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Frank Dileo: Entrevista Noviembre 2009


Traducción en curso de  http://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/frank-dileo-and-philip-anschutz-of-aeg-in-a-deal-with-michael-jackson/

Thanks to our reader Claudia we have a link to the November 2009 Frank Dileo’s interview posted by PositivelyMichael blog: http://www.positivelymichael.com/forums/showthread.php?37-Transcript-of-Raffles-van-Exel-interviewing-Frank-DiLeo

PART 1

Michael and Frank Dileo

First I suggest you read the whole of it.

Transcript of Raffles van Exel interviewing Frank DiLeo
November 4, 2009

Exel: Hi my name is Raffels van Exel and I am sitting here with Frank DiLeo.

Exel: Frank on request from my self has approved two months ago to do an interview with the fans. However, because of my scheduling and Franks scheduling, and of course the premiere of This Is It, just now we were able to do the interview. Frank has not seen the questions. The questions have been asked by you the fans, However, MJJCommunity their staff and the senior staff board members have picked the questions. So if your question is not in here and is not answered it has nothing to do with me or with Frank DiLeo. It all has to do with the senior staff who picked the questions. But that once said, Frank, thank you for this interview.

DiLeo: It’s my pleasure.

Exel: Hay un grupo, una pequeña organización conocida por el nombre de “This Is Not It”. Supuestamente varios de sus componentes escribieron cartas a Michael el día anterior o 48 horas antes del fallecimiento de Michael explicándole su preocupación por su salud, explicándole que se estaba volviendo cada vez más delgado. ¿Cúal es su postura referente a esto?

DiLeo: Well, it’s great that they wrote letters. I’m not aware of them. There was a concern by one of the staff members that Michael lost a few pounds. I brought it up with Michael. I forced a meeting with the doctor which we never met until that time.

They said that Michael was in good shape. That yes he did lose a couple of pounds because he wanted to. He was eating healthy, he was eating right, he was taking all the right vitamins.

That’s what we were told. I went back to that staff member, (xg)…he was 136 pounds; he wasn’t 108 pounds like people want everybody to believe. He, in the 80s I would say, he was anywhere, if we weren’t working, maybe 150 – 145. and I would say that when I came here in March he was about 145 – 142, but he… as a dancer particularly in the way he danced now he wanted to be a little slimmer. You know he was in good – I think he was better health today than he was then because then he was a vegetarian and he fasted once a week and he had all these things that he did. So I think that’s false.

Exel: Again what about Karen Faye she had made a post on her Facebook [that] there was something wrong.

DiLeo: There is a lot of people besides Karen Faye that interacted with Michael and we didn’t see anything wrong. You know Karen Faye certainly has her opinion. Karen Faye feels and felt that she was very close to Michael. I respect that. That’s her opinion.

Exel: Okay. Marlon Jackson went on the record on CNN’s Roland Martin and he said Michael was not feeling well early in the morning of June the 25th and late at night on the 24th. If that is true, can you tell us what was wrong with Michael? Did Michael request to go to the hospital in the early morning hours?

DiLeo: No and I don’t think that Marlon spoke to him on the morning of the 25th and I am not sure he spoke to him the night of the 24th.
When we left the Staples Center and we said goodbye. Michael was very happy. I just solidified his Halloween special that he wanted from the time I got here with NBC. We laid out what we wanted to do with the film Ghosts, and what his participation was and he was acceptive of that. He was extremely happy. He went home. Whatever happened at home in the privacy I can’t account for. Michael Jackson was an adult. When we left Staples Center or wherever we were rehearsing I’d go to my residence, and he’d go to his. You know the man he wanted some privacy. He wanted his free time to be his free time. I couldn’t and nobody involved in this group of people was a hall monitor. You know we spent hours with him at the (1g) but once we went home – unless he called you at 2 in the morning to ask you a question, that was about it.

But I’m not sure if Marlon spoke to him that night because we didn’t leave the Staples Center until about midnight so…and I know he didn’t speak to him anymore.

Exel:
Okay. Well among the other things some fans are speculating that if AEG and everyone involved with AEG is conspiracy to murder of Michael Jackson.

DiLeo: It’s false. That is an outrageous accusation Who in the world would want to kill Michael? Do you think that AEG wanted to have 50 open dates at their O2 area. Do you think they’re filled right now? They’re not filled. There was no advantage to anybody doing any harm to Michael.
This movie was not ever shot to be a movie. It was two cameras that were bought in the beginning because Michael couldn’t afford his documentary crew that he always hired for every tour and to document all his movements. Been through it on the Victory Tour, been through it on the Bad tour. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the funds to do it. At the last minute Paul Gongaware who worked the Victory tour, who worked the Bad Tour as a cameraman suggested, “Hey maybe I’ll go get a couple of cameras.” They bought a couple of cameras for like six thousand, just to film the rehearsals. There was no intention of like, “Oh we’ll cause some harm to Michael so we can put out a movie.” Thank God we had it.

Exel:Thank God.

Frank Dileo in 1988

DiLeo: Thank God for the fans.

Exel:Yup.

