Showing posts with label Bad Boy Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bad Boy Records. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Michael and The Mob

Michael Jackson Shocks Al Sharpton By Calling Tommy Mottola A Racist
Singer accuses Sony Music chairman of conspiring against black artists.
by jennifer vineyard 7/8/2002

Michael Jackson took on Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola this past weekend, accusing the head of his record company of being a racist and part of a racist conspiracy against black artists.

Though it was anticipated that Jackson would challenge standard practices of the music industry and champion artists’ rights when he spoke at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in New York’s Harlem neighborhood on Saturday, his personal attacks against the Sony executive came as a surprise, not least of all to Sharpton himself.

Most of Jackson’s comments were constrained to the overall treatment of black artists, the struggle of whom he said he shared. The pop star compared his troubles with his record company to those of artists who struggled financially, saying that there was an “incredible injustice” taking place.

“The recording companies really, really do conspire against the artists,” Jackson said. “They steal, they cheat, they do everything they can, especially [against] the black artists. … People from James Brown to Sammy Davis Jr., some of the real pioneers that inspired me to be an entertainer, these artists are always on tour, because if they stop touring, they would go hungry. If you fight for me, you’re fighting for all black people, dead and alive.”

But Jackson may have taken a wrong turn when he turned the fight for him into a fight against Mottola. Claiming that Mottola had used the “N-word” to refer to an unidentified black Sony artist, Jackson singled out the company chairman for being “mean … a racist … and very, very, very devilish.”

Those accusations expanded on previous comments Jackson had made at a fan club event in London on June 15, where he told the crowd, “Tommy Mottola is a devil.” At that event, Jackson didn’t address any aspects of racism, and he limited his remarks to his troubles with Sony, which he claimed had tried to destroy what was to have been his comeback album, Invincible, by failing to promote it.

According to sources close to the album, Sony spent $30 million to make Invincible and $25 million to promote it; only two singles and one video were released, however. And while Jackson did perform two high-profile anniversary concerts in September that were later televised (see “Michael Jackson Smooth At Tribute, But Wait Was Criminal” ), he did not tour to support the album — another source close to the project said that Jackson refused to. Jackson also made few public appearances and granted even fewer interviews. Though Invincible sold an estimated 6 million copies worldwide and went double platinum in the U.S., it was not a blockbuster.

Still, the pop star has since escalated his troubles with his album sales and record company into an artist rights’ issue, one that garnered him the support of not only Sharpton but also Johnnie Cochran (see “Michael Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran Take On Labels” ). While Sharpton still supports Jackson’s view on the record industry overall, Sharpton told the New York Post that he was unaware that the pop star would vilify Mottola, an action he said was unfair and unfounded.

“He was the first record executive to step up and offer to help us with respect to corporate accountability, when it comes to black music issues,” Sharpton told the Post. “I have known Tommy for 15 or 20 years, and never once have I known him to say or do anything that would be considered racist. … I didn’t know that Michael planned to personally attack Tommy, but nobody tells Michael Jackson what to do.”

For its part, Sony was quick to defend Mottola as well, releasing a statement saying the company was bewildered by the pop star’s remarks, which it called “ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful.”

“We were deeply offended by the outrageous comments Mr. Jackson made during his publicity stunt this past Saturday,” the statement reads. “The executive he attacked is widely supported and respected in every part of the music industry and has championed both Mr. Jackson’s career and the careers of many other superstars. In launching an unfounded and unwarranted attack on this man’s reputation, Mr. Jackson has committed a serious abuse of the power that comes with celebrity. The bizarre, false statements Mr. Jackson made on Saturday make it clear that his difficulties lie elsewhere than with the marketing and promotion of Invincible.”

As the lines get drawn, Sharpton told the Post that he’s already received a flurry of calls from top-level artists and producers upset with Jackson and coming to Mottola’s defense, including producers Steve Stoute and Corey Rooney (Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, Marc Anthony). It will soon be apparent whether Sharpton can separate Jackson’s remarks about Mottola from the broader industry concerns their alliance is supposed to address, such as artist contracts and royalties, when National Action Network’s Music Industry Initiative summit takes place Tuesday at NAN’s New York headquarters.

