By:- To MJ Respect Is Due
Disclaimer: We in no way intend to disrespect the memories of Mr. John R Branca, Ms. Barbara Werle or insinuate that Branca’s brother is involved in any way. We do not fight dirty, no need to as the truth is on our side. As justice seekers and investigative reporters we merely report the facts.
Truth V Lies John Branca, Howard Weitzman
This will be a two part expose….In part one, we will break down Branca’s interview on Piers Morgan.
Piers: “you’ve been in Michael’s life for more than 30 years. It was a bit roller coaster wasn’t it; as you’ve dipped in and out of his business life.”
Branc: “I started work for Michael in the beginning of January 1980. During that “first” meeting, Michael says Branca do I know you. Branca says I don’t think so Michael this is the first time we met. Michael says are you sure? Branca says Michael I think I would remember.”
He did know Michael AND his Brothers before 1980. John G Branca grew up in Mt. Vernon New York, with his father John R Branca. His mother is Hollywood Actress Barbara Werle. John R Branca became the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation up in Mt. Vernon New York in 1962, where he oversaw the community’s Memorial Field also known as Memorial Stadium. With his budding political career, friendships with athletic stars (his brother played for the Brooklyn Dodgers) and Hollywood connections; John R produced shows where headline acts performed at Memorial Field. In 1975, five years before Branca’s “first” meeting with Michael; Branca’s father had the Jackson5 perform in Mt. Vernon at Memorial Park.
Talking about his and Michael’s work relationship, Branca says,
“We went on for about a decade”; which would mean 1980-1990. He goes on to say
“and then off and on pretty much for three decades, I was his principal business manager for much of that time.”
Branca was let go by Michael after David Geffen told him Branca exercised too much control over his business. He popped up around 1993 when Michael was fighting extortion and he along with Michael’s Dangerous Tour insurance company settled with the extortionist, Michael wanted to go to trial and fight. Michael was then ushered to London for a stay in rehab undoubtedly by Dame Liz Taylor; she had his mind way too much. Michael ended up on the line for millions of dollars due to the canceled tours. Branca then renegotiated a recording deal with Sony for next to a billions dollars and then worked on both sides of the Sony-ATV merger in 1995.
Piers asked about ATV…
Branca says “after Thriller Michael had a lot of money a lot of cash.” Michael was in fact a billionaire after Thriller or very close to it. This album has sold the most copies in the history of recorded music and still does, couple that with merchandising (you remember the thriller dolls posters and the like) royalties productions credits with the licensing of the Thriller video and the making of Thriller the video…not to mention the Pepsi endorsement deals.
Branca says Michael asked to call Yoko and McCartney his good friends he did not want to bid against them. Yoko said she wanted Michael to have it over a corporation as she was not bidding, Branca says he spoke to McCartney’s lawyer who said he wasn’t bidding. Truth is Sir Paul as we have reported before even after Beatles Mania did not have the money to buy the catalog and Yoko wants nothing to do with him.
Piers asks how much Michael purchased ATV for and how much its worth.
Branca says, Michael purchased it for 47.5 million in 1985, they sold off a background music library and Michael’s net investment was 41 million. It has been reported that Michael paid cash for the catalog. If Michael did not amass the fortune he had, being the sole buyer and a cash payment of this nature would not be possible. Branca then goes on to say,
“While I can’t give out confidential details, it’s been reported that Sony/ATV is worth upwards of 2 Billion dollars and Michael owns half. “ “I would say in addition to Sony/ATV Michael has his own publishing company which is called MiJac which owns all of his own songs as well as many others songs we brought over the years; so when you add the two companies together it’s even more valuable.”
Branca does not disclose what MiJac is actually worth. Think…In 1985 Michael was a billionaire off Thriller he was able to buy ATV in cash. He has since gone on to have number one albums all over the world, Michael has sold upwards of a billion records and counting; which he intelligently owns the publishing rights to all his music. He merged with Sony and together they have acquired All of Country music at the time of this interview along with the music of Paramount pictures…Since the interview they have acquired EMI and now Sony/ATV owns nearly all of music (Just how has already been broken down in another blog) and here truth VS John Branca continues
Pierce Morgan quickly did the figures in his head and asked this.
