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Jackson Estate Dispute: Family Feud 15 Years After the King of Pop’s Death

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson. Picture: Youtube

At the heart of the dispute are Jackson’s children — Prince, Paris, and his youngest, Blanket, who now goes by Bigi — and their grandmother, Katherine Jackson, who has been their caretaker since their father’s passing.

Recently, the New York Post reported that 22-year-old Bigi has filed a lawsuit against his grandmother, Katherine. In the suit, he requests that the court prohibit her from using funds from the late pop star’s estate for an ongoing case concerning Jackson’s music catalog.

The contention arose following a deal where estate executors sold half of Michael Jackson’s music catalog to Sony Music Group for a reported $600 million. Daily Mail notes that this deal, negotiated by the trustees of Jackson’s estate, turned a debt-ridden company into a financial powerhouse. The new Sony deal appraises Michael Jackson’s entire music legacy at an unprecedented $1.2 billion, likely the highest valuation of any musician’s catalog ever.

Originally, both grandmother Katherine and youngest son Bigi opposed the Sony deal, believing that the trustees should wait as Michael’s music would only increase in value. However, a California judge’s recent endorsement of the deal as valid has created a rift. While Katherine wishes to appeal, Bigi views the pursuit as a waste of resources on a futile endeavor.

“Bigi has decided not to squander his resources by joining an appeal. Nonetheless, Katherine has decided to challenge this court decision. This decision does not benefit the heirs,” Bigi’s legal representatives stated, as per Daily Mail’s coverage of the court documents.

Furthermore, Katherine asserts that the estate should cover her legal fees amounting to $500,000. Bigi strongly opposes this and has sought legal action to halt such expenditures.

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson. Picture: Youtube

Since Michael’s death from a prescription drug overdose, Katherine has received over $55 million from a family trust, in addition to perks like a personal driver, chef, and 24-hour security. Daily Mail sources claim she is the only family member, besides the three children, to receive direct income from Michael Jackson’s estate.

These sources also suggest Bigi’s intervention stems partly from his belief that Katherine is unable to competently assess business matters and is at the mercy of her attorneys in this field. There’s also a concern that certain family members might be exploiting her to extract more money from the estate.

“Katherine continues to be influenced by family members who have not accepted the fact that Michael did not leave them any significant inheritance in his will,” the source disclosed.

Stacy Brown, a long-time acquaintance of the Jackson family, confirmed to Daily Mail the discord between Bigi and Katherine regarding the Sony deal. Brown believes, however, that Bigi has Katherine’s best interests at heart. The siblings are reportedly in favor of the Sony agreement, although Katherine believed the estate could have negotiated double the amount.

Born to a surrogate mother in 2002, Bigi is Michael Jackson’s youngest son. Michael also had son Prince (27) and daughter Paris (25) with ex-wife Debbie Rowe (65). The ongoing legal battle marks one of the rare public appearances for Bigi.

When Michael Jackson died at the age of 50 in 2009, Yahoo reported that his three children were named heirs to his substantial fortune. Additionally, he had set up a trust for his mother, Katherine, to ensure she would be cared for the rest of her life.

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