It may come as a shocker for many to know that the king of pop, Michael Jackson, had a debt of nearly half a billion dollars just before his death. MJ is believed to be the most successful musician, singer, and entertainer of all times and the best selling artist in recorded history. To know now that he was paying $30 million in interest every year as he had amassed a huge debt of nearly 500 million dollars is nothing less than a shock for his loyal fans. William Ackerman, forensic accountant, revealed this truth in front of the court. He was called to testify in the wrongful death case trail that has been filed by the matriarch of the Jackson family, mother of Michael Jackson against AEG Live, the promoters of his concerts.
Michael started to accrue debt way back in 1993 as he started to spend more than he earned. At that time he owned a debt of $30 million that grew to around half a billion just before his death. According to Ackerman, MJ spent a lot of money on jewelry and furniture though he also spent money on donations to charities. The ranch where MJ lived incurred a lot of expenditure as its maintenance was very expensive. It had a zoo to be maintained and there was also a special train that traveled and encircled the property.
Despite the fact that he received millions of dollars as royalty from the sales of his records and albums worldwide, Michael Jackson continued to spend more than he earned year after year for nearly 15 years. According to William Ackerman, CPA, his biggest expenditure remained the interest payment of his debt. MJ had taken loans at varying rates of interest that ranged from 7% to 16.8% per annum. Ackerman is one of the very highly priced experts that have been called to testify in the wrongful death case by AEG Live. The promoters have spent huge money on testimony that proves that they owe Jacksons a lot of money in damages. According to Katherine Jackson, the family of late singer should receive around $1.5 billion in damage as this is the amount that MJ would have earned from his ill fated concert ‘This is It’. One the other hand, this figure stands at less than $132 million according to AEG Live.
Jacksons have blamed ZAEG live for negligently hiring Doctor Conrad Murray to look after Michael Jackson’s health. Murray has been accused of negligent manslaughter as he administered lethal dose of anesthetic (propofol) to the ailing singer as he was preparing for the ill fated world tour titled This is It. Jackson family is trying to recover the lost income of the late singer because of his untimely death.
Michael Jackson may still be earning millions of dollars through the sale of his DVD’s and albums but the fact that he owed a debt of $500 million dollars is still a bit of a shocker.