DiLeo: And how that happened was after Michael passed we were sitting around and we were looking at some footage, you know just sort of remembering, wow what could have been and what a great time we would have had and somebody in the room, I don’t know who it was, said “It’s a shame the fans will never get to see this concert”. Somebody else said, “Well maybe we should see if there’s a movie here, at least show everybody what he was working on you know and something about him.” And that’s how it came about and people don’t understand that 90 percent of all profits from this film go to Michael’s estate and children.

Exel: Well I’m personally glad that that movie was there. Movie, documentary whatever they want to call it because yes it has. I mean, I think you and I we discussed it, we talked about it too, this was the only proper way to show the world and to keep the man’s legacy alive.

DiLeo: Exactly, exactly.

Exel: Yeah I mean –

DiLeo: and I think it’s a great tribute to Michael. I think it turned out well.

Exel: It turned out more than well.

DiLeo: We all would rather see the concert live.

Exel: Oh exactly that was –

DiLeo: And Michael was very excited about going over there, you know, he really wanted to go over there he told me that last night. “We’re going to do the 50 shows. We’re going to reap what we’ve sown Frank, it’s our time to do it again.”

He was, and he was going to do the 50 and we talked about doing 20 stadiums in Japan and taking the tour on. He knew he had to work a year and a half. He knew he had to do it and he couldn’t wait to get out there.

Exel: Yeah, well, I agree. Our writer would not have seen the movie because that means we’d all be in London and joining Michael Jackson mania but…yeah.

To your best knowledge where were both you and Leonard Rowe – Michael’s manager for a period of time, did Michael signed 2 conflict contracts?

DiLeo: Two conflict contracts. What do you mean, two conflicting contracts?

Exel: Some of the fans are stating that you were his manager but also Leonard Rowe stated that he was Michael’s manager.

DiLeo: Yeah Leonard Rowe had Michael sign a contract that said he had the right to review the finances, alright, he did that before I got here. When I got here he says, “I signed a contract with Leonard Rowe to look at my finances, the tour finances.” I said, “Well why would you do that?”
He said, “Well my dad was in the room and they wanted me to sign it and I signed it.” He said, “But you have to meet with Leonard and we’ll straighten it out.”

I met with Leonard and he asked me about the contract and stuff and I said, “First of all, Michael signed that because Joseph was looking over his shoulder.” I said, “Second of all, he honestly doesn’t want you to be involved and I can’t give you that information because Michael doesn’t want you to have it, you’re going to have to get it off AEG.”

AEG wouldn’t deal with him because he has a very checkered past, and you know they weren’t going to do it. So then Michael and I were going to write a letter, which he would have signed, and you know would have eliminated him but there was no lawyer in place at that moment. Now we did send out some, had some other letters drawn up that uh uh stressed the fact that I was now the manager and not Dr. Tohme and that you know people had to deal with me and make their requests though me. We kind of forgot about Leonard Rowe. 

When there was a meeting on the 15th, I think it was of May, which Leonard Rowe attended, I was out of town at the time with AEG it’s been widely noted and uh Randy Phillips answered all the questions and Michael sat in, and his mother sat in and at the end of the meeting Michael was extremely happy. He called me up he said you know we have to write a letter to Leonard to get him out of the picture. 

Which when I came back we wrote up the letter, he signed it. I sent one copy to his hotel, the Sportsman’s Lodge, that was delivered to him, another copy uh to Mrs. Jackson’s Assistant in their office, I notified them that it was coming and they should show it to Leonard Rowe. So he was quite aware that he had been dismissed. Did he want to accept it? No. Did they want to pretend like they didn’t get it? No. But it was (1g) there.

Exel: In late 2008 You apparently signed a deal promising Michael would appear with his family on a show.

Exel: AllGood Entertainment put the show together with Michael and his brothers and later tried to sue Michael for allegedly breach of contract for 20 million dollars.

DiLeo:
Well let me just explain that to you. Some guys came into my office; they said, “We’d like to do a world tour with the family or pay per view.” I said, “Well Michael’s not going to work with his family and he’s not going to do pay per view.” “Please, please, please just talk to him about it.” So they came up with this idea, “We’re going to give him 30 million, we’re going to give him 15 million then we are going to-“ I said, “Look it’s not going to work.”

I said “I’ll tell you what, write it up, I’ll tell Michael about it. If he wants to do it fine but I’m telling you right now he’s not going to do it.” I said, “but where’s the money coming from? Do you have the money?” “Oh yeah we got the money don’t worry about it.” I said “I’ve been through a million of you guys there is tons of people coming in and out of my office. They want to know if they can do this if they can have that, if it’s a good idea and you present it to Michael and there’s no money, what’s the sense in me wasting my time?

I said, “You put 10% as a retainer, in a Escrow account, in my account in which I am going to take $150,000 or up to for expenses because I’m not flying all over the country to talk to Michael.”

Exel:
On your behalf.

DiLeo:Yeah, on your behalf for nothing. You know, not that I’m not going to get paid, I just want my expenses. I said I know what it is to sit in a hotel room for nine days waiting for him to show up. Everybody agreed, they had a deadline. That money never reached that account. We had a call, they needed a little extension. Fine, I gave it to them verbally. The money never hit the account.