. . . Take General Maximo Overkill, for instance. That’s his soldier of fortune’s nom de guerre. His real name is Gordon Novel, and he moves in those spooky circles which he calls “high strange,” where conspiracies flourish and cloak-and-dagger investigations overlap. He cut his teeth working for former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison on the J.F.K. assassination, and he boasts that he served as former attorney general Ramsey Clark’s “Doberman” at Waco. Several weeks before the trial began, I was put in touch with him through Steven Saltzman—the son of a James Bond–film producer—in Monaco, who told me that Michael Jackson’s brother Jermaine had been seeking Novel’s advice on how to stop the trial. According to Novel, the Jacksons believed that it was all a grand conspiracy, that the accuser’s mother was being paid by Jackson’s enemies, who wanted to take control of his major economic asset, the Sony/ATV Music catalogue, which holds publishing rights to 251 Beatles songs and works by scores of other pop artists. Jackson claimed that the main conspirators were Sony Records; its former president, Tommy Mottola; and Santa Barbara County district attorney Tom Sneddon, the prosecutor, who also investigated Jackson in 1993. The catalogue is held jointly by Jackson and Sony, and Jackson’s share is mortgaged for more than $200 million. If Jackson defaults, Sony has first chance to buy his half as early as this coming December. (A Sony spokesperson said, “We are not going to comment on any aspect of this.”)
Jackson explained to Novel that the conspirators had introduced him to Al Malnik, a wealthy Miami attorney who had once represented Meyer Lansky. Malnik later helped Jackson refinance his loans. That was not what Jackson told Novel, however. According to Novel, Jackson said he was lured to Malnik’s house in Miami Beach by film director Brett Ratner to see a house so beautiful it would make him catatonic. He said that once he was there, however, Malnik, who Jackson claimed had Mafia ties, wanted to put his fingers in the singer’s business. Jackson also said he received a call from Tommy Mottola while he was there, which aroused his suspicion, but he did not tell Novel that he later put Malnik on the board of the Sony/ATV Music partnership. (Reached by telephone, Malnik scoffed at the idea of a conspiracy or of his having any Mafia ties. He said, “It does not make any sense.” Ratner confirmed that he took Jackson to Malnik’s house and that he considers Malnik a father figure.)
Jackson and Mottola have been at odds for years. In New York in July 2002, Jackson staged a public protest against Mottola with the Reverend Al Sharpton, calling him a racist and “very, very devilish.” He called for a boycott of Sony, which is believed to have contributed to Mottola’s ouster from the company six months later. Jackson is reportedly so frightened of Mottola that one of the reasons he surrounded himself with Nation of Islam guards in 2003 was that he thought Mottola could put out a hit on him. (Mottola could not be reached for comment.)
Jackson wanted Novel to find the links among these characters. Novel told me in March that “he believes he’ll get convicted. He believes the judge, the D.A., and the Sony guys are a conspiracy to take over his money.”
On March 17, nearly a month into the trial, Novel went to Neverland to strategize. Maximo’s first thought was that Michael was in need of “an extreme makeover” of what he calls “imaggio.” Jackson drove him around the ranch in an old pickup truck. “He acted like he was scared silly,” Novel told me. His fear was “six foot thick. He kept asking me what prison was like. Can he watch TV and movies there? He wanted me to stop the show.” When I asked Novel what that meant, he related that Michael said, “‘I want this trial stopped.’ He said the judge and Sneddon had rigged the game.”
The general was blunt with Jackson. “I told him, ‘Get rid of the weird persona. You look like the weird pedophile. I’m talking about the hair, lipstick, eyebrows. Just be yourself, and say why you’re doing it. Say that’s your show-biz personality. It’s just what you do to sell LPs.’ He said, ‘No. I just want to be me.’” The general also told him to find a female lover. “He didn’t want to go with girls, do the romance thing either. He didn’t want to come to Jesus; he thinks he’s already religious. I said, ‘Why didn’t you stop fooling around with kids?’ He said, ‘I didn’t want to.’”
Novel told Jackson that he could walk away free if he would just submit to a lie-detector test, undergo hypnosis, and take truth serum, which Novel would administer in “a controlled environment.” While he was under the influence on video, Novel said, Jermaine could ask him questions, and they could distribute the video worldwide, proving his innocence. Jackson refused to take truth serum, Novel said, claiming it was against his religion.
Novel told me that he was ready to go public with this information and sell it to the highest bidder, because Jackson had stiffed him on his $5,000 consultant’s fee. I told him that Vanity Fair does not pay for information, but he nevertheless related in detail a conference call he had had with Michael, Jermaine, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Many of the things he said they had discussed were echoed in an interview Michael gave Jesse Jackson on Keep Hope Alive with Reverend Jesse Jackson the following Easter Sunday.
Michael said on the phone that what was happening to him was the result of racism. He told Jesse Jackson in the radio interview, “I’m totally innocent, and it’s just very painful. This has been kind of a pattern among black luminaries in this country.” He told him he got strength from the examples of Nelson Mandela, Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and Jesse Owens. Novel told me he had said to Michael, “You can either be a victim or a warrior.” In his interview, Michael told Jesse Jackson, “I’m a warrior.”
On the phone, Novel told me, Michael and Jesse had decided that telling the press they spoke with each other frequently was a good way to give a positive spin to Michael’s predicament. Sure enough, Raymone Bain, Jackson’s attractive spokeswoman, promptly told reporters that Michael woke up before dawn every day and spoke with Jesse for 15 or 20 minutes. She said, “They talk together and pray together.” In the interview Michael said, “I gained strength from God. I believe in Jehovah God very much.”
Novel told me they had discussed the conspiracy at length on the phone. In the interview, Jesse Jackson asked Michael point-blank about the catalogue and what was in it. Michael said that “it’s a huge catalogue. It’s very valuable, it’s worth a lot of money, and there is a big fight going on right now as we speak about that.” He added, “I can’t comment on it. There’s a lot of conspiracy. I’ll say that much.” . . .
2. More depth concerning the sinister forces gathered around Michael Jackson during the closing phase of his life was provided by Ian Halperin. Asserting that Jackson was gay and preferred young male lovers, Halperin maintains that the pedophilia charges of which Jackson was acquitted were baseless.
It was to finance his defense against those charges that Jackson sold off half of the rights to a valuable music catalog, including the rights to many of the Beatles songs. The other half of the catalog is owned by SONY, which acquired Bertelsmann’s music arm.
