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Michael Jackson Estate Grosses $600 Million, Paternity Suit Covered on '60 Minutes'

Njai Mon, Sep 09, 2013
Michael Jackson Estate Grosses $600 Million, Paternity Suit Covered on '60 Minutes'

As crass as it might be to say, legendary entertainer Michael Jackson is reportedly worth more dead than he was alive.

In an in depth segment on "60 Minutes" Sunday, Jackson's estate was examined with the help of estate attorney John Branca, who gave a candid and eye opening interview about the King of Pop's legacy, death and the stunning financial wealth and strength of his "brand" to the tune of over $600 million (earned since 2009).

"Worldwide box office now is over $300 million. And Michael has almost 60 million Facebook friends. He's the biggest selling artist on iTunes and he's sold approximately 50 million albums since he passed away," Branca told Lara Logan early in the just over 13-minute segment.

While the revamp of the Jackson brand has been big business, including the "This Is It" movie and a Cirque Du Soleil show, Branca insists a great portion of the money will go directly to his children -- this after erasing Jackson's debt.

"The whole objective of Michael's estate plan is to take care of his mother during her lifetime and to accumulate the principle and assets for the benefit of Michael's children," Branca says in video below.

Also, before you watch the entire segment below, John Branca opened up about Michael Jackson's purchase of music catalogs and where those investments stand today. He also discussed the many lawsuits that followed Jackson's death in 2009.

"We started with the Sly & the Family Stone catalog, we bought some rock classics, People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield. Dion & The Belmonts, Runaround Sue, The Wanderer. When a Man Loves a Woman. Great Balls of Fire. Shake, Rattle, and Roll. But then one day I got the call that the Beatles catalog was for sale. It was called ATV Music. And it was as if we had hit the mother lode," said Branca. "The price was $47.5 million. And we later merged it with Sony's music publishing company to create one of the biggest publishers in the world, Sony ATV Music, that the estate, to this day, owns 50 percent of."

As for the lawsuits, Branca says "There were so many claims that were filed. And I can honestly tell you that most of them were ridiculous. Most of them were absurd. People making paternity claims and claims to have written all the songs that he ever wrote. And, you know, when you have an estate and you're in front of a court, you have to take these things seriously.... Throwing many out, settling the ones that we thought were valid. There's a couple that are still pending."

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