I went to one or two meetings where they were trying to raise money. And by the way, there’s a non-disclosure agreement that all those people signed saying they would not talk about this deal. In other words, they had the money they didn’t have to go out and raise it. What they were doing was getting my signature and going out trying to raise money.
That deal was null and void right there because they broke the non-disclosure. So what I think happened, this is just my thought, okay, but they must have borrowed some money for their expenses and they had to pay that back because they guaranteed the guy the deal was going to happen. Now they’re scrambling with a lawsuit. I did not ever tell them I represented Michael Jackson or the brothers. Because I didn’t. I was Michael’s friend.

Exel: Who had an in.

DiLeo: Yeah, who could get Michael on the phone. While what we were talking about were movie projects. Now when March came, first of all Michael signed his deal with AEG, I believe, in London before he made the announcement. I had no idea. We didn’t really discuss what he was doing with AEG, he did it, you know what I mean, we talked after that, again about movies. I said, “I see you made a deal.” He said, “Oh yeah, I’m very happy.” He said, “I’m doing this for my children because they’ve never seen me perform and I want them to see why people chase me in cars. “ “Why?” “Because they have questions.”

I say, “That’s a good idea.” I never said “Do you need my help? Can I be involved? Do want to do this other deal?” Okay? So now he calls me in March and says, “Frank have you ever met, do you know Randy Phillips?” I said no. I said “I know who he is”. I said “To tell you the truth our paths have never crossed”. I said “When I managed you before he was doing something else”. I think it was with Rod Stewart.

Exel: Yeah, Rolling Stones or Rod Stewart.

DiLeo: I said “I don’t know” and he says “Well, would you do a conference call tomorrow with me and Randy?” I said “Yeah, I’ll do a conference call but what’s it about?” I don’t wanna do a conference call just to do a conference call.

He said, “Well I want to know if you’ll manage me again.” And I said “Well yeah sure” and I said “Why?” and he said “Well you know I’m doing these concerts and I need help. You know how to do this, you know what I want.” Next day we had a conference call. Michael and I spoke, Randy kind of listened, we got introduced over the phone and Randy says to Michael, “It sounds like you have a real comfort level with Frank”.
He said, “Absolutely, I should have never fired him Randy, I love the guy he’s honest, I love his wife, I love his children, he’s who I want to manage me.” And he said, “When can you come out here?” and I said, “I can get out there probably next week because I have to close up what I’m doing here.” I did. I came out. I met Randy the day after I arrived. We started the rehearsals. I was at rehearsals. I met with Michael every day until he passed away I was with him. So as far as there being a conspiracy for, with AllGood, how can it be a conspiracy, I never met the guy. You know what I mean? I never met him. We didn’t conspire against them, that’s a joke. And you know these claims will be answered in court I’m sure

Exel: In due time.

DiLeo: Well it’s coming up pretty soon, it’s started.

Exel: Okay. Okay, can you tell us a little about Dr. Tohme’s role with Michael? He was, uh is he still dealing in Michael’s businesses?

Exel: Okay. Okay, can you tell us a little about Dr. Tohme’s role with Michael? He was, uh is he still dealing in Michael’s businesses? It seems that he still has presence with everything, including in the movie, is he totally out or…

DiLeo: He’s not in the movie. How’s he in the movie?

Exel:
When they arrived in London.

DiLeo:
Was he in there?

Exel: Yeah.

DiLeo: I didn’t even see that.

Exel:
Yeah.

DiLeo: Really? Well here’s what happened, somebody – Michael told me when I got here, “I need a doctor when we go to London. We have to hire a doctor.” I said “Okay. What for?”

Exel: Now we’re talking about Doctor Tohme, not the Doctor Murray

DiLeo: No, no, we’re not talking about Doctor Murray, we’re talking about a doctor. I didn’t know it was Murray at the time. He said, I said, “What do you need a doctor for?” and he said, “Well, Frank, I’m the show. If I get sick, if I get a fever, we got to have a doctor to make sure that I eat right, that I have the right fluids…” I said “Okay”, I get that part. So a couple months go by, I don’t know this doctor but he is a doctor that he met in Vegas. That I think, according to what I heard, Michael called him when one of the kids had a cold or wasn’t feeling well and that’s how he met him and whatever friendship they had, they had.

So then we hear back that Doc – no I’m sorry, as soon as we get closer to leaving Michael says, “Have you found a doctor yet?” I said, “You know Michael I think were going get you a doctor when we get to London, I’ll find you one, we’re going to go a week in advance.” “No. I have to have my own doctor. “ I said “Well to tell you the truth I didn’t know you had a doctor. Who’s your doctor?” He said, “Doctor Murray.” I said “Well you have to give me his number.” So I got his number. Now Doctor Murray wanted a exorbitant amount of money to close his practices, to go to London and live there for 8 months with his family and everybody. So he mentioned the number to one of the people negotiating. And I said “We’re never paying that”.

I went in to Michael and said “This is what he asked for.” He said “You’re kidding”. I said “For that figure, I’ll get on a plane tonight, I’ll fly to London and I’m going to buy you a hospital.”

Exel: (Laughs)

DiLeo: He sort of laughed. He said “Well that’s ridiculous, figure out a common ground somewhere”. So we negotiated and we got him down. He wanted a certain number and I yelled “ No, this is what the artist wants to pay $150 and he accepted it. Now the contract, he never got paid any money because Michael passed away. This was in the last 2 weeks of Michael’s life. His lawyer was negotiating terms with AEG’s lawyer because AEG was funding the money. AEG didn’t hire the guy. They didn’t know him from, you know, catfood. He never received one payment because he didn’t sign the contract and Michael never signed a contract, so he never got any money. Now how did I met him? This is how I met him and Randy Phillips met him, and Kenny Ortega met him and everybody else.

One of the people that worked for us, I don’t want to say who she is, said “Gee I think Michael’s you know losing weight, this and that.” I said let me handle it, let me investigate it. I went to Michael, talked to him about it, he said “No, I’m fine, I’m drinking beet juice everyday, eating Oatmeal” and all this stuff. I said, “Well we should meet with this doctor. Give me his number.” That was the first time I got his number. I called the doctor, set up a meeting at Michael’s house. We all went. “Doctor,” and Michael was there, “What is going on? Is he getting the right vitamins? Is he losing weight? Is he…” “No.” he said, “He’s 140 pounds, he’s fine.” He said “He’s eating this, he’s eating that and Michael’s agreeing”. Okay?

And I said to him, kidding around, “By the way what kind of doctor are you?” and he says “Well, I’m a Cardiologist.” I said “A heart doctor?” He said “Yeah.” “Wow, great” I said, “Mike this is terrific I’ve had 3 heart attacks I need you on the team.” Which Michael didn’t realize I had 3 heart attacks. The doctor started laughing and you know, but he assured everybody in that room that Michael was in good shape, he was working out everyday with Lou Ferrigno and Travis would come over and do the workouts at the house. There was no sense in Michael going to the studio to do the things he could do at home and spend that time with his children.

We didn’t need him to show up at Staples Center until anywhere between 4 to 6 and that’s the way we made that schedule and that was approved by everybody in that room that day. I went back to that person, said I had a meeting, repeated what the doctor told to me and he – the doctor said it to all of us very convincingly, and Michael emphasized “I’m fine, stop worrying. I’m not losing that much weight. I have to be a certain weight and I want a certain look to dance.”

Well what are you supposed to do? If he says it and the Doctor says it, what am I supposed to (do), stand up and say “Well I still don’t believe you?”

Exel: The day, June 25th, when you got the call, where were you and what went through you?

DiLeo: Being that we didn’t go to Staples until 4 o clock I was at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, I was having lunch, it was an early lunch but it was 11:30. I got a call from a fan, they had just served us some lunch, I was with a friend, and uh the fan said, “Do you know there’s an ambulance in front of Michael’s house?” I said ”No”. She said, “Well, you know there’s an ambulance there”. I said “Okay, let me get off, I’m going to call Michael’s Assistant”.

I called Brother Michael. I said, “Is there an ambulance in front on the house?” He said “Yeah”. He said “I’m going from my apartment to the house. There seems to be a problem.” I said “Okay.” He said, “But the Doctor’s with him.” I said, “Alright, I’m on my way to the house.” I had to go to my room to get my card .ticket and I had shorts on, I wanted to put a pair of pants on. As I’m walking I called Randy Phillips. I said “Randy, I don’t know what’s going on but there’s an ambulance at Michael’s house. I know you live in Beverly Hills; go there right now, I’m on my way, but I want you, you can get there quicker than me.” and I hung up. He was at the cleaners, he went right to Michael’s house. I got in my car and came out; you know Michael lives up in there in Hollywood or whatever it’s called. I was driven to his house on many occasions, he would send somebody to pick me up. Sometimes I would follow somebody; I know how to get back. I might had driven there twice on my own. I made the wrong turn…

Exel: All those streets there look alike.

DiLeo: They all look alike, so I came from the back. So it took me maybe a extra minute, you know, to find it. Instead of going the right way I was like a street off. So I got to there and the gates were wide open and the guards were out there, and I said “Where the ambulance?” They said, “They took Michael to the hospital.” I didn’t know which hospital. In my mind I thought it was Cedar-Sinai.

Well I said, “I better call Randy.” So I call Randy and I said, “Did you get to the house?” and he said “Yeah” he said “I’m following the ambulance.” I said, “Where are we going? To Cedar’s?” He said “No, were going to UCLA.” I said “Okay, I’m on my way.” And again, I didn’t really know where that was. Trent called me, Mrs. Jackson’s driver; I’m sorry, Mrs. Jackson called me. She said, “I heard they took my son to the hospital. “I said, “Katherine, they did. Should I come?” I said, “You know, I don’t know what’s going on yet. Just give me a minute, and I’ll call you back.” I hung up.