“So all this stuff about Michael being a half of billion dollars in debt when he died is a load of bologna; isn’t it? Presumably the publishing rights alone by the sound of it, were worth several billion dollars…”
Thank you so much Pierce for recognizing this. Look at Branca’s face, he takes a deep breath as he has just been caught, his eyes shift to the side where Howard Weitzman is seated. He shifts in his seat as he is uneasy he’s trying to figure out what to say and then hangs his head to the far side. Piers’ question and Branca’s answer starts at 5:34
“Well Piers, I would like to comment on…on…on SPECULATION about Michael’s debt. Um…Net worth… you know one doesn’t have to sell those assets… so it it you know… those are…those are corner stone assets… that we keep on…we plan on keeping for Michael’s children and keeping those in the family “
BY THE WAY – MORE LIES – AS HE SOLD MJ SONY/ATV TO SONY – SOMETHING MICHAEL FOUGHT ALL HIS LIFE NOT TO DO
There never was any debt or any need for there to be. We have discussed this here at TeamMichaelJackson in great detail. Even if you don’t understand the legalese, we all can do math and the numbers just don’t add up.
The loans were ways in which to fund to coup against Michael. This is how palms were greased. So many people had to get paid in a scheme such as this. If Michael is in debt to the banks (who run the world and make the laws) they get a piece of him… in return they look the other way and fund the war. During Obama’s first few months in office, he paid off Wall Street Banks and “fledgling” Corporations in billion dollar welfare.
The estate did the same; the press release stating that the debt is paid was a message saying that all parties are paid in full. They couldn’t just take the estate, they had IOUs and markers, Branca and McClain had to pay for the rewards of their position and they are installed to do the bidding of the elite just like President. On the surface things had to appear a certain way (just like everything else in our world) this is why you need loans, sign this Michael. Michael you have no money take the Goldman Sachs deal, the AEG deal…sell us your catalog.
Branca admits there was no debt by his use of the world SPECULATION. Piers had already put him on the spot, he couldn’t back track now; that would have opened another can of worms. As the “principal business advisor” who would no better than he. He also admits that they plan to keep the “cornerstone” assets. The publishing is theirs but he adjust and say it’s for the children for the family. Yet when the family steps to them about such they are barred from their Mother and their niece and nephews. So exactly which family are they keeping the publishing in?
Piers asked this questioned next:
What kind of decisions have you taken, which have turned out to be very smart ones in the relation to handling his estate?
“Well my co-executor John McClain and I… I mean… Let’s face it Pierce, we’re fortunate to represent Michael Jackson…Which makes our job lazy one…in some senses.”
So why are you two getting paid so much, why do you need pay increases and 10% of estate business?
Piers as are we, is interested in how Branca got back in, so he says to Branca, how did you end up back with Michael was it the tour or something….I know you don’t work for AEG so tell me about that. Piers did his homework, we know Branca was brought in by Kenneth Randy Phillips yet Branca says this…
“In terms of coming back into Michael’s life we separated amicably in 2006 and I got a call from his Michael’s manager Frank Dileo about a month before we met and Michael was excited and Frank was excited about the tour. And they wanted me to give them some thought about some ideas of what we can do around the tour. Frank Dileo and I met several times and then finally met…met again with Michael. About a week before he passed away we met at the Forum where he was rehearsing. “
It was not amicable he was gone, he came back to extort 15 million by pretending to give Michael back his 5%. Michael did not call Branca he said it…Dileo did and they had for a month met several times before he finally he quickly corrected and said met Michael again. what was it… 9 days before Michael was killed. It’s already out there Branca, Randy P said he brought you in cause Katz was a conflict of interest and Dileo couldn’t control Michael anymore.
Weitzman said, Mike was one of a kind there are very few legitimate icons in the entertainment business and he had the ability to generate millions and millions of fans worldwide which converted into huge numbers. Weitzman slipped up with this comment. You can’t generate fans; he wanted to say Michael as a bona fide Icon had the ability to generate millions and millions of dollars worldwide. .
When asked is it right to say when entertainers die they are worth more dead than alive. Weitzman responds:
“I think that is true, the catalog soared and spiked for a while. What differentiates Michael from others in my opinion; The This Is It record… the This Is It film for example….The This Is It CD, now the Cirque show. He was able to create additional businesses well beyond the music and that’s very unusual.”
He just told the world that Michael is in fact worth more dead than alive to them. Have you noticed that TII is being referred to more and more as a film versus a documentary? A film is premeditated. There was never going to be a show.
Piers asked if Michael’s spending was as out of control as they say. Once again Branca starts to shift, takes in a breath and prepares to lie.
“Well that was an area that was handled by Michael’s business managers and accountants. And Michael made a lot of money and I probably believe it’s true that he spent a lot of money. But he left a lot behind; he had a lot to show for it.”
