Michael Jackson died paying $30 million interest on huge debts

Pop legend Michael Jackson was paying $30 million (£20 million) in interest on his huge debts at the time of his death, leaving him flat broke. Forensic accountant William Ackerman took the stand at a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday (13Aug13) as a defence witness in the battle between the Jackson family and concert promoters AEG Live over the singer’s 2009 death.
Ackerman was handed the job of sifting through the King of Pop’s finances, and he revealed the star was “tapped out” at the time of his passing due to the huge interest payments on a number of loans estimated to total $500 million (£333 million).
He told the court that “consistently, his (Jackson’s) largest expenditure was interest expense. He spent a ton of money on interest.”
Other expenditures which were draining Jackson’s finances included payments on his Neverland ranch, which boasted its own zoo, train line and full staff, and donations to charity, as well as purchases of jewellery, art and furniture.
Ackerman claimed Jackson’s history of debt started in 1993 with a $30 million (£20 million) loan, which grew to $140 million (£93 million) by 1998. The total stood at between $400 and $500 million (£266 million – £333 million) when he died in June, 2009.
In the lawsuit, the family claims AEG bosses should be held accountable for hiring the King of Pop’s doctor, Conrad Murray, who has been convicted of inadvertently killing the star by giving him an overdose of a surgical anaesthetic.