A Brother’s Love / A Mother’s Trust
The tragedy of my brother’s death is still with me. But in his
death, I have found a mission for my life. My existence is now
dedicated to spreading Michael’s message. Michael had a unique place
in the world. He not only did good, but taught others how to do the
same. This only magnifies his loss to the world.
want to make people aware of the humanitarian side of Michael. I want
to show them how his true emphasis wasn’t music, or performing; it was
improving the world. Understand this, and you begin to understand the
essence of who my brother was.
Michael wanted to help people see the problems that are destroying
our world. That’s what he was about, and what HIS upcoming shows were
about. He was trying to teach through his lyrics, video and
performance. He wanted to use every part of himself to show us what we
are capable of becoming. His goal was to demonstrate to people that if
we all just try to make the world a better place, it will be.
Michael did charity work all his life – since we first started
performing as the Jackson 5. He quickly learned talent alone means nothing – it’s what you do with it that really matters. What are you
doing to make things better for other people? In grasping this,
Michael found his purpose: Entertain and educate at the same time.
Michael grew to understand why the world is in the state it is. He
would ask “Why?” but not get trapped in trying to find reasons for each
and every problem. His aim was finding solutions. His message was
about solutions. Michael’s day-to-day thought process was: “How do I
make the world a better place?” He dedicated his existence to
responding to this question, and to giving a voice to those who can’t
speak out for themselves.
Man in the Mirror, We are the World, Will You Be There –
all these songs put forward a simple but powerful message: If someone
is hungry, give them food, but also help them become self-sufficient.
Michael taught us that when you do good, you start with the individual,
then move onto a family, a neighborhood, a village, a nation.
Michael always looked for the good in people, but he also wanted
people to understand him, and what he was here for. This made the
ridicule he endured so much harder to bear. How can someone who gave
so much, be the subject of so much hate? Why is it, the more blessed
we are, the tougher our times are destined to be?
My brother wasn’t a threat to anyone. He was at peace, and his
peaceful state was a blessing from God. Michael was given the rare
talent to entertain, sing and perform. But the true blessing God gave
him was the ability to use his talents to do good for others.
Michael’s songs inspired us to do better. That was his true gift.
We still feel Michael’s loss. But what will happen as time passes?
What will happen to Michael’s real purpose for being? Who can carry on
Michael’s work selflessly, without ulterior motive? Nations and
governments are capable of good deeds, but those good deeds are too
often done to exert control over others. Michael never wanted to
control anybody, he only wanted to spread happiness and joy.
Michael supported over 30 different charities. Most people, even
the most generous, focus their efforts on just a handful. But Michael
was different. He would personally check every charity he supported.
He’d examine their track records make sure they did what they said they
Michael’s generosity extended beyond the charities he supported.
When a girl needed a liver transplant and no one wanted to pay for it,
Michael took care of it. No fanfare, no publicity. There are so many
cases like this! Many of them, I myself, am just beginning to learn
Every time Michael traveled to another country, he would devote time
to visiting hospitals, orphanages, cancer patients. That was his
calling. In every corner of the globe, this was his routine. The
world needs to know this is who he was. Because while there were
always cameras following him, the media didn’t tell the story of his
caring and compassion. They only wanted to sensationalize him.
Michael didn’t care if we knew everything he did for people, because
God knows. God knows his intentions, and knows the results. I know my
brother is in a very secure, serene, peaceful place. When we live on
earth, we are judged not only by who we are, but also by what we do for
others. When we leave, we take the good and bad deeds with us.
Michael took nothing but good deeds with him.
Michael and I were raised to believe there is a Supreme Being.
Having success told us God had a plan for us. Michael used his success
in a positive way. He knew that it’s not what you get from others,
it’s what you do for others. We all achieve things in life, but the
greatest achievement is doing God’s work. Michael was a man of God
because he was doing His work. Eternal life is the ultimate reward from
God – and Michael has eternal life.
Michael Jackson’s mom played role in business, too
Entering into a business relationship with Michael Jackson
rarely meant a long-lasting partnership. Over time, especially in the
waning years of his life, Jackson hired — then fired — a litany of
associates, from managers to attorneys to publicists.
Most were dispatched after the relationship soured, and the trust had evaporated.
Perhaps the one exception in his financial life was Jackson’s mother, Katherine.
Jackson relied on his 79-year-old mother for more than emotional
support: Documents show he put her in the position of trustee on
contracts, including his lucrative Sony-ATV catalog, and associates say
he also sought her input on other financial matters as he became more
wary of those in his business circle.
"Any deal Michael did, he
always called his mother up," said Steve Manning, a close friend of the
Jackson family. "She was the backbone of his spirit."
trusted was that she would make sure that his wishes were carried out,"
said Mrs. Jackson’s attorney, L. Londell McMillan, who is representing
her interests as the singer’s estate is sorted out. "He understood that
she was the most loyal person in his life. Her loyalty did not stop for
Michael with merely personal matters."