Is he kidding me?!! Michael had business managers and accountants, so this is not his area. This is a joke. The man was bragging nonstop about being the principal business manager or he’d interchangeably say advisor. Branca eluded this question as once again the media and their reports that Mike spent all his money just aren’t real. The man could spend obscenely as could his family and there wouldn’t even be a scratch in the fortune do you understand. Branca had to admit it, he had already put his foot in his mouth bragging about Mike’s empire like it’s his, and Piers walked right in and tripped him up.
Piers like me is saying he got all this money there is no way he is in debt and spent all that money there just is no way. He made a lot of money he left a lot of money behind and had a lot to show for it is what Branca further admitted. What about the reports of frivolity? More validity, that there were never any debts. He has business managers and accountants with this statement Branca has also admitted that the business manager and accountants are the ones that were spending and embezzling Michael’s money. We knew Michael didn’t sign off on anything they took care of that.
Pierce asked Branca how comparable was it managing Michael’s estate as he knows that Branca briefly managed Elvis’.
“Well it’s hard to compare, Elvis came up in a different era in the 50s. I was a big Elvis fan; it’s one of the reasons I got in the music industry. But Michael you know went to the Berry Gordy Motown School of the music business and then learned from great teachers. One of the things I have found, representing various members of the hall of fame is…. As the generations have gone by, musicians have become very much smarter. And so Michael I think learned from his predecessors as did I. And so…he was able to control his assets in a way that previous entertainers have not.”
A different era you say…the Berry Gordy Motown school…cute Branca I peep you though. Is this really why you mad? You think kids from Gary have no brains how dare he right?
Yea I’m reading between your words. Musicians have become smarter…Mike called it in that same video that proves he was in New York, yea he learned and you weren’t going to do it to his people no more. What did you learn Branca
He was asked how fast Michael’s estate grew since his death. Once again he gets sketchy and prepares to lie.
“Well we’ve…you know…we’ve tried to do the right things. I think John McClain and I have had the advantage of having a decade’s long relationship with Michael. John went to school with Michael and his brothers, managed Michael at one point. I was a principal business advisor since 1980 so… we kinda knew how Michael thought, what kind of choices he would make. I was familiar with the assets so… we been able to make decisions that we think were true to Michael. So therefore we hope we’re adding value to Michael’s estate in that regard.”
Michael didn’t want his musical legacy F’ed with yet it is, mix master McClain as the Michael album isn’t him. Michael didn’t want to deal with you McClain or Modabber and yet here you all are up in his estate. Michael couldn’t stand Pepsi and no longer did business with them, yet he all on the cans.
Piers, says to Weitzman, the estate has not been without its problems; both Joe Jackson and Katherine Jackson challenged the will quite early on.
“Well I think they were ill advised their challenge was ill conceived. Michael clearly appointed John McClain John Branca to be the executors of his will, the trustees of his trust. And ultimately the court rejected the challenge; the court of appeal rejected the tip… the challenge. John Branca and John McClain are in fact the executors and the trustees.”
This is total fabrication for all the obvious reasons and Mrs. Jackson has legal standing to challenge the estate, she was going to do so and then was scared and forced into compliance.
When asked about the 30 million dollar payout Mrs. Jackson supposedly has received. Weitzman had this to say.
“It something’s we had planned on a year ago, it’s only a preliminary distribution. The court has a certain process we have to go through, you deal with IRS issues… uh…state of California, estate issue…But ultimately the executors John Branca and John McClain decided that it was time for a preliminary distribution. 30 million dollars went into Michael Jackson’s family trust.”
They had to deal with the IRS? Branca and McClain took control of the estate in 2009 are they really telling us they haven’t dealt with the IRS yet.
This was a preliminary distribution really now? 2 years had passed and this is the first time they made an attempt to pay Michael’s mother and his children outside of Mrs. Jackson’s allowance. Everyone else has been paid already Branca and McClain have gotten increases on their pay, I’m sure the “consultants” have been getting regular pay. So why are the beneficiaries still waiting as Mrs. Jackson have not received a 30 million dollar payment yet. Weitzman admits this by saying that 30 million went into the Michael Jackson Family Trust. Remember the trust is the net after all the bills and fees. So out of billions of dollars the trust now gets a measly 30 million. WHICH TO THIS DAY HAD NOT BEEN PAID! and don’t forget that the trust gets distributed at the discretion of the executors..
He says it’s the courts, it’s the state and yada yada and yet he says ultimately the executors decided to make a payment. If you read the trust, when we say Branca & McClain have total control, they do. It says they can buy, sell, pay… not pay… at their discretion without court intervention. The people that have to petition the court are the beneficiaries if they have been denied by the executors.