Halperin also notes that Jackson was in poor health and that the proposed 50-show London appearance would have severaly damaged or destroyed Jackson’s health. He also notes that sinister forces around Jackson during the closing period of his life included operatives of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, including a mysterious man named Dr. Tohme Tohme, whose precise background is a matter of conjecture. (For background information about Farrakhan and his organization, including information linking Farrakhan to the assassination of Malcom X, see FTR #21.)
It is Halperin’s opinion that those around Jackson knew his health was bad and that he couldn’t stand the rigors of the proposed tour. Were they trying to push him into his grave? Were they in cahoots with elements looking to obtain control of the Beatles catalog?
Whatever  the final autopsy results reveal, it was greed that killed . Had he not been driven – by a cabal of bankers, agents, doctors and advisers – to commit to the gruelling 50 concerts in ’s O2 Arena, I believe he would still be alive today.
During the last weeks and months of his life, Jackson made desperate attempts to prepare for the concert series scheduled for next month – a series that would have earned millions for the singer and his entourage, but which he could never have completed, not mentally, and not physically.
Michael knew it and his advisers knew it. Anyone who caught even a fleeting glimpse of the frail old man hiding beneath the costumes and cosmetics would have understood that the London tour was madness. For Michael Jackson, it was fatal.
I had more than a glimpse of the real Michael; as an award-winning freelance journalist and film-maker, I spent more than five years inside his ‘camp’.
Many in his entourage spoke frankly to me – and that made it possible for me to write authoritatively last December that Michael had six months to live, a claim that, at the time, his official spokesman, Dr Tohme Tohme, called a ‘complete fabrication’. The singer, he told the world, was in ‘fine health’. Six months and one day later, Jackson was dead.
Some liked to snigger at his public image, and it is true that flamboyant clothes and bizarre make-up made for a comic grotesque; yet without them, his appearance was distressing; with skin blemishes, thinning hair and discoloured fingernails.
I had established beyond doubt, for example, that Jackson relied on an extensive collection of wigs to hide his greying hair. Shorn of their luxuriance, the Peter Pan of Neverland cut a skeletal figure.
It was clear that he was in no condition to do a single concert, let alone 50. He could no longer sing, for a start. On some days he could barely talk. He could no longer dance. Disaster was looming in London and, in the opinion of his closest confidantes, he was feeling suicidal.
To understand why a singer of Jackson’s fragility would even think about traveling to London, we need to go back to June 13, 2005, when my involvement in his story began.
As a breaking news alert flashed on CNN announcing that the jury had reached a verdict in Jackson’s trial for allegedly molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his  in California, I knew that history had been made but that Michael Jackson had been broken – irrevocably so, as it proved.
Nor was it the first time that Michael had been accused of impropriety with young boys. Little more than a decade earlier, another 13-year-old, Jordan Chandler, made similar accusations in a case that was eventually settled before trial – but not before the damage had been done to Jackson’s reputation.
Michael had not helped his case. Appearing in a documentary with British broadcaster Martin Bashir, he not only admitted that he liked to share a bed with teenagers, mainly boys, in pyjamas, but showed no sign of understanding why anyone might be legitimately concerned.
I had started my investigation convinced that Jackson was guilty. By the end, I no longer believed that.
I could not find a single shred of evidence suggesting that Jackson had molested a child. But I found significant evidence demonstrating that most, if not all, of his accusers lacked credibility and were motivated primarily by money.
Jackson also deserved much of the blame, of course. Continuing to share a bed with children even after the suspicions surfaced bordered on criminal stupidity.
He was also playing a truly dangerous game. It is clear to me that Michael was homosexual and that his taste was for young men, albeit not as young as Jordan Chandler or Gavin Arvizo.
In the course of my investigations, I spoke to two of his gay lovers, one a Hollywood waiter, the other an aspiring actor. The waiter had remained friends, perhaps more, with the singer until his death last week. He had served Jackson at a restaurant, Jackson made his interest plain and the two slept together the following night. According to the waiter, Jackson fell in love.
The actor, who has been given solid but uninspiring film parts, saw Jackson in the middle of 2007. He told me they had spent nearly every night together during their affair – an easy claim to make, you might think. But this lover produced corroboration in the form of photographs of the two of them together, and a witness.
Other witnesses speak of strings of young men visiting his house at all hours, even in the period of his decline. Some stayed overnight.
When Jackson lived in Las Vegas, one of his closest aides told how he would sneak off to a ‘grungy, rat-infested’ motel – often dressed as a woman to disguise his identity – to meet a male construction worker he had fallen in love with.
Jackson was acquitted in the Arvizo case, dramatically so, but the effect on his mental state was ruinous. Sources close to him suggest he was close to complete nervous breakdown.
The ordeal had left him physically shattered, too. One of my sources suggested that he might already have had a genetic condition I had never previously come across, called Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency – the lack of a protein that can help protect the lungs.
Although up to 100,000 Americans are severely affected by it, it is an under-recognized condition. Michael was receiving regular injections of Alpha-1 antitrypsin derived from human plasma. The treatment is said to be remarkably effective and can enable the sufferer to lead a normal life.
But the disease can cause respiratory problems and, in severe cases, emphysema. Could this be why Jackson had for years been wearing a surgical mask in public, to protect his lungs from the ravages of the disease? Or why, from time to time, he resorted to a wheelchair? When I returned to my source inside the Jackson camp for confirmation, he said: ‘Yeah, that’s what he’s got. He’s in bad shape. They’re worried that he might need a lung transplant but he may be too weak.
‘Some days he can hardly see and he’s having a lot of trouble walking.’
Even Michael Jackson’s legendary wealth was in sharp decline. Just a few days before he announced his 50-concert comeback at the O2 Arena, one of my sources told me Jackson had been offered £1.8million to perform at a party for a Russian billionaire on the Black Sea.
‘Is he up to it?’ I had asked.
‘He has no choice. He needs the money. His people are pushing him hard,’ said the source.
Could he even stand on a stage for an hour concert?
‘He can stand. The treatments have been successful. He can even dance once he gets in better shape. He just can’t sing,’ said the aide, adding that Jackson would have to lip-synch to get through the performance. ‘Nobody will care, as long as he shows up and moonwalks.’
