In an explosive report delivered this weekend by Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera…Rivera went well beyond implying that Michael Jackson’s concert promoter, AEG, had an interest in the King of Pop’s Death—he used context and comments by Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, to accuse AEG of having the man killed whose comeback tour they were promoting. At the root of Rivera’s allegation is an insurance policy for seventeen million dollars that he reports AEG wants to collect on. And adding a tanker truckload of fuel to the fire, is a deal between AEG and Sony to turn AEG’s footage of Michael Jackson’s preparations for his concert tour into two feature length motion pictures—GERALDO SAYS AEG IS TO BE PAID SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS FOOTAGE!!!
Of course AEG denies Geraldo’s allegations…And I know for a fact that AEG President Tim Leiweke has said that this story is going away today—I assume he’s pulling some of those power strings AEG has paid for or threatening Fox with legal action; take your pick. But what everyone has to be asking right now is why did this very same person said that AEG had no financial interest in Michael Jackson’s funeral event held at Staple’s Center? This lack of financial interest is how Mr. Leiweke justified sticking the city with a 1.4 million dollar bill for event related city services. Trying to dissuade ticket holders from cashing in 50 million dollars worth of tickets + 17 million in insurance money (according to Geraldo) + 60 million dollar movie deal = 127 million dollars of financial interest, if Rivera is right.
So, I’ve gone after AEG for a number of issues ranging from taking 300 million in tax credits from the public and not giving the community the events in the public space it promised to being a bad corporate citizen to being in the blogging business and not properly disclosing the obvious conflict of interest when making Tammy Billings the director of marketing for LA Live also the LA Live Examiner. But turning an enormous profit on the apparent murder of Michael Jackson? I write a pretty good novel every now and then and even I couldn’t dream this one up. Continue reading