By:- To MJ Respect is due
An article from California Business Law dated March 21st 1994 titled “Best In The West”, gives more insight into the sorted history of John Branca. It talks about how Branca got his start with Michael, Branca’s three year absence from Michael’s side and how he ultimately lured him back into the fold.
Shortly after John Branca graduated from UCLA Law, he joined the entertainment law firm Hardee Bavorick Konecky and Braun as a tax partner; before disbandment the firm had offices in New York, London, Beverly Hills and Newport Beach-California. In 1979 a year before Branca became Michael’s business advisor and lawyer and 4 years after the Jacksons performed at a concert produced by Branca’s father…John Branca was given a tax account by his firm, whose account was he given? You guessed it, Michael Jackson’s. Branca seems to be a man of many talents, now we can add tax law to the list. This means he knows how to steal money, hide said money and get that money to offshore banks in the Caribbean; Interfor provided proof of that. We’ve been talking a lot about the IRS and the Fed Reserve, the billions of the dollars stolen from Michael and how a feat of this nature couldn’t be carried out, without friends in high places. Without a shadow of a doubt, we know now that Branca has such friends. Many of you probably waived your hands and were like whatever blogger…but John G Branca we see is a tax man too, there is your evidence of those ties that bind.
John Branca ever ambitious set his sights on making a name for himself in the world of music; it couldn’t be done through his supposed musical talents as they didn’t take him far. He had a once in a lifetime opportunity to open for the Doors and he’d later go on to represent the estate of the late great Jim Morrison, also the victim of foul play. John would conquer the industry he envied….undoubtedly due to his mother Hollywood actress Barbara Werle. For if it was admiration and not jealousy; Branca would not have made the calculated moves he has thus far in his hostile takeover. You’ll see my points soon enough. Ms. Werle left John with his Dad when he was around 4 years old to pursue a career in Hollywood, the young John wouldn’t join his mother until he was 11. John would later represent the Rogers and Hammerstein estate of the “Sound Of Music” fame in the sale of their catalog; he was given the job because he expressed a passion and Love of the theater due to his Mother. Not so fast, blogger is not getting soft on Mr. Branca, I’m getting into his head; you must know who you’re dealing with. There is a method to the man’s madness, and so is there to ours… here at Team Michael Jackson. You may take these stories as his Love for the arts as that’s surely the story Branca would rather you believe but uh….the man is obsessed with the life of a rock-star that he could not have, the industry that stole his mother and through business found a way to take it over. He couldn’t orchestrate such a plot all alone, he needed Michael’s name and money to do that, I’ll get to that in a minute….don’t forget… Branca told the grieving Mama Jackson, “I’m Michael Jackson now”. Did you see him walking out to Michael’s footsteps; during Spike Lee’s London premiere of his documentary about the making of Bad the album?
In 1990 Michael fired John Branca on the advice of friend and confidant David Geffen, Geffen felt that Branca had way too much control over Michael’s business and personal life. He felt the relationship between the two was a bit unorthodox, as when Branca wasn’t double and at times triple dealing… brokering on the sides of both Michael & Sony as well as others like EMI; he was jet-setting around the world with Michael on lavish vacations, extravagant shopping sprees and getting expensive gifts like a Rolls Royce. Michael is very good to his people, money is no object to him and his generosity was viewed by those around him as the ultimate payday. They took his kindness for naivety and made him their mark.
The writer of the California Law Business article, Michael D Harris, seemed to have Branca’s number, asking Branca how badly he wanted Michael back and what measures he took to get him. Branca of course the smug bastard that he is, tried to play it cool and say oh I was fine and have had the most productive three years of my career during our break. When you sit back and let a person speak, they reveal themselves all the time. The next time you find yourselves in such a situation, be sure not to interrupt the person, as they will tell you all you need to know. Michael said he didn’t like to talk much, you’d have to know him to get that, he always listened and observed his surroundings; yet another thing me and the brilliant Mr. Jackson have in common. Branca later in the article states that he was shaken for a brief period, he went on to say
“In this business if you’re viewed as vulnerable, or you’ve lost your power base the vultures start circling.” “And people were waiting to see if that was it, hoping that I would ride into the sunset.” “So yeah, there were some nervous times.”
