Quincy Jones Awarded $9.4 Million From the Michael Jackson Estate
On Wednesday afternoon, an LA jury awarded Quincy Jones $9.4 million after the legendary producer and mogul claimed that the Michael Jackson estate robbed him of millions after the pop star’s death in 2009.
Jones was originally asking for $30 million.
This lawsuit goes back to 2013, when Jones sued MJJ Productions, claiming that he was owed royalties for projects that occurred after Jackson’s death — in particular for music used in the This Is It concert movie and two Cirque du Soleil productions.
The trial lasted three weeks, and a number of accounting experts, attorneys, and music specialists took the stand. Jones himself also took the stand, saying, memorably: “Contract, montract. If we made the record, we deserve to get paid.”
Much of the trial was spent analyzing the original contracts of Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad, the three albums Jones worked closely with Michael on. Some of the wording is ambiguous; but Jones’ team argued that he should have always received profits of MJ’s 1991 joint venture with Sony, as well as profits from films.
After the trial was determined, both sides put their spin on the verdict. Jones released a statement saying:
“This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created. Although this judgment is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favor in this matter. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists’ rights overall.”
While the lawyers for the Michael Jackson Estate, Howard Weitzman and Zia Modabber, countered in their own statement, saying:
“While the jury denied Quincy Jones $21 million — or more than two-thirds of what he demanded — from The Estate of Michael Jackson, we still believe that giving him millions of dollars that he has no right to receive under his contracts is wrong. This would reinterpret the legal language in, and effectively rewrite, contracts that Mr. Jones lived under for more than three decades, admitted he never read, referred to as ‘contract, montract,’ and told the jurors he didn’t ‘give a damn’ about.”
SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter