Michael Jackson’s children are over the moon as they have been handed a “huge victory” in their late father’s estate’s legal battle with the US Internal Revenue Service.
The lawsuit was about the real worth of the King of Pop at the time of his death at the age of 50 in 2009, with IRS officials estimating $161 million and executors of Jackson’s estate arguing it was more like $2,105 (£1,517), due to the damage caused to his reputation by child molestation accusations.
According to IRS, Jackson’s estate had underpaid its tax bill by nearly $500 million and could potentially owe an additional $200 million in penalties.
However, Judge Mark Holmes of United States Tax Court ruled that Jackson’s name and likeness were worth $4.2 million, stating: “We have to look for the value of each of Jackson’s assets. The value we put on them as of the day he died is, we acknowledge, much less than their value much later under the estate’s management.
“We make no particular judgment about what Jackson did or is alleged to have done, but we must decide how what he did and is alleged to have done affected the value of what he left behind.”
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Jackson estate, called it a huge and unambiguous victory for Michael Jackson’s children.