Piers asked Branca, if he read the will to the family as the co-executor. He said yes it was emotional they gathered at Jermaine’s house with Mrs. Jackson and some of Michael’s siblings. They were all in shock as no one had anticipated Michael to pass away. He says he left and left Mrs. Jackson with the Will.
Branca was on vacation when Michael was killed and said he had no time to discuss, would return in 4 days. Btanca also told this mother you are Michael Jackson now, didn’t attend the public or private services for the man he was so shocked had just passed was.
Randy Jackson, Michael’s brother sat with CNN not TMZ and told us what really happened in the days after Michael’s murder.
Randy tweeted these last year; he was so kind and gracious enough to keep us all up to date with what’s going on. I’ve always respected how he just spoke in such a real way. This is why folk is upset with him he is not going to smile and give a so called politically correct sound bite after what happened to his big brother.
While we were in shock & grief, they did a good job of attacking us from all angles with contracts, the movie, the will, countless legal docs
When u r in such grief, it’s hard to process business. And things of this importance need special attention with a clear head.
They didn’t allow us to have this time. The will was lost in the shuffle.
The will was of great importance, but at that time, giving my brother a proper burial was more important
Piers then asks Branca; did you know you were the co-executor still, were you aware that 2002 Will were still in play? Branca nods no continuously while the question is being asked…looks at Weitzman straightens up and says:
“No not at all, Michael had a succession of attorneys and business advisors…. subsequently … and I did not know, which, was the final will. We turned the will into the court and we did not know if there would be another more recent Will.”
Really?!! You have just admitted that you were in possession of more than one. That’s why the Will looks all jacked up, it pieced together in some parts, pieces of Mike initials photocopied in partials on other parts, in particular the ones that gave Branca and McClain total control.
The extremely old trust in, yet failed to update it. It makes no sense that Mike’s kids were added to the Will; yet their names were not added to the trust which is what governs and allots them their money. But T3 and the cousins’ name is in the trust and not Michael’s actual kids as it still says if he has some this will happen that will happen. Michael’s “cornerstone” assets weren’t added to the trust or Will either.
This Will is such a horrible fake. Branca turned the Will in and knew there wouldn’t be another one as there was no other lawyer to challenge them by producing one. Phillips let Branca back in, Katz sits on Sony/ATV, Weitzman got a job with the estate and so did Modabber.
Next question: Have you managed to calm the family down now, about your intentions being perfectly honorable in relations to the will. (Piers is a clever chap)
“I would think so I would hope so, Michael’s brother Jackie is a consultant to the estate as is Michael’s nephew Taj. And of course Mrs. Jackson and Michael’s 3 children are the sole beneficiaries of the estate, other than of course the contribution we will make to charity.”
Shakes my head….Branca aint got no Love for them, he just threw Jackie and TJ under the bus, which is usually what, happens to informants, sorry consultants…
Pierce says to Branca; tell me about Cirque de Soleil, you and Michael have a history that goes way back with this show. Branca responds:
“That’s true Pierce, I remember a night, I believe it was in 1989. When Michael and I went to the first ever Cirque de Soleil tent show, which was at the Santa Monica pier. What I remember about that night we were in a van. I was driving… why we were in a van I cannot remember. Michael had a nice car and I had a nice car. Here is Michael the biggest star in the world and we went with no security. And I was so nervous driving Michael and we got lost on the 405 freeway…..”
Unfortunately Branca even lie during nostalgia, his brother has a different account of the story.
“So back in the mid 90’s, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Michael Jackson at the recording studio. Teddy Riley was producing a track on Michael’s album; I knew Teddy through my client Martin Lawrence and Teddy’s manager Harvey Elkin invited me to the studio for a recording session. I walked in and there was Michael Jackson standing in the corner, Harvey took me to Michael and introduced me, however, I reminded Michael that we met a few years earlier at my brother’s wedding in Beverly Hills, Ca.“
Teddy Riley worked on Michael’s Dangerous album this was definitely in the 90s. Read on not the only lie he gets caught in while traveling down delusional lane.
“……Yes, he then remembered me and invited me to have dinner with them at the studio. Michael was also very impressed that I was John Branca’s brother. Michael was very fond of my brother and my brother was Michaels Attorney for the better part of the 80’s and represented Michael through the height of his career. Michael was then very curious on what I did, and I told him I was a Talent Agent….”
