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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Money Spinning Michael's Finances Examined.

27 June 2009 - Within hours of Michael Jackson's death people were printed T-shirts and auction sites were doing a roaring trade in memorabilia. But there's even bigger sums at stake - with the singer's estate and royalties up for grabs.

Experts fear Michael Jackson's children may be at the centre of a titanic legal battle as they stand to inherit a vast fortune that is protected from the star's many creditors.
The star's three children are currently being looked after by his mother Katherine.

But reports have emerged of a possible custody battle with Debbie Rowe, biological mother to Jackson's two eldest children.

It is believed Ms Rowe could take full custody of Paris and Prince Michael under California law.

If she does gain parental control of the children, she could be entitled to a "huge amount of child support" from Jackson's estate, according to showbiz website TMZ.com.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens told Sky News: "It looks as though she [Jackson's mother] wants to keep them as she has all the other children around her.

"Michael, in his lifetime, expressed that he wanted the nanny to look after them and, of course, there is his first wife [Debbie Rowe] with whom he had two children.

"Ms Rowe says that she is entitled to them so clearly everyone is squaring up for a fight over the children."

There is a reason for this "other than natural affection", said Mr Stephens.

"These children are going to be incredibly rich, probably the richest since Onassis," he explained.

There has been speculation that Jackson reportedly had huge debts and any money will be seized on by his creditors.

But in perhaps the ultimate irony, it seems the King of Pop's death could see a turnaround in the fortunes of his struggling estate.

In the 24 hours since Jackson's death, HMV says it has sold 80 times more Michael Jackson albums than it would have in a corresponding period.

The surge in album sales is much greater than that for Elvis Presley and John Lennon following their deaths.

And Mr Stephens said the pop legend had enormous assets tied up in a trust that his debtors will not be able to access.

"It is something called a spendthrift trust - he wasn't anything of a spendthrift - but that's what the trust is called," he said.

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