With the 25th anniversary of Bad coming up, this year was supposed to offer an opportunity to celebrate his legacy; instead, bad blood regarding his death continues to percolate.
The singer’s siblings have accused the executors of his estate of producing a counterfeit will.The letter accuses John Branca and John McClain of rustling up a document that Jackson had never personally signed, and asks for them to “resign effective immediately”. The letter, hosted over at Celebuzz, makes for quite a read.
The central claim is that the will they received “did not have our brother’s signature on it, nor did it have a signature page attached to it”. The signatories – Tito, Randy, Jermaine, Janet and Rebbie – claim to have proof that Jackson wasn’t even in Los Angeles on July 7 2002, which is when the will was supposedly signed. The letter pulls no punches, claiming that “the Will, without question, [is] Fake, Flawed and Fraudulent”, and accusing the pair of explicitly manipulating Jackson’s mother and “affecting her health”.
A particularly incandescent passage reads: “We know there is most certainly a conspiracy surrounding our brother’s death and now coarse manipulation and fear are being used to cover it up…THIS HAS TO STOP NOW: NO MORE!! You will not succeed. John Branca, after our brother passed, you said to our mother: “I AM MICHAEL JACKSON NOW”. How dare you. Make no mistake, Mr Branca, before we hit the stage, we were a family and still to this day we are a family. We’re not going to let anyone abuse our mother, nor will we tolerate any further attempts to divide us”.
Branca and McClain have vehemently denied the claims. In a statement yesterday, they said: “We are saddened that false and defamatory accusations grounded in stale Internet conspiracy theories are now being made by certain members of Michael’s family whom he chose to leave out of his will. We are especially disheartened that they come at a time when remarkable progress has been made to secure the financial future of his children by turning around the Estate’s finances as well as during a time when so many of Michael’s fans, old and new, are enjoying his artistry through exciting new projects.” Their attorney, Howard Weitzman, also suggests that similar accusations have already been processed and rejected in court, claiming that similar claims were thrown out by Californian courts two years ago. [via MTV News]