He also revealed Jackson had been offered well over £60million to play Las Vegas for six months.  ‘He said no, but his people are trying to force it on him. He’s that close to losing everything,’ said the source.
Indeed, by all accounts Jackson’s finances were in a shambles. The Arvizo trial itself was a relative bargain, costing a little more than £18million in legal bills.
But the damage to his career, already in trouble before the charges, was incalculable. After the Arvizo trial, a Bahraini sheikh allowed Jackson to stay in his palace, underwriting his lavish lifestyle. But a few years later, the prince sued his former guest, demanding repayment for his hospitality. Jackson claimed he thought it had been a gift.
Roger Friedman, a TV journalist, said: ‘For one year, the prince underwrote Jackson’s life in Bahrain – everything including accommodation, guests, security and transportation. And what did Jackson do? He left for Japan and then Ireland. He took the money and moonwalked right out the door. This is the real Michael Jackson. He has never returned a phone call from the prince since he left Bahrain.’
Although Jackson settled with the sheikh on the eve of the trial that would have aired his financial dirty laundry, the settlement only put him that much deeper into the hole. A hole that kept getting bigger, but that was guaranteed by Jackson’s half ownership of the copyrights to The Beatles catalogue. He owned them in a joint venture with record company Sony, which have kept him from bankruptcy.
‘Jackson is in hock to Sony for hundreds of millions,’ a source told me a couple of months ago. ‘No bank will give him any money so Sony have been paying his bills.
‘The trouble is that he hasn’t been meeting his obligations. Sony have been in a position for more than a year where it can repossess Michael’s share of the [Beatles] catalogue. That’s always been Sony’s dream scenario, full ownership.
‘But they don’t want to do it as they’re afraid of a backlash from his fans. Their nightmare is an organised ‘boycott Sony’ movement worldwide, which could prove hugely costly. It is the only thing standing between Michael and bankruptcy.’
The source aid at the time that the scheduled London concerts wouldn’t clear Jackson’s debts – estimated at almost £242million – but they would allow him to get them under control and get him out of default with Sony.
According to two sources in Jackson’s camp, the singer put in place a contingency plan to ensure his children would be well taken care of in the event of bankruptcy.
‘He has as many as 200 unpublished songs that he is planning to leave behind for his children when he dies. They can’t be touched by the creditors, but they could be worth as much as £60million that will ensure his kids a comfortable existence no matter what happens,’ one of his collaborators revealed.
But for the circle of handlers who surrounded Jackson during his final years, their golden goose could not be allowed to run dry. Bankruptcy was not an option.
These, after all, were not the handlers who had seen him through the aftermath of the Arvizo trial and who had been protecting his fragile emotional health to the best of their ability. They were gone, and a new set of advisers was in place.
The clearout had apparently been engineered by his children’s nanny, Grace Rwaramba, who was gaining considerable influence over Jackson and his affairs and has been described as the ‘queen bee’ by those around Jackson.
Rwaramba had ties to the black militant organisation, the Nation of Islam, and its controversial leader, Louis Farrakhan, whom she enlisted for help in running Jackson’s affairs.
Before long, the Nation was supplying Jackson’s security detail and Farrakhan’s son-in-law, Leonard Muhammad, was appointed as Jackson’s business manager, though his role has lessened significantly in recent years.
In late 2008, a shadowy figure who called himself Dr Tohme Tohme suddenly emerged as Jackson’s ‘official spokesman’.
Tohme has been alternately described as a Saudi Arabian billionaire and an orthopaedic surgeon, but he is actually a Lebanese businessman who does not have a medical licence. At one point, Tohme claimed he was an ambassador at large for Senegal, but the Senegalese embassy said they had never heard of him.
Tohme’s own ties to the Nation of Islam came to light in March 2009, when New York auctioneer Darren Julien was conducting an auction of Michael Jackson memorabilia.
Julien filed an affidavit in Los Angeles Superior Court that month in which he described a meeting he had with Tohme’s business partner, James R. Weller. According to Julien’s account, ‘Weller said if we refused to postpone [the auction], we would be in danger from ‘Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam; those people are very protective of Michael’.
He told us that Dr Tohme and Michael Jackson wanted to give the message to us that ‘our lives are at stake and there will be bloodshed’.’
A month after these alleged threats, Tohme accompanied Jackson to a meeting at a Las Vegas hotel with Randy Phillips, chief executive of the AEG Group, to finalise plans for Jackson’s return to the concert stage.
Jackson’s handlers had twice before said no to Phillips. This time, with Tohme acting as his confidant, Jackson left the room agreeing to perform ten concerts at the O2.
Before long, however, ten concerts had turned into 50 and the potential revenues had skyrocketed. ‘The vultures who were pulling his strings somehow managed to put this concert extravaganza together behind his back, then presented it to him as a fait accompli,’ said one aide.
‘The money was just unbelievable and all his financial people were telling him he was facing bankruptcy. But Michael still resisted. He didn’t think he could pull it off.’
Eventually, they wore him down, the aide explained, but not with the money argument.
‘They told him that this would be the greatest comeback the world had ever known. That’s what convinced him. He thought if he could emerge triumphantly from the success of these concerts, he could be the King again.’
The financial details of the O2 concerts are still murky, though various sources have revealed that Jackson was paid as much as £10million in advance, most of which went to the middlemen. But Jackson could have received as much as £100million had the concerts gone ahead.
It is worth noting that the O2 Arena has the most sophisticated lip synching technology in the world – a particular attraction for a singer who can no longer sing. Had, by some miracle, the concerts gone ahead, Jackson’s personal contribution could have been limited to just 13 minutes for each performance. The rest was to have been choreography and lights.
‘We knew it was a disaster waiting to happen,’ said one aide. ‘I don’t think anybody predicted it would actually kill him but nobody believed he would end up performing.’
Their doubts were underscored when Jackson collapsed during only his second rehearsal. . . .
3. Los Angeles authorities were moving in the direction of a homicide investigation at one point in their inquiry.
The slow dribble of news and rumors in the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death continues, with reports that the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office is considering the case a criminal investigation, and that the LAPD is treating Jackson’s death as a homicide. . . .