Brother says better part of the 80s Branca worked for Mike, this is now the mid-nineties when he meets Michael again since the wedding. He says my brother was Michael’s attorney. Remember Michael let him go during the early 90s on the advice of David Geffen. Branca said himself they were on for a decade and off and on for 3 decades. Branca started work in 1980 a decade is 1990 and another decade is 2000 that’s 20 years so far and the Michael‘s Life is taken in 2009. That’s a total of 29 years a decade straight and then on and off for three decades is a total of 40 years which would take this into 2020. We haven’t reached that year yet.
“Michael went on and asked me many question about my life, my family, my childhood, my family. Michael was very interested in my life, and my routine, my career. I was taken back somewhat, here I am having dinner with this ICON, this person who is larger than life, and he was so very interested in my life, my career, and my childhood, and my family.”
Michael is no damn fool…”Branca don’t I know you” he asked at their first meeting.
“…..I said goodbye to Michael and thanked him for his hospitality. Michael made it a point for me to tell my brother to call him; he had not spoken to him in a while and had some new business to discuss with him. The next day I called my brother, John and shared with him the very surreal evening I had the night before with Michael Jackson… My brother ended up calling Michael a few days later, and sure enough they reconnected on so new projects. Michael then, called my brother a few weeks later, invited him to Cirque du Soleil, and asked my brother to invite me to join them.”
It took Branca a couple of days to call Mike surely he was wondering what Mike knew, what his brother had revealed.
“…….We met Michael in his condominium in West wood. My brother went inside to get Michael and Worthy and I waited in the car, I was thinking that Michael would ride with us to Santa Monica. My brother came outside alone and told me that Michael was getting his car, and that my brother was going to drive with Michael, and we would follow. My brother then gave me the keys to this Cornice Rolls Royce and I followed Michael Jackson, who by the way was driving a tricked out customized Van. I remember following Michael down Wilshire Blvd to Santa Monica, Ca. Let me say this, it was a hell of a ride keeping up with Michael, That boy can drive, unfortunately not very well. However, I was very impressed; it was just Michael Jackson and my brother in the Van, no security detail, with me and worthy “trying” to follow them. And keep up…I distinctly, remember pulling up back stage at Cirque du Soleil, and there was security detail waiting for Michael, they waved him through and stopped me in the Cornice Rolls Royce. Michael stopped the van and very quickly told the security “they are with me let them in” and to let us through. We parked next to Michael, an army of security escorted us into the show, Michael put on some sought of mask with a wig to cover his face, he then removed it when we were seated.”
Branca said he drove, obviously not. Mike was the head of this operation as he was behind the wheel of the van. Bro was compensated with the Rolls for the day. When Branca was asked about the history of he and Michael with Cirque; Weitzman did an odd head move and turned real slow to Branca, no doubt this was a directive, Branca shifted those eyes over to him a couple of times, his body language changed like no I got this and began to tell his story. I bet he never thought the actual story was out there. Can’t help but wonder why Weitzman was so alarmed wasn’t this just a story about going to the pier?
“After the show, I remember, Michael was recognized, and many fans coming up front asking him to sign autographs, he graciously signed every autographic from his fans, and we were then escorted and given a behind the scenes tour of the performers tent. It started to get a bit crazy, with the fans and everything, and we knew it was time for us to go.”
“……as he got back into the van with my brother, the windows were darkened and the van drove out first. Nobody suspected Michael was in the van, however, everybody thought Michael was in the Rolls Royce, and we had some trouble exiting the parking lot. Michael was well ahead of us however, he pulled over to the side and waited for us to catch up and we followed him back to his Condo in Westwood, Ca. I remember, he drove straight into the underground parking and I waited outside for my brother to come out.”
“That was the last time I saw Michael Jackson at the Cirque du Soleil, in Santa Monica, Ca in the mid 90’s. I will always remember that Saturday afternoon.”
I believe the brothers version of the event. When Branca started to talk about the show a Cirque ticket was shown on the screen. Location on the ticket was the Santa Monica Pier; the date listed on the ticket was November 11th time 4:30pm; day of the week Saturday. However, the ticket was conveniently positioned where the year on the ticket was not revealed. Wouldn’t you think Branca’s trip down memory lane would have been even more special showing a ticket that was from 1989? If you look up November 11th 1989 it is a Saturday yet you must know November 11th falls on a Saturday more than once in a lifetime. If this were 89 Michael would not have been out of touch with Branca. Branca brother wouldn’t have said that his brother was Michael’s attorney. The ticket from the Cirque show would have revealed the whole date.
This interview with Piers Morgan was very telling, John Branca and Howard Weitzman debunked themselves, and with their arrogance they probably never realized it. In conclusion Branca knew Michael before 1980…
All in all…when you just sit back and listen people always reveal themselves. Don’t be blinded by the media and the spin that you don’t see what right before you