TMZ. The gossip site has seen the first set of accounts filed by the Michael Jackson estate, and they confirm the size of the late king of pop’s financial problems at the time of his untimely demise.

There was speculation at the time of Jackson’s death that his most valuable asset, his half of the Sony/ATV publishing company, would have to be sold to pay off debts. Though, of course, the Michael Jackson brand has gone through something of a revival since then, meaning the estate have been able to pay off $159 million of the pop stars debts already without affected the Sony/ATV shares.

The estate has actually brought in $310 million since Jackson’s death, with the other half of that income paying for the running of the estate, the star’s funeral and memorial service, and providing money to his mother and three children, as requested in his will. Various partnerships struck up by the estate in the eighteen months are expected to continue to bring in sizable sums each year allowing other debts, some of which are subject to very large interest rates, to be paid off.  That said, the estate admits in its accounts filing that some lawsuits filed by creditors are still outstanding.

TMZ’s coverage of the Jackson estate’s financial report follows comments made by a woman who worked as the king of pop’s hairdresser which were revealed in the press this week. Karen Faye reportedly told police that Jackson was well aware of the dire situation his finances were in shortly before his death, and that he had told her his partnership with AEG Live – which was meant to result in the ‘This Is It’ show at The O2 in London – was the only thing keeping things afloat.

Faye reportedly said: “He was scared to death because AEG was funding everything. He said he’d have to work at McDonald’s if he didn’t do these shows”. Faye’s comments could suggest that Jackson was willing to take risks with the medications he was consuming in order to ensure he could hold up his side of the bargain with AEG, risks which, of course, cost him his life. Although it seems Faye herself has suggested the pop star was, consciously or otherwise, “self-sabotaging” himself with drugs to avoid having to do all of the 50 ‘This Is It’ shows he had signed up to.