4. Two weeks after Jackson’s death, the powerful Bertelsmann firm was capitalized by KKR in a new music venture. Speculation involved the possibility that Bertelsmann might use the capital to acquire the rights to the licensing of the catalog owned by Jackson and SONY.
Less than a year after Bertelsmann, the German media giant, exited the music business, it is taking a novel approach to get back in.
The company said Wednesday that it would form a joint venture with the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company to license and administer music rights.
The new company will combine Bertelsmann’s existing BMG Rights Management unit with the financial muscle of K.K.R., which will own 51 percent of the joint venture, with Bertelsmann holding the rest.
And while BMG’s indirect competitors will be the music publishing titans of the world, like EMI, Warner Music, Universal and Sony — companies that market the immense catalogs they own — BMG is counting on signing artists who are seeking someone who will administer their intellectual property without actually owning it.
“Our financial strength combined with BMG’s sector expertise will create a unique platform for building up a global music-rights management business,” Johannes P. Huth, the European head of K.K.R., said in a statement.
In August, Bertelsmann sold its stake in the music company SonyBMG to Sony for $900 million. As part of the deal, it retained the rights to 200 European artists, who, with 100 signed since October, form the core of BMG Rights Management, which is based in Berlin.
Founded last October, BMG Rights Management is a relatively new business that acts as an agent for artists whose intellectual property can be licensed for uses outside of traditional recording. For example, the music can be broadcast through various media or used in movie productions.
Its stable of artists includes Toby Gad, a German songwriter living in New York who has worked with artists including Beyoncé and Hannah Montana, and 2Raumwohnung, a popular German group.
K.K.R. will put 50 million euros up front into the new company, drawing on its European investment funds, and another 200 million euros over five years as investment opportunities arise, according to Philipp Freise, a director of K.K.R. in Europe and member of its global media team.
“We both want to broaden BMG’s global reach faster than originally anticipated,” Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann’s chief financial officer, said.
Hartwig Masuch, BMG’s chief executive and a veteran of its music publishing business, will keep that title in the new company.
BMG has offices in six European countries, including Germany, Britain and Italy, and is now turning its gaze across the Atlantic to begin signing artists there. “With this joint venture, the main point now is to get active in the United States,” said Tobias Riepe, a Bertelsmann spokesman.
Though its first priority is acquiring a stable of artists, another possibility for expansion would be for BMG to acquire control of music catalogs in its own right from other owners, or artists who sell them, Mr. Riepe said.
The music world, for example, is now abuzz with speculation about what will happen to the catalogs controlled by heirs of Michael Jackson. The recently deceased pop superstar had his own music catalog, and a 50 percent interest in the Sony/ATV collection, which includes songs from The Beatles — assets the family could try to sell. . . .