Getting to what I promised earlier, the above statements sounds like the words of very ambitious man whom wanted nothing more than to succeed greatly. He has definitely got something to prove; when Michael let him go he was done… mentally sacred fearing that he lost his chance. As the partner of a powerful law firm, Branca made a series of checks that his ass now couldn’t cash; surely his position within the elite was on the line. Besides, Branca wasn’t done riding Michael’s star, the star he delusionally believes he created, therefore Michael owed him. Branca has superiors to answer to, he had better make things right, they’d been after Michael for years and had him on the hook since Sony took over CBS. Branca was working this con for the past ten years, he was livid that he was pushed out; he was not going to allow anyone to reap the rewards of his conditioning. So Branca kicked clawed and scammed his way back. The scorned man in him was waiving look at me, making deals for high profile celebs and corporations; he aimed to prove he was the man and that Michael would be lost without him. He’s said he will do anything to make the deal, because he’s an asshole that way. Branca was going to find his way back in by hook and crook. He had a meeting with Michael’s then manager Sandy Gallin; they sat according to the story, over lunch shot the breeze and talked about everything under the sun except for Michael.
When Gallin had enough of the small talk, getting down to business he introduced Michael into the conversation. On cue, Gallin let him reveal himself, Branca started to go in about Michael and his current lawyers, his business deals and Bertram Fields…Michael’s chief legal advisor, lawyer and manager. This is the same advisor that knew Michael was innocent in 1993 and hired the investigator Anthony Pellicano. Fields wanted to move forward with the pending criminal case in ’93 following Michael’s wishes. Michael vehemently wanted to prove his innocence and pushed to start the criminal case and stay the civil case, which was only about getting money from him; the judge said no. If it was all about getting a “predator” off the streets and saving “the kids” than the legal system would have jumped at the chance to put Michael in jail by allowing the criminal trial. That was never the intent, the legal system knew Michael did nothing wrong, this was a shake down and position move, to place Michael right where they wanted him to bring about inevitable events.
Branca permeated the room with thoughts of Fields not being competent. He talked about Michael’s current record deal (Michael was a Sony recording artist) and how he could get Michael better royalties per dollar per album, sounds a lot like the drug game doesn’t it. Branca during the 3 year split had been working for Sony. This goes without saying that Sony was back in the shadows making all kinds of things happen in Michael’s world. What are the odds of Michael’s car breaking down and breaking down at a repair shop that belonged to the stepfather of the boy that would later accuse him? The boy’s father said it was bigger than him and all were waiting to see Michael fall. This is not hearsay, but captured audio of a conversation between Evan Chandler and Jordan Chandler’s stepfather. Sony wanted ATV badly and would do anything to get it, they had approached Michael in previous years and Michael said no. For a company to proclaim that they would have nothing to do with him, if he broke the morals clause in his contract and they’d retain his masters if he did…a trial of this nature would surely do the trick. It’s thought that if this accusation could just dim his star enough to impact his money making ability, Michael would have to sell ATV. They didn’t count on the power of Love and the fans and supporters’ belief in Michael’s innocence. They’d have to devise an alternate plan.
Branca tells Gallin that he can get a better deal, of course he can and he is a representative of SONY!! Galin as the manager, who will get a percentage of whatever musical deal Michael makes, says ok I will bite. He dials Michael up and kicks a scenario…Michael is up to his you know what in this lawsuit and a world tour. He’s got a lot on his plate, if he bails on the tour he owes, if he fights this case he’s got enormous legal fess from multiple firms, he’s got to make some money either way as he’s got obligations… surely these are the words of those that have his ear. Michael is said to have called Branca several days later and invited him back in a role undetermined at the time. Branca renegotiates Fields’ $60 million dollar Sony recording deal to $100 million dollars making history at the time. Branca, is now back inside; you know….a vampire can’t come in your home unless you invite him. Vampires have great manipulation powers beyond what many of you obviously don’t see, they find ways to make you think it was all your idea and aligning with them is for the best; so that in the end when they take your blood, they can say you asked for it and get away with it. You guys sure you want to keep paying for and supporting Twilight and the like and their seductive images consuming and persuading your minds and the minds of your children. All is for a reason.
Branca in his absence fostered strong relations with Sony EMI, just to name a few, helping them to facilitate deals. Interesting to note, Branca made the deal for EMI to administer Michael’s ATV and MiJac publishing, one of the many aggressive moves he made when he returned to Michael’s life. These are the same corps that he is still in conflicts of interest business with today and all are feasting off Michael estate. Later in 1995, Branca would deliver Michael to Sony on a platter of gold, with the merger of Michael’s sole owned ATV publishing to form Sony/ATV. Keep in mind Branca also in 1993 was when (he would not let Michael get away again) he penned the deal to own 5% of ATV before the merger and acquired 5% of the joint venture afterwards. Branca has made his living by taking 5% of the professional and personal businesses of the artists he represents. Ziffren Brittenham Branca had a plethora of conflicts of interest lawsuits against them, one was dismissed on summary judgment, one was settled, and two were pending at the time the article was written. How many conflicts of interest lawsuits do you think could be brought against Branca today? When asked about the lawsuits Branca had this to say
“What’s really happening”…”is that when you’re really successful, people come out of the woodwork looking to take a shot, to see if they can get a settlement” “Conflicts are absolutely inevitable in any business as small as the music business” “It may be a big dollar business, but there are only six major distributors in North America and five international distributors. And without being arrogant, I would say the number, of top law firms, that are handling most of the transactions are four or five.”
