Quincy Jones Sues Michael Jackson's Estate for $10 Million
by Sadie Gennis
The producer filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit over the This Is It film and soundtrack, the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil productions and the 25thanniversary edition of Bad, alleging that the master recordings he worked on were edited and remixed to deny him royalties and production fees.
“Quincy has been frustrated with these matters for a number of years, felt he was not making any progress and needed to take more formal action,” his attorney Henry Gradstein says.
In the suit, Jones says that the contracts he entered into with Jackson in 1978 and 1985 stipulate that the producer be given the first opportunity to re-edit or remix the masters, that coupling the masters with other recording require Jones’ prior consent and that he be given producer credit for each master recording. The agreement also gives Jones the right to upfront payment and a backend percentage of any remixed masters.
The lawsuit seeks an accounting of the estate’s profits from the works in question so that Jones can determine the full amount he is owed. Howard Weitzman, a lawyer for the Michael Jackson Estate, says in a statement that the estate “was saddened to learn Quincy Jones has filed a lawsuit seeking money from Michael’s estate. To the best of its knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael.”