5. More about the Bertelsmann/K.K.R. deal:
To Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, music was “the universal language of mankind.” Money may be the lingua franca for the partners at the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, but a combination with music could make a pleasant tune for its investors.
The fund run by Henry Kravis is teaming with the German media group Bertelsmann to pounce on some of the choicest bits of the music business — copyrights to songs. Given the turbulence in the recorded music sector, and the ownership of libraries like Michael Jackson’s up in the air, they’ll likely have a wealth of assets from which to choose.
Widespread digital distribution of music has hampered the ability of companies like Warner Music Group and EMI to make money from their traditional activity of finding new artists and marketing their tunes. Yet, their copyright businesses continue to produce profit. In the quarter that ended in March, Warner’s publishing division posted 40 percent operating margins, four times those of its recorded music division.
That has raised expectations that copyright owners like EMI, which is highly leveraged, may need to sell assets to pay down debt and fix their recorded music operations. Similarly, Warner may seek to monetize part of its library to finance a bid for the recorded music arm of EMI, should its owners at the buyout firm Terra Firma wish to sell.
And copyrights owned by the estates of Michael Jackson and Allen Klein, the former Rolling Stones manager, may come on the block. The Jackson estate’s share of its venture with Sony, which holds the rights to most of the Beatles’ music, was valued at $390 million in a 2007 audit. . . .