3 minutes later, as I’m still driving, her driver called, “Frank, what’s going on?” I said, “You know Trent, I don’t know, but tell Katherine to come on, bring her down here, were going to UCLA, it’s better that she comes” because I still don’t know what’s going on. I get to the hospital, I see all the security. Hospital security’s got everything blocked off, roped off, nobody’s getting in. Randy’s waiting for me in the emergency room area where you sit. I come in and I greet him, “What going on?” He says “I don’t know.” He says, “Let’s go back.” They let us back because they knew who we were. Everyone else had to hold on.

We got to the little room, you know, we heard them working on him, we thought he was alive…and…the rest happened. But Mrs. Jackson didn’t get there for like 40 minutes because they were coming from the valley.
I had a wheelchair, a Cardiologist and a social worker waiting for her so that she could – I didn’t want to walk it – I know that she had a bad heart. I wanted that cardiologist to oversee her.

Exel: Wow…Uh, what is your role with Sony/ATV? Did you replace Raymone Bain or is she still on the board?

DiLeo: No. Raymone Bain isn’t on the board, Dr Tohme is not on the board. I’m on the board of ATV/Sony music. I was put on there by Michael. He put myself on and Joel Katz who was his attorney at the time. That was the guy that he signed a letter of engagement with to bring him on as his counsel. So he wanted us both on the board because we were getting ready to have conversations with ATV/Sony to look into the expenditures and so on and so forth.

Exel: Do you work for AEG?

DiLeo: Never have and I don’t now.

Exel: Okay.

DiLeo: Michael Jackson hired me. Michael Jackson was to pay me. AEG was to advance the money to pay me. At this point, I haven’t been paid. I will be paid, you know, because we have to work this out but I’m not on the payroll of AEG.

Exel: Are you on good terms with the family and the estate?

DiLeo: I think I’m on good terms with both. You know, I’m sure there’s some people in the family that like me and don’t like me but most of the younger generation like me and they respect me and they understand the work I did for their uncle and uh the estate respects me and I feel they like me and I hope that one day they’ll want to work with me.

Exel: I can tell you that all the Presidents of the Fan Clubs I’ve spoken with: Australia, China, Portugal, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, England, they told me that I have to tell you “Thanks for being there for Michael”.

DiLeo: That’s very kind of them but it’s not a thing where I need thanks. He was a person that I loved and respected. He was my friend. Some people view him as just being my client. He wasn’t my client, he was my friend.

Exel: Well they look up to you, all the way from Thriller on and they only wanted to know if there is anything that you could say to Michael’s fans?

DiLeo: To keep being his fans and to keep supporting us because were going to make this legacy live forever and we’re going to try to do everything we can to make anything that comes out with Michael’s name on it be in a tasteful way. Because right now we are doing it or the children. We’re doing it as Michael says with L.O.V.E.

Exel: Frank, thanks for everything.

DiLeo: It’s my pleasure, thank you.

http://www.positivelymichael.com/forums/showthread.php?37-Transcript-of-Raffles-van-Exel-interviewing-Frank-DiLeo

PART 2

IMPRESSIONS OF FRANK DILEO

Frank Dileo

Initially I only wanted to share my impression of Frank Dileo, but what was meant to be a short comment grew into a long post (as usual). However it will still be only an impression of Frank, so please take it for what it is. Frank has recently died, alas, but I will refer to him in the present tense as this is how I see him in this interview.

Frank looks like a nice guy, down-to-earth, hearty, and not prone to conflicting with people. He is good at negotiating things as he is a born mediator and go-between.

He is absolutely not the meticulous bookworm who will look into minor details of the deal – he brings people together and agrees on the main points of the deal, leaving all its details to those who are better suited for the job – lawyers, accountants, etc.

He is more of a friend to Michael than a manager. He just arranges things and makes Michael’s life easier.

But he has had three heart attacks and gets easily distracted. He forgot about the need to dismiss Leonard Rowe and as a result the latter went on getting on AEG’s nerves until he was finally fired due to their insistence. He was asked by Michael to find a doctor and when Michael reminded him of his request Frank asked him who his doctor was and found that the only one Michael had was Murray to suggest.

He either has problems in focusing on the subject or intentionally avoids talking about Tohme – when asked about Dr. Tohme he speaks about Dr. Murray instead. When questioned about AEG he easily drifts away to AGE (AllGoodEntertainment) and says that it cannot be a conspiracy on their part, though he was asked about someone totally different.

When he joined Michael the deal with AEG had already been made and he didn’t really look into their papers properly. He says it himself that he and Michael never really discussed his affairs with AEG.  He will of course do what Michael asks for, but going into a real confrontation with AEG is the last thing he wants – firstly, he is not that strong for it now, and secondly, what can he do if the deal has already been made?

He doesn’t and cannot provide precise information about the contract and in most cases just repeats what Michael told him about AEG and Murray. He is probably even echoes something he heard from Randy Phillips, for example, the version that Murray‘was not signing’ his contract and that is why it never came into being.

In short this is a man who isn’t providing us with hard business facts but who conveys his impression of the atmosphere prior to Michael’s death. And his impression is very valuable as it gives us a unique insight into Michael’s mood before the shows. And the mood was great.

