Magazine article Newsweek

What, Me Worry? Believe It or Not, Michael Jackson May Need Cash

Magazine article Newsweek

What, Me Worry? Believe It or Not, Michael Jackson May Need Cash

Article excerpt

In showbiz, Michael Jackson has excelled as much at the biz as he has dazzled onstage. A decade ago, at his peak, he had the foresight to buy hundreds of songs written by the Beatles. Now comes Act II. Within days, jackson plans to merge his Beatles collection, and other songs, with Sony Music. The aim: to create another titan of music publishing. Jackson would own half of the new company--and Sony would pay him at least $100 million.

That's lots of money These days, Jackson seems to need it. According to top execs in the music industry, as well as sources inside Sony, Jackson has been squeezed for cash in recent months. It's not just that it takes zillions to underwrite his lavish lifestyle and career, from his private Neverland ranch to his costly world tours. The star also faces a barrage of costly legal hassles, not least that infamous case of alleged child molestation he settled in 1994 for an estimated $10 million to $25 million. To meet his obligations jackson has been borrowing heavily, using assets such as his ATV Music group (which includes his Beatles songs) as collateral, according to sources recently involved in the star's business affairs.

Sony declined to comment on the reports, except to confirm it's negotiating with Jackson. The entertainer, in Germany singing for a TV game show, couldn't be reached, nor could his lawyer or business agent. Jackson's hardly broke, even if he's as strapped as music-industry execs claim; estimates of his wealth range as high as $200 million. …

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