LOS ANGELES (AP) - Michael Jackson’s former manager is suing the singer’s estate claiming he is owed millions and is responsible for some of the successes of the singer’s estate.
Tohme R. Tohme’s lawsuit was filed Friday in Santa Monica, Calif., the same day lawyers for Jackson’s estate asked a judge to rule the former adviser had no rights to any of Jackson’s post-death earnings.
Jackson’s estate claims Tohme used undue influence to get Jackson to sign agreements, but the former adviser’s case states he worked diligently to create “a financial and career strategy that would provide stability for Michael Jackson and his children.”
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Michael Jackson’s estate sued the singer’s former manager on Friday, claiming he lined his own pockets by persuading the pop superstar to sign unconscionable contracts in the final year of his life.
The lawsuit against Tohme R. Tohme came after more than a year of wrangling between Jackson’s estate and the former adviser who has claimed he is owed 15 percent of the more than $310 million collected by the estate since the singer’s death.
“This lawsuit is necessary to finally put a stop to abuse of fiduciary obligations owed to Jackson and seeks to unwind the self-serving and unconscionable agreements (Tohme) encouraged Jackson to enter into” and to compensate the estate for failing to return Jackson’s property, the complaint states.
Tohme’s attorney Paul Malingagio did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Friday.
Estate attorney Howard Weitzman wrote in a statement that he expects Jackson’s former manager to file his own lawsuit to try to gain money from the estate.
The lawsuit states that Tohme forced Jackson to pay him a finder’s fee for introducing the singer to a group that saved Neverland Ranch from foreclosure. That deal earned Tohme more than $2.4 million and was just one of several deals he was involved in that the estate claims improperly benefited the adviser.