6. Shortly after Jackson’s death, the father of the first of his two [false] accusers died of a gunshot wound, said to have been self-inflicted.
First, Even Chandler–father of Jordan Chandler, the boy who first accused Michael [Jackson] of molestation–committed suicide by handgun, sparking speculation that he’d perhaps done so out of guilt over the whole child molestation scandal that arguably started the downward spiral of the fallen King Of Pop’s bizarre life. We shall never really know, and there was no suicide note at the scene. . . .
7. Bertelsmann was the publisher for the SS in World War II. The firm’s patriarch, Heinrich Mohn, was a member of that organization. Available evidence suggests strongly that Bertelsmann is part of the Underground Reich.
Note that the late Heinrich Mohn selected Dieter Vogel to head the Thyssen firm. In addition to being one of the German core corporations (and therefore part of the Underground Reich), the Thyssen firm is one of the most important elements of the Bormann capital network.
“Issuing more than 20 million volumes, Bertelsmann was the largest supplier to the army and supplied the SS.”
(“Bertelsmann’s Nazi Past” by Hersch Fischler and John Friedman; The Nation; 12/28/98; p. 1.)
8. More about Bertelsmann and Heinrich Mohn’s membership in the SS:
“When Bertelsmann applied after the war for a second publishing license, it was turned down by occupation authorities. [Bertelsmann patriarch Heinrich] Mohn had ‘forgotten’ to mention that he had been a ‘passive’ member of the SS, as well as a supporter of the Hitler Youth and a member of the prestigious National Socialist Flying Corps, according to de-Nazification files in the central state archive in Dusseldorf.”
(Ibid.; p. 2.)
9. For those inclined to view the activities of Heinrich Mohn and associates as something that was “long ago and far away,” the program reviews the fact that Bertelsmann’s house historian–Dirk Bavendamm–exhibits behavior suggestive of Bertelsmann being part of the Underground Reich. As recently as 1998, Bavendamm wrote a book blaming World War II on Franklin Roosevelt, U.S. imperialism and Jewish control of the media. A remarkable interpretation of that conflict from the official historian of the largest English language publisher.
“His book Roosevelt’s Way to War (Roosevelt’s Weg zum Krieg) was published in 1983. Rewriting history, he stated that Roosevelt, not Hitler had caused World War II. He also wrote that American Jews controlled most of the media,’ and he claimed they gave a false picture of Hitler. Did the book impress [Heinrich’s son Reinhard] Mohn, then the majority shareholder of Bertelsmann? The firm hired Bavendamm as its house historian, and in 1984 he completed a historical study, 150 Years of Bertelsmann: The Founders and Their Time—with a foreword by Mohn. A year later, Bavendamm edited the firm’s official history, which set forth the untrue story that the firm had resisted the Nazis and had been closed down by them. Mohn also asked Bavendamm to write the authorized history of the Mohn family, published in 1986 under the title Bertelsmann, Mohn, Scippel: Three Families—One Company. In a second book, Roosevelt’s War (published in 1993, reissued in 1998), Bavendamm accuses the U.S. President of enacting a plan to start World War II. In the same book he suggests that Hitler’s threats in early 1939 against European Jewry were a reaction to Roosevelt’s strategy against Germany. After the revelations about Bertelsmann’s Nazi past appeared, the company announced that it had asked ‘the historian and publicist Dr. Dirk Bavendamm to look at the new information and begin to reinvestigate the role the publishing house played in those days’ and defended his work.”
10. The bulk of the second side of the program deals with Alvin Malnik, a former attorney for Meyer Lansky (often mentioned as Lansky’s possible heir) and an executor to Jackson’s will. Rightly or wrongly, Jackson was very afraid of Malnik, whom he suspected of plotting to gain control of his estate, his stake in the Beatles’ catalog, in particular.
Malnik converted to Islam and adopted an Arabic name. In addition, his son Mark Malnik married a princess of the Saudi royal family and changed his name to Shareef. The broadcast examines this relationship. Mr. Emory refers to the Malnik milieu as “Lake Malnik” and notes the many powerful and monied interests with property on or adjoining that remarkable lake. People and institutions involved with, and overlapping, the intelligence community, organized crime, politics, show business, industry and finance all rubbed elbows with Malnik.
The marriage–literally–of an alleged heir to the Lansky syndicate to thhie Saudi royal family raises the possibility of a truly remarkable and virtually limitless engine of corrupt power. (For discussion of Malnik, the program excerpts material from FTR #512.)

