Sharad Chandra Patel, father of the late film producer and director Raju Patel, is suing the Michael Jackson estate for not allowing him to finish making a film for fans that his son started.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sharad Chandra Patel launched the lawsuit on Thursday (Nov 3) after being denied access to the deceased singer’s music and personal effects.
The film, ‘Messages to Michael’ was due to be made following the charges of child molestation against the late singer in 2003. It’s said that Jackson wanted to make a film tribute “to the dedicated fans who stood by him during difficult times when many others turned their backs”.
In 2005 Jackson signed a contract agreeing to split the profits of the film 50-50 with Raju Patel “or his nominee”. Raju Patel elected his father before he died of cancer three months after signing the contracted.
Sharad Chandra Patel attempted to gain creditor’s rights in 2010, which were denied, and now he’s trying to get hold of pre-recorded home footage and music. The Jackson Estate has called it a “meritless lawsuit”.
While ‘Messages to Michael’ may not be made, Travis Smiley’s as-yet-unpublished biography, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Michael Jackson’s Last Days, has been picked up by Warner Bros Television Group for development into a TV series.
Before You Judge Me… follows the final 16 weeks of the singer’s life, focusing primarily on the planning stages of Jackson’s comeback ‘This Is It’ concert series, which was set to begin with 50 dates at London’s O2 Arena.
Jackson died after going into cardiac arrest in LA on June 25, 2009, 18 days before the opening performance.