The first statement sounds a lot like what Branca and co created in Michael’s life, don’t you think? Evidence of this is the fact that after he was gone all of these lawsuits disappeared why couldn’t anyone do this for him when he was alive. Michael being free from these suits was never the point; the suits were created to bring about cataclysmic events. Branca says conflicts of interest are bound to happen in such a small business; really now? Uh Branca…you not only sound like but you are extremely arrogant as there are more than enough “Top” law firms in this country and around the globe to handle these “transactions”; such condescendence… as these “transactions” are actually human beings. (Don’t you want to just smack him?) Four or five firms controlling the business of a global entity, sounds a like… dare I say it; I won’t… but you get my drift. I will ask though, do you still not believe in control and conspiracy, your boy Branca just admitted to it.
When Michael fired Branca, it’s said that Branca has been busy seeking revenge on Geffen, I say he was seeking vengeance on Michael as well. He took Aerosmith to Sony and was representing the Ex– Eagles member Don Henley while he was suing to leave Geffen. Branca of course denies these allegations. Yet we know better, Branca is often described by insiders as a quiet genius but a serious foe when he sets his sights on you, he is said to be neurotic and vindictive. I’m sure his supporters and the estate Lovers will disagree, but here is some more evidence that will give you a little more to think about when making your decision.
A previous article written in the Wall Street Journal dated December 27th 1993 titled “In Neverland Elite Lawyers Battle Over Michael Jackson, Setting Back his Cause” (helluva title I could blog about it alone) gets into the drudge match between the suits over Michael’s empire and just how devious the victor John G Branca was in gaining that title. It also sheds some shocking light on some so called friends of Michael, so don’t kill the messenger….I’ve learned that in Michael’s world no one is whom they appear to be and that’s devastating for me, imagine what life must have really been like for the man himself.
Michael was going through so much with being extorted by the Chandlers, he was on the Dangerous world tour and had everyone coming down on him with demands. Under extreme pain still from the Pepsi commercial attack, various injuries and mental duress, Michel became more reliant on painkillers. Bertram Fields his chief legal advisor was the decisive member of Michael’s extensive multi-firm legal team and overall business. The competing firms were vying for top billing as not only would they receive revenues in the tens of millions dollar, they would secure a name for themselves among the Hollywood elite and gain invaluable press recognition. John Branca wanted it all for himself and his firm; the ruler would control Michael’s billion dollar music business, which was the ultimate prize. All the suits were dead set on getting Michael right where they wanted him, with powers of attorney and access to his bank accounts corruption came from the upper echelons of society. Determined to make Geffen pay (Branca’s side agenda) for having him ousted; he began to undermine everything that Fields was doing even if it meant that Michael would end up settling with the Chandlers.
When Michael went to rehab in London canceling the remaining dates of his Dangerous tour, on advice of Elizabeth Taylor, the proverbial shit hit the fan. Liz had long since gained great influence over Michael and the Wall Street Journal’s article reveals just how much, we’ll get to that in a minute. Branca used this as an opportune time to take out Bertram Fields. When Fields addressed the press letting the world know that Michael canceling his remaining shows; Branca clipped the article claiming that the press event was a blunder on Fields’ part and sent the article along with his tirades to the Michael’s legal team. Howard Weitzman you know him, attorney for the estate, Branca friend and the man who stole Kurt Cobain and Doris Duke’s estate…stepped in and told the press that Fields was out of order by saying a criminal trial was eminent. Fields knew what he was doing, he was setting the scene and letting the Chandlers and all involved know, that Michael was not going to take this sitting down. Weitzman Branca and Sony had a different idea in mind. On the direction of Branca along with their own protocol of preventing any foreseeable loss, the insurance carrier for the Dangerous tour was actually the ones to settle with the Chandlers and pay the 20 or so million dollars. This was not reported nor explained in the media and people all over the world assumed that Michael paid the family as some type of admission of guilt. This impacted his image somewhat, although there were NO CHARGES brought, however, the implications were sitting out there for the world’s imagination. Couple that with media fodder and innuendo, Michael became open game; again this was part of the design. You can thank Branca, Sony, Weitzman, Liz Taylor – Bill Bray and Johnnie Cochran for this. Yes we are going there, these are things that we here have known, I am so thankful for this article to back us up, so that you too can now see the truth. We have to look at this in a realistic way family, it’s the only way we can truly help Michael and the Jackson family.
