A settlement between Michael Jackson‘s estate and his former manager Tohme Tohme has broken down.
Tohme, who was one of the late singer’s final managers before he died in 2009, sued the Jackson estate in 2012, claiming that he was owed 15% commission on money Jackson made during the last year of his life. He also sought a cut of the revenues from the Jackson album and film This Is It, as well as a finder’s fee for securing the loan that prevented foreclosure on Jackson’s Neverland Ranch home.
A trial began back in May, but an “amicable” settlement was swiftly agreed between the parties in open court. However, The Hollywood Reporter now reports that that agreement has broken down after Jackson’s estate refused to pay Tohme his settlement money unless he agreed to a non-disparagement clause and the promise of not suing again.
Tohme has now asked Los Angeles Superior Court judge Mark A. Young to enforce the terms of the settlement after he went without payment.
“The settlement terms did not include a non-disparagement clause or an agreement not to sue,” Young wrote in his ruling. “However, the law requires the settling parties’ presence in order for an oral agreement to be enforceable under §664.6. Counsel, and not the parties themselves, were present when the terms of the settlement agreement were stated before the court.”
Young added that Tohme is now free to file a new lawsuit aiming to enforce the settlement agreement, and Tohme’s 2012 suit, which is seeking about $20 million, remains active.
A new Broadway musical based on Jackson’s life and career is set to premiere in New York next year.