Michael surely had confidence in AEG, was happy they were taking care of everything and seemingly took the financial load on themselves. Even if he had some worries about the terms of their deal they were definitely not that great for him to take his life over it (refuting the crazy idea some people expressed). No, he was looking into his future with optimism and great hopes.

And given that euphoria on the part of Michael I find it extremely dangerous and utterly disappointing that there was absolutely no one in Michael’s surrounding who could be a sort of a shark in business matters and who could stand on his guard like a good sentinel should.

The attempt of Joe and Katherine (as she is also mentioned) to introduce Leonard Rowe into the picture wasn’t successful because of his reputation and the fact that he wasn’t to AEG’s liking. As a result Michael had to do what they wanted of him and fire the man. Frank Dileo was fully on AEG’s side here and even demanded explanations from Michael (on their behalf) how come Rowe was there at all.  And Michael had to excuse himself by saying it was done on his father’s insistence and even suggested ways to straighten it out:

DiLeo: Yeah Leonard Rowe had Michael sign a contract that said he had the right to review the finances, alright, he did that before I got here. When I got here he says, “I signed a contract with Leonard Rowe to look at my finances, the tour finances.” I said, “Well why would you do that?”

He said, “Well my dad was in the room and they wanted me to sign it and I signed it.” He said, “But you have to meet with Leonard and we’ll straighten it out.”
I met with Leonard and he asked me about the contract and stuff and I said, “First of all, Michael signed that because Joseph was looking over his shoulder.” I said, “Second of all, he honestly doesn’t want you to be involved and I can’t give you that information because Michael doesn’t want you to have it, you’re going to have to get it off AEG.”

AEG wouldn’t deal with him because he has a very checkered past, and you know they weren’t going to do it. So then Michael and I were going to write a letter, which he would have signed, and you know would have eliminated him but there was no lawyer in place at that moment. Now we did send out some, had some other letters drawn up that uh uh stressed the fact that I was now the manager and not Dr. Tohme and that you know people had to deal with me and make their requests though me. We kind of forgot about Leonard Rowe.

After the 15th May meeting with AEG which was attended by Leonard Rowe (and Katherine too!) Michael was most probably faced with a sort of an ultimatum from AEG as regards Leonard Rowe as he had to call Dileo and say they would have to get Leonard out of the picture.

The fact that Joe and Katherine Jackson wanted an independent expert to take care of Michael’s interests shows that already at that time they were worried about AEG – only Leonard Rowe was a bad choice for the job. His reputation and lack of a universally-recognized professional standing made him an easy prey for AEG and even if he had kept working for Michael he wouldn’t have been much help – he was no authority for AEG and was never regarded by them seriously.

It is strange that during the key meeting attended by all the main parties Frank Dileo as Michael’s manager was out of town. To me it looks like his intentional desire to avoid confrontation with AEG. However Michael showed full understanding for his friend and just called him to say that AEG did not intend to put up with Leonard Rowe any longer:

Dileo: When there was a meeting on the 15th, I think it was of May, which Leonard Rowe attended, I was out of town at the time with AEG it’s been widely noted and uh Randy Phillips answered all the questions and Michael sat in, and his mother sat in and at the end of the meeting Michael was extremely happy. He called me up he said you know we have to write a letter to Leonard to get him out of the picture. 

Which when I came back we wrote up the letter, he signed it. I sent one copy to his hotel, the Sportsman’s Lodge, that was delivered to him, another copy uh to Mrs. Jackson’s Assistant in their office, I notified them that it was coming and they should show it to Leonard Rowe. So he was quite aware that he had been dismissed. Did he want to accept it? No. Did they want to pretend like they didn’t get it? No. But it was (1g) there.

Frank either spared himself after all those heart attacks or was simply too trusting in AEG. If you come to think of it he even felt dependent on them – the one who pays money is always in a position of authority and the money he was paid by Michael was coming from the advance given to him by AEG. In fact, the scene of him being introduced to Randy Phillips in a telephone conference call produces the impression of him being in audition for the job and the boss finally giving his okay.

It is clear that prior to that conference call Michael asked AEG to release him of  Tohme Tohme. To persuade Randy Phillips that Dileo is a much better choice he describes him in the best possible terms.  Randy looks like the master of the situation and seeing that Frank is more of a family friend than a hard-nosed businessman agrees to the change.

Most probably Michael’s later consent to get Leonard Rowe out of the picture was a quid pro quo for him – they agreed to remove Tohme, so he had to agree to remove Leonard Rowe:

Dileo: …now he calls me in March and says, “Frank have you ever met, do you know Randy Phillips?” I said no. I said “I know who he is”. I said “To tell you the truth our paths have never crossed”. I said “When I managed you before he was doing something else”. I think it was with Rod Stewart.

DiLeo: I said “I don’t know” and he says “Well, would you do a conference call tomorrow with me and Randy?” I said “Yeah, I’ll do a conference call but what’s it about?” I don’t wanna do a conference call just to do a conference call.