David Geffen in the 80s along with Ebony Magazine’s John Johnson created a board of advisors and directors to oversee Michael’s business. On that board was also John Branca and his firm which Branca became a partner of in 1984, in large part due to his work with Michael. When Branca was let go, Kenneth Ziffren begged Geffen to reconsider releasing them from the board. The request was denied, giving more motive for Branca’s spirited takeover. First on the chopping block was L. Lee Phillips whom was hired to oversee Michael’s publishing; with Phillips out, Branca appointed himself to the position. Lee Phillips received a termination letter from “Michael” and when he contacted chief of legal affairs Bertram Fields to find out what was going on, Fields had no idea. As the lead of business affairs, dismissal would have to come through and be decided on by Fields first and then finalized by Michael as the chain of command. Branca was organizing a coup by making back deals with the other members of the legal team. Next to get the ax was Michael’s management team, again lead of business affairs Fields had no idea; he says had he have known, he would have stopped it. It became apparent within, that Fields’ role was being greatly diminished, as Branca was rising to power.
While all this is going down, Michael is on tour and elsewhere unreachable by anyone except for Liz Taylor. She had become the go between Michael and his business advisor and lawyers. This gave Liz an unbelievable amount of power. Michael’s world was imploding; Branca was getting his revenge and those who needed to reach Michael to salvage the situation could not as they were blocked by Liz. Liz’s unreachable list would also include the Jackson family. It was no longer conducive to the consortium of businessmen to have Fields and Pellicano apart of the team. The “advisors” along with Liz became angry when Pellicano had produced two boys that had sleepovers with Michael and said nothing happened. One would think, that these are the types of witnesses that were needed to save Michael’s good name. Again saving Michael was not part of the design; this was all part of the positioning to get Branca and Sony on the inside so that impending lawsuits and money woes would further break Michael. If you haven’t noticed, Michael hadn’t needed any loans or became plagued by fraudulent lawsuits by everyone wanting their “turn” as Branca said, when talking about his own lawsuits, until Michael’s union with Sony. Gallin who was also close friends with Liz Taylor while at her home with Howard Weitzman discussed how they would get rid of Pellicano and then put in a call to Michael who was touring in Mexico City. They convinced him to give Weitzman, Pellicano’s job. Naturally Fields was irate and traveled down to Mexico City to have a sit down with Michael, also in route was Branca’s new allies the other members of the legal team that Fields had governance over. Bill Bray, now Branca supporter, blocked Fields from seeing Michael, he claimed he didn’t like his management and approval of Pellicano; which gave way to a loud shouting match between the two in a hotel room. The new found alliance of Branca, Bill Bray, Liz Taylor and the defected fraction of the massive legal team… decided to get rid of Fields once and for all. Liz wanted her lawyer to take the role, while he didn’t get the job; he later became a liaison between Michael’s legal team and Liz. I’m still trying to comprehend why Liz needed to be the gatekeeper to Michael. Liz says that Michael was not in the state of mind to make any decisions for himself, Liz so who was I ask, as this all turned out horribly. I think about Michael being isolated and on painkillers while all of this is happening, by the time he returned all was in place. I know what I see, you must decide for yourselves.
On December 3rd 1993, John Branca was successful in over throwing Bertram Fields and inserting Johnnie Cochran. Fields received a letter of termination from “Michael” spirited by none other than Mr. Branca. Fields a close friend of Sandy Gallin as well (seems like ole Sandy was working both angles being Liz’s friend too) was left behind to assist Michael by Geffen after the board he created was no longer. His termination and Branca taking hold of the reins was the ultimate revenge John Branca had been gunning for. Weitzman and Cochran would go on to be the supposed dynamic duo, later Cochran would get the career defining win in the OJ Simpson case, no doubt how I see it for a job well done. Much like how David Walgren became judge, follow the patterns it stays the same with adjustments here and there. Weitzman, well you know what happens with him, he returns as the estate’s lead attorney and an attorney for AEG.
I ask you Branca supporters, can you still defend him and do you still trust him? Look at the chaos he has created in Michael’s life and what he is willing to do to get what he wants. If you Love Michael truly, you will open your eyes. Our investigation and pursuit of justice for Michael and his family continues. Love works through and guides us; what is your motivation. Decide!!