Michael Jackson has yet to be laid to rest and already a battle over his potentially lucrative inheritance is gaining intensity between his mother Katherine and the lawyers for his estate and concert promoter, according to court documents released Tuesday.
Katherine, who earlier lost a bid
to be temporary administrator of the entertainer's estate, is demanding the speedy production of mountains of financial documents, including contracts Jackson entered into with his estate, record label, concert officials, and even his father Joseph.
"The special administrators [of Jackson's estate] have, up to this point, refused all requests," she says in papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Her filing alleges the administrators are "apparently intent on keeping her in the dark as much and for as long as possible."
Attorneys for Jackson's estate and AEG, which was to promote Jackson's big comeback concert this summer in London, countered that her request is "voluminous, burdensome and invasive." They also expressed concern that Katherine would not uphold a confidentiality agreement for Jackson's concert deal.
A lawyer representing the two executors named in Jackson's will, John Branca and John McClain, denied they were intentionally keeping Jackson's mother out of the loop: "The Special Administrators have and will continue to provide timely information to Mrs. Jackson's counsel regarding potential business opportunities for the Estate," attorney Howard Weitzman said in a statement. "Any inference that we have not been forthcoming in providing information to Katherine Jackson's attorneys is not accurate."
At stake is potentially hundreds of millions of dollars from the King of Pop's estate, including record royalties – Jackson suddenly became one of the world's hottest selling artists after his death – as well as money from DVDs, books and his share of the Beatles catalogue.
Katherine Jackson, who is the temporary guardian of Michael's three children, says she wants the documents in time for an Aug. 3 hearing.
Her son died last month, but the body has still not been laid to rest as the family tries to come to an agreement on where to put him.