He said, “Well I want to know if you’ll manage me again.” And I said “Well yeah sure” and I said “Why?” and he said “Well you know I’m doing these concerts and I need help. You know how to do this, you know what I want.” Next day we had a conference call. Michael and I spoke, Randy kind of listened, we got introduced over the phone and Randy says to Michael, “It sounds like you have a real comfort level with Frank”.


He said, “Absolutely, I should have never fired him Randy, I love the guy he’s honest, I love his wife, I love his children, he’s who I want to manage me.”
And he said, “When can you come out here?” and I said, “I can get out there probably next week because I have to close up what I’m doing here.”

I did. I came out. I met Randy the day after I arrived. We started the rehearsals. I was at rehearsals. I met with Michael every day until he passed away I was with him. So as far as there being a conspiracy for, with AllGood, how can it be a conspiracy, I never met the guy. You know what I mean? I never met him. We didn’t conspire against them, that’s a joke. And you know these claims will be answered in court I’m sure

In the matter of ‘conspiracy’ Frank Dileo sounds totally confused. He was asked about AEG, but drifts towards AllGoodEntertainment and then says something totally ridiculous –  “we didn’t conspire against them”. All this shows that his feelings are a mess, he is not quite sure of what he is saying and probably doesn’t believe his own words.

His interpretation of hiring Murray also gives more questions than answers. He says that Michael asked him to find a doctor “as soon as they were closer to leaving” (for London?), but to us it looks like it happened right after the time after Frank Dileo was hired (beginning of May? mid-May?).

But even despite all the vagueness of it Frank’s story clarifies a thing or two. It turns out that Michael didn’t insist on Murray –  no, he even wanted another doctor and asked Frank to find one. As to Murray he only said that he “had him” (which is equivalent to keeping his number in a telephone book). But since Frank didn’t even try to find anyone, it was him who introduced Michael to the idea that he “has to” give him Murray’s number. Michael mentioned the number to AEG’s “negotiating people” and as a result of this mess AEG hired Murray.

The picture painted by Frank Dileo shows that he went too easy about the subject which was too serious for that and that  Michael was far from insisting on Murray as his doctor:

Dileo: So then we hear back that Doc – no I’m sorry, as soon as we get closer to leaving Michael says, “Have you found a doctor yet?” I said, “You know Michael I think were going get you a doctor when we get to London, I’ll find you one, we’re going to go a week in advance.” “No. I have to have my own doctor. “ I said “Well to tell you the truth I didn’t know you had a doctor. Who’s your doctor?” He said, “Doctor Murray.” I said “Well you have to give me his number.” So I got his number. Now Doctor Murray wanted a exorbitant amount of money to close his practices, to go to London and live there for 8 months with his family and everybody. So he mentioned the number to one of the people negotiating. And I said “We’re never paying that”.

From what Frank says it seems that Michael did know that it was him who should pay Murray. Maybe – we cannot be sure he didn’t , however Frank’s version doesn’t explain why Michael didn’t put his signature under Murray’s contract if he agreed to that payment.

Frank also says that the delay was due to some lawyer negotiating with AEG the terms of Murray’s employment and then repeats AEG’s version that Murray wasn’t paid as “he didn’t sign the contract”.

This statement about Murray is simply not serious – if it really took the lawyers so long to settle the matter why didn’t they make a single change to Murray’s contract between its first variant dated May 1, 2009 (already stating the sum of the salary) and the second one dated two months later, June 24 (stating the same sum)?

Frank seems not to know that on May 28 AEG wrote to Murray an e-mail saying that the contract had not been ready yet, to which Murray replied that he was waiting for the first payment long due to him (which means that the salary had already been agreed on and long ago too).

But Frank is just repeating AEG’s version and we can only wonder why he is doing it – he is either not totally frank here or most probably finds AEG’s explanation fully satisfactory, which made him never look into the  matter any deeper:

Dileo: I went in to Michael and said “This is what he asked for.” He said “You’re kidding”. I said “For that figure, I’ll get on a plane tonight, I’ll fly to London and I’m going to buy you a hospital.”

He sort of laughed. He said “Well that’s ridiculous, figure out a common ground somewhere”. So we negotiated and we got him down. He wanted a certain number and I yelled “No, this is what the artist wants to pay $150 and he accepted it. Now the contract, he never got paid any money because Michael passed away. This was in the last 2 weeks of Michael’s life. His lawyer was negotiating terms with AEG’s lawyer because AEG was funding the money. AEG didn’t hire the guy. They didn’t know him from, you know, catfood. He never received one payment because he didn’t sign the contract and Michael never signed a contract, so he never got any money.

And now comes the crucial point of the interview.

PART 3

AEG AND ITS OWNER PHILIPS ANSCHUTZ

Philip Anschutz, owner of AEG

Here it is:

Exel: Well among the other things some fans are speculating that if AEG and everyone involved with AEG is conspiracy to murder of Michael Jackson.

DiLeo: It’s false. That is an utrageous accusation Who in the world would want to kill  Michael? Do you think that AEG wanted to have 50 open dates at their O2 area. Do you think they’re filled right now? They’re not filled. There was no advantage to anybody doing any harm to Michael.

