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As a result of years of canceled shows, Jackson faced the pressure of getting through his first series of dates since the “HIStory” tour, which concluded in 1997, when he was 38.
I.B. BAD ON THE STORY THAT WON’T STOP ’TIL WE GET ENOUGH
Is the Insurance Policy Worthless? What Compelled the Judge to Appoint a Legal Guardian for the Kids? And What Is Up With Family Attorney Londell McMillan?
A CHECKERED HIStory: The odds against AEG collecting the $17.5 million payout on the policy it took out from Lloyds of London to protect itself against the cancellation of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” run increased dramatically with the news that the completed autopsy results won’t be made public until the conclusion of the police investigation. The decision to withhold the results strongly suggests that Jackson did indeed suffer a lethal overdose, which would render the policy worthless.

Meanwhile, Randy Phillips (a.k.a. Mr. Veracity) continues to deny he knew about Michael’s drug problem. This was the one glaring area of exposure for Phillips, who believed the policy guarded AEG against every conceivable aspect of Jackson’s longstanding pattern of unreliability.

The artist’s problems began during the “Dangerous” tour of 1993-93, as he canceled 19 of his first 43 dates, and subsequently ended the tour months before the final North American leg was to commence. The cancellations began to snowball in August of ’93, just days after the first allegations of sexual abuse of a minor surfaced.

In a foreshadowing of recent events, tour promoter Marcel Avram sued Jackson, accusing his advisors of providing him with a supply of drugs and misrepresenting the artist’s health issues as Avram obtained a policy from Lloyds of London. Jackson then admitted the stress had caused him to increase his intake of a prescribed pain medication. As Jackson’s financial problems worsened, so did his failure to honor commitments. Even now, a Korean promoter is trying to recover the $8 million he had advanced to Jackson’s parents a few years ago after they promised to deliver Michael for a concert.

As a result of all these cancellations, Jackson faced the pressure of getting through his first series of dates since the “HIStory” tour, which concluded in 1997, when he was 38.

On the legal front, attorney Londell McMillan, who represents the interests of Katherine Jackson’s 40% and the children’s 40% of the estate, has been so critical—some would say obstructive—of the efforts of co-executors John Branca and John McClain that the judge decided to appoint a legal guardian to represent the children, hoping to bring a more objective voice to the proceedings. This move is viewed as a major blow to the family. While Randy Jackson has played an active role on the family’s behalf, Jermaine is reportedly on the outs with his mother and siblings for insisting that they scrupulously adhere to Michael’s will.

Generally overlooked in media coverage of the proceedings is Joel Katz. The highly regarded attorney continues to be an integral part of the legal team, which has bought in more than $100 million for the estate.

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