General News

Jackson Denies Facing Money Troubles

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Feb 12, 2004 | 3:02pm EST

Michael Jackson is denying reports that he appears to be facing an "immediate cash crisis" due to a $70 million loan coming due to Bank of America next week that sources say he has no money to repay, AFP reports. According to a story in The New York Times, financial advisers close to Jackson say two groups of investors have opted out of business deals with the singer in recent weeks.

The story reports Jackson, currently embroiled in a child molestation case, faces insolvency as banks are scared off by his tarnished image. In addition to the $70 million, the self-named "King of Pop" also has $200 million and $250 million loans guaranteed by his music catalog holdings that include co-ownership of the Beatles songbook valued at $900 million.

However the 45-year-old singer's music manager, Charles Koppelman, told The Associated Press in a phone interview today that Jackson did not owe Bank of America or any other money lending agency $70 million. Koppelman also denied the allegations that Jackson is in financial trouble, reporting that the star's assets far exceed his debts.

He also claimed that many people with a large net worth have many loans that are renegotiated on a regular basis. Koppelman acknowledged that Jackson would be involved with a large transaction within the next few days, but did not elaborate. A Bank of America representative declined to comment.

Financial advisers to Jackson point out that his weak record sales, inability to tour during his trial, and the rumor that Nation of Islam leaders are running his financial affairs all serve to frighten off potential lenders.

Jackson and his team of lawyers are currently preparing to defend the singer charged with seven counts of performing lewd and lascivious acts with a 13-year-old boy.

Jackson's lawyers also announced today that he would not appear in court at the pretrial hearing to be held Friday in Santa Maria, Calif., according to Reuters. Law enforcement in Santa Maria expressed relief upon hearing that the superstar would not be coming to town, "Any time a celebrity of (Jackson's magnitude) comes to town it taxes our resources. It's a relief that he's not coming," said Santa Maria police Lt. Chris Vaughan.

Last month Jackson was 20 minutes late to his first court appearance after taking time to greet the hordes of fans and well wishers outside the Santa Maria courthouse. Jackson has already pled "not guilty" to charges that he gave the young accuser alcohol before molesting him. Jackson has referred to the charges against him as "a big lie."

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