Former head of Sony Music and Mariah Carey's controversial first husband, Tommy Mottola, has hit-back at claims he was a controlling tyrant during their marriage, writing in his upcoming memoir that the singer should be grateful as he made her a star.

Carey has previously described her four year marriage to Mottola, the record executive who first signed her, as a 'private hell' and said the music supremo, 20 years her senior, abused her 'mentally and emotionally'.  
The singer, now one of the best selling music artists of all time, married the record company boss at the age of 23. 
She said he was jealous and overpowering and she 'longed for someone to kidnap' her from the unhappy marriage which lasted from 1993 to 1997. 

But the former head of Sony hit backs in his upcoming memoir 'Hitmaker' saying he may have seemed 'controlling' but that was how he made Carey a star, according to the New York Post.

'If it seemed like I was controlling,' he writes in the book, 'I apologize. Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success.'

He also claims he helped her by not letting her take a break early in her career.

'My feeling was that there’d be plenty of time for Mariah to celebrate just a little ways down the road,' he writes. “I’m not talking 10 years, just a few.'

The controversial relationship was the subject of much derision at the time.

The pair, Mottola, 43, and Carey, 23, married in a lavish ceremony worth half a million. She had a $25,000 Vera Wang dress modeled on princess Diana's with a 27-foot train. 

Mottola divorced his first wife with whom he had two young children.

He said he fell for the singer immediately after meeting her and recognised her talent within moments, according to the extract in the Post.

Handed her demo by Brenda K. Starr, a singer for whom Carey was backup, he listened to it in his car.

'An unbelievable energy was running though me,' he reportedly writes, 'screaming, ‘Turn the car around! That may be the best voice you’ve ever heard in your life!’ '

On meeting the Long Island singer, who was living in a shared apartment in Manhattan, he said they had 'great chemistry' and she was 'flirtatious from the moment I set eyes on her'. 

He signed her for $80,000 and the two begun an affair that would end in marriage and ultimately bitter divorce.

Mottola tells how many were against the relationship from the start - not least of all his therapist. 

'You don’t understand!,' he says he told the counsellor. 'Mariah is going to be the biggest star in the world. She’s going to be as big as Michael Jackson.'

'I can only now wonder about the expression on my therapist’s face when . . . she saw Mariah thank God for that first Grammy, and then Tommy Mottola for believing in her. She could no longer call me delusional.'

He admits he should have seen their marriage was doomed. He says he later saw a picture of his children crying at the ceremony, adding: “They knew in their bones what I simply couldn’t feel."

In 1991 Carey's debut record sold 15million copies. Mottola went on to push the ballads that broke Carey onto the music scene and allegedly refused to allow her to more towards the R&B she was interested in. 

He also takes responsabiliy for her Christmas album to which Carey alleged asked if he was 'trying to make her Connie Francis'. 

According to the Post, he says it was these decisions that cemented her success. 
Carey has previously dismissed Mottola's claims he made her.

He admits he should have seen their marriage was doomed. He says he later saw a picture of his children crying at the ceremony, adding: “They knew in their bones what I simply couldn’t feel."
In 1991 Carey's debut record sold 15million copies. Mottola went on to push the ballads that broke Carey onto the music scene and allegedly refused to allow her to more towards the R&B she was interested in. 
He also takes responsabiliy for her Christmas album to which Carey alleged asked if he was 'trying to make her Connie Francis'. 

According to the Post, he says it was these decisions that cemented her success. 
Carey has previously dismissed Mottola's claims he made her.