What do we know about Michael Jackson’s finances? The guy had lots and lots of debt. He wasn’t putting out CDs or touring, and like many Americans these days, he had trouble covering his nut, though by all appearances he seemed to be holding up ok.
Palm Beach (FL) gossip site Page2Live has an interview with a friend of his in the area, Al Malnik, a local businessman.
Here’s part of Malnik’s take on the situation:
“First, there are plenty of unpublished songs that I watched him write. Then his old songs are going to sell again like crazy. And the estate won’t have all these expenses that he incurred.”
So, who gets the dough?
“I assume his three children (Paris, Prince Michael, Prince Michael II, aka Blanket, aka the baby that Jackson once dangled over a balcony),” said Malnik, 76.
“He and I signed a legal document in 2003 after he asked me to be (6-year-old) Prince Michael II’s guardian if something were to happen to Michael.
“Of course, I didn’t expect it ever to happen. If the family asks me, it’d be my duty to take care of him. I promised to raise him as my own.”
Jackson at the time also became the godfather of Malnik’s 11-year-old daughter, Spencer.
And there’s something else Malnik says he agreed to in writing in 2003: to be the executor of Jackson’s estate.
“There could always be a superseding document he signed since then. I haven’t heard anything yet, but it’s probably too early.“
Bob Normal at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times has some background an Malnik:
Malnik, owner of The Forge restaurant in Miami and a former close associate of Mafia kingpin Meyer Lansky, befriended the pop king and let him stay in his 15-bedroom, 35,000 square-foot Palm Beach County mansion in Ocean Ridge. Jackson even sat with Malnik at the the head table during Malnik’s 70th birthday bash at The Forge in 2003.
The ultra-wealthy Malnik, who made a fortune in the shady and predatory title loan business and also has ties to notorious con man Joel Steinger, not only helped Jackson pay the costs of the criminal case, but also reportedly helped him try to pay off massive loans Jackson took against the value of the Beatles’ catalogue he co-owned with Sony. The Beatles song rights are reportedly worth about a billion dollars.
But Malnik, in his business dealings, has never been known for helping anyone without expecting more in return. He learned from Lansky, after all, and was dubbed the mobster’s “heir apparent” by Reader’s Digest when Lansky died in 1983. He was banned from Atlantic City casinos by the New Jersey Gaming Commission after it was determined he was associated with criminals, including Lansky and mobster Sam Cohen.
Anyway, it’s highly possible that Jackson has established a new executor of his will, as Malnik notes above. And if the debt situation is as bad as it’s supposed to be, than the executor of the will may be a kind of meaningless role. Bottom line though: Jackson’s finances are like many Americans. Too little work, too much debt, and too much trust placed with dicey characters.