Accoutant William R. Ackerman details extent of pop singer's financial problems in wrongful death trial
Michael Jackson was reportedly £250m in debt at the time of his death in 2009.
The details of the pop star’s death were revealed by a forensic accountant in wrongful death trial Jackson’s mother Katherine has filed against concert promoters AEG Live. William R Ackerman testified as a defence witness for the promoters and claimed that Jackson was “tapped out” financially when he died.
According to The LA Times, Ackerman detailed how Jackson spent the majority of his money on travel, art, charity, gifts and lavish furniture. “He spent a lot of money on jewellery,” the accountant explained. Ackerman also said that interest on a number of loans Jackson had taken out were among his biggest expenditures. Additionally, it is reported that Jackson was paying £15m per year on old debts. Ackerman told the jury that “consistently, his [Jackson] largest expenditure was interest expense. He spent a ton of money on interest.”
Ackerman outlined how in 1993, Jackson owed £15 million, a figure that grew to £70m five years later. This then climbed year on year until Jackson was £85m in debt by 2009.
Earlier in the trial, which began in April, Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine accused concert promoters AEG of failing to contact the singer’s family as he “wasted away” while rehearsing for the ‘This Is It’ live tour shortly before his death in 2009.
The trial continues.
Meanwhile, a number of duets recorded by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and Jackson are to be released for the first time later this year. Three tracks the pair recorded in 1983 will be made available to fans with Queen guitarist Brian May quoted as saying there will be, “something for folks to hear” in September.