Sadly, but all we see is Frank’s extreme confidence in AEG and his thinking of only superficial reasons for such an outcome. As if people kill others by only giving them propofol…. And who says they wanted to kill? No one does that to their cash cows.

No, the moment Michael went into business with AEG it became an extremely lucrative deal for them, opening enormous opportunities in whatever direction the deal went. Even in the unlikely case MJ failed to perform they were getting great publicity as Michael’s meant-to-be “saviors” and all their losses were to be recouped a hundred times by obtaining his invaluable assets as the Promissory Note allowed it.

If you come to think of it even his death did not leave them in the red. The tickets were sold for the amount of $85 mln. and absolutely not all of them were refunded as people preferred to keep them as their last memory of MJ. Secondary (or resold) tickets were AEG’s business anyway and since they went at a speculative price from the very start of it, they were never meant to be refunded at all.

How much of those $85mln. were retained by AEG we don’t know but the AEG themselves say that most of the money was recouped by AEG:

Let us make a couple of calculations based on the way AEG’s “deplorable” situation was initially reported in the press:

Billboard magazine estimated that Jackson’s London concerts would net AEG about $115 million once related merchandise sales were factored in, and a $450 million gross was anticipated from a three-year Michael Jackson global tour. Now, AEG has to refund $85 million worth of concert tickets…soon. The company also spent up to $30 million on concert production costs: The “This is It” shows were expected to be the most technologically advanced, expensive arena shows in history. The elaborate shows were to include almost two dozen sets, high-wire acts and light shows. And up to $10 million in advances is thought to have been paid to Jackson.

 AEG. the world’s second-largest concert promoter, is owned by Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz. And maybe the fact that the owner is already a billionaire who can absorb the financial losses is the only good news in this complicated financial nightmare. Anschutz’ net worth is estimated at $7.8 billion. http://www.pajamadeen.com/business-news/michael-jackson-concert-promoter-takes-big-financial-hit

I’ve heard that the production costs on the show were some $24 mln. and these were to be covered by Michael Jackson anyway, but let us not be mean to AEG and agree that their losses amounted to approximately $125mln ($85 for the tickets sold + $30spent on the show + $10 advance to MJ).

However several days after Michael’s death, on June 30, 2009, CNN said about the sum already collected by AEG from secondary sources: “Additional packages, merchandise and secondary market sales could have raised the total to $115 million” and since none of these were to be returned to the buyers, this allowed AEG to immediately cover $115 out of the $125 spent.

Part of the fans also chose not to have a refund but obtain a commemorative ticket either for nostalgic reasons or with the aim to realize it at a very high price in the future  –  and this means that a certain share of the $85 mln. from sale of the tickets stayed with AEG too.

CNN reports:

Jackson ticket holders offered refund or souvenir ticket

June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson fans who purchased tickets for his final concerts will receive a full refund or, if they chose, a commemorative ticket, the concert promoter said Tuesday.

Billboard magazine has estimated that $85 million in tickets were sold for the concert series. Additional packages, merchandise and secondary market sales could have raised the total to $115 million. AEG Live declined to comment on the figures.

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-06-30/entertainment/jackson.refunds_1_concert-series-ticket-final-concerts?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ

From a Forbes article we also learn that for three months after Michael’s death the O2 Arena was planning to hold a memorabilia exhibit displaying Michael’s personal effects. The entrance ticket was $25 which – if multiplied by the crowds of people interested in Michael at the time and by three months too – will also bring us to a handsome figure received by AEG.

The Forbes says:

Ticket sales from a memorabilia exhibit opening in London will also contribute a likely profit. Hundreds of Jackson’s personal effects–his L.A. Rolls Royce, the Neverland Gates, the white glove from the moonwalk debut–will remain on display for three months at the O2 arena for fans willing to shell out $25 for a view. Though there are hopes of sending the exhibit to two other cities, no formal plans have been announced.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/27/michael-jackson-earnings-since-death-dead-celebs-09-business-entertainment-jackson.html

The above has already brought AEG $115 mln. in non-refundable sales of merchandise and secondary tickets,  plus part of the $85 mln. from fans who refrained from refunding, plus the proceeds from the three months exhibition at the O2 Arena bringing $25 from each visitor – and we haven’t yet even mentioned the $60 mln. AEG realized from the footage of Michael’s rehearsals!

Philip Anschutz has reasons to be happy

It was Sony by the way,  trashed by Michael’s fans at every corner, who paid these millions to AEG, outbidding other buyers (Paramount, Universal and 20th Century Fox) who didn’t want to risk that much money for the still unfinished material. Then Sony invested $40 mln. in producing the film and after their expenses were deducted from the proceeds, did not participate in sharing the profit –  while AEG did.

The agreement between the Estate and AEG said that 90% of the profit was to be kept by the Estate while the remaining 10% went again to AEG together with the perpetual share of the video rights and this in addition to the initial $60mln. for the footage !

(see the excellent research of the matter done by Justiceforsome blog).

A CNN article says that Katherine Jackson was against sharing the profits with AