Money troubles continue to mount against the “King of Pop”. On January 21, the director of the famed “Thriller” music video filed suit against Michael Jackson, claiming that the star owes him royalties from the video.
John Landis, who directed the blockbuster video in 1983, said in his lawsuit that his contract entitled him to half of the net profits from the video and the accompanying making-of documentary, both of which he co-wrote with Jackson. He claims that Jackson has withheld information about the video’s earnings for at least the last four years.
Jackson "wrongfully refused to pay or account for such profits," according to the suit. It goes on to say that Jackson and his company Optimum Productions are guilty of "concealing the extent of net profits" and “fraudulent, malicious and oppressive conduct."
The lawsuit comes on the heels of the announcement that “Thriller” will be reinvented for the stage. The Nederland Organization, a Broadway production company, acquired the rights to produce a musical version that they promise, “will be the exclusive Michael Jackson authorized version of 'Thriller' and Jackson will participate in every aspect of the creative process.”
Attorneys on both sides of the suit will meet with a court judge on May 11.