But Jackson’s last known
will, drafted in 2002, left his mother, along with his three children,
out of any decision-making role in his estate, leaving her only as a
Attorney John Branca
and Jackson’s former manager and close friend, John McClain, were named
(along with a third party who has since removed himself) as the only
people with the authority to guide his business matters after his death.
Mrs. Jackson is trying to change that, seeking to gain some kind of
control over her late son’s estate. The Jackson matriarch is adamant
that she — or even another family member — have a role over Michael
Jackson’s business legacy, which may be worth more in death than when
he was alive. Some estimates have valued his estate at $500 million.
Mrs. Jackson has filed a motion to determine whether contesting the two
executors would lead to disinheritance — Jackson’s will had a
"She is concerned about how the trust is
going to be managed. She wants to make sure that she has a seat at the
table and the family has a seat at the table," said Dean Hansell, an
attorney who spoke for Mrs. Jackson in court Monday. "She wants that
and she has been coming up against resistance."
But in an
interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Branca said he is
amenable to having Mrs. Jackson, or someone in the family, in a trustee
"We are going to have a meaningful conversation with her
about having one of her family members become a co-trustee," Branca
said. "Our number one priority is to make sure this estate is run
Throughout the years, Jackson’s devotion to his
mother has been well-documented, and it was proven again after his
death, as he named her in his will as his first choice to raise his
three children, and also named her and his kids as the only individuals
to inherit his fortune (he also left a portion of his wealth to
Katherine Jackson has not previously been known for her business acumen. It was Joe Jackson who was the manager of his sons as the Jackson 5, and acted as the manager for all of his nine children into their adult years.
But Manning claims it was Katherine, not Joe, who gave Michael Jackson his business sense, which he described as shrewd and fair.
He recalled when Jackson purchased the Beatles catalog, which also
included Little Richard’s music, he called his mother to ask her
opinion on how he should handle Little Richard’s situation: the rock
legend had for years complained about being unfairly compensated for
his publishing rights.
His mother advised him to treat Little Richard with respect, and
because of that, "(Michael) made sure that Little Richard was
He also said that when Michael Jackson’s MJJ Productions fell on hard times, "Michael made sure with his mother that every employee was paid."
"She is a woman of great faith, and believes if you treat people right, (good) things will come back to you."
Jackson named his mother on at least two trusts — besides the Sony-ATV
music catalog, she’s a part of his Mijac publishing company — and
McMillan said she was active in Jackson’s business affairs, even
attending depositions in legal cases.
However, a source who asked for anonymity because of the ongoing nature
of the situation said those trustee positions did not have
Whether Mrs. Jackson has the business
capacity to deal with Jackson’s estate, which is complicated and
tangled, is likely to be a key question. She and Joe filed for
bankruptcy 10 years ago, listing nearly $24 million in debts that
included court judgments,
auto loans and credit cards. Court records show the only valuable asset
listed was a house in Las Vegas then valued at $290,000.
Monday, the South Korean newspaper Segye Times filed for payment from
Michael Jackson’s estate of a nearly $7.9 million judgment entered
against Katherine and Joe Jackson and their son Jermaine in 1994. The
paper sued in 1990 over a series of concerts involving the Jacksons in
Seoul that never happened.
McMillan said the role of a trustee does not require a person to be a business whiz.
"A trustee is one of trust as opposed to extraordinary skill," he said.
"Trustees hire experts to administer business that requires experts."
Manning said Mrs. Jackson is confident that her legal team would do an
excellent job with her guidance. He also raised the possibility that
one of Jackson’s five brothers could have a role in the estate: "That
would be the right thing to do, the right thing to happen."
Legally, Mrs. Jackson may not be able to have an official role. Both
Branca and Hansell said the addition of Katherine as an executor of the
will or a trustee of the trust might raise tax questions because she is
Branca was Jackson’s attorney for many years,
working with him during the height of his fame and helping negotiate
his deal to buy the Beatles catalog. But they split in 2005 until
Branca was brought back shortly before Jackson’s death as he prepared
for his comeback concerts with the promoter AEG.
McClain has been very close with the family for decades, and was instrumental in building Janet Jackson‘s career. He also had played key roles in Michael Jackson’s career in its later years.
Manning spoke highly of McClain, saying he has been "like a son" to the Jackson parents.
"He’s like a confidant," he said. "He was very, very close to the family."
Branca and McClain have control of Jackson’s estate until at least Oct.
3. They have already made several deals on behalf of Jackson’s estate,
including a reissue of his memoir "Moonwalk"
and a full-length motion picture filled with footage of his last
rehearsals, which requires a judge’s approval. In a sign that Katherine
Jackson’s input is already being considered critical, the judge has
scheduled a hearing Monday to see, among other things, whether she has
But McMillan claims Jackson would have wanted
his mother to be part of any dealmaking as well, quoting Jackson’s
sentiments about his mother from a deposition: "For the past several
years I have started using my mother because she is the most trusted
person in my life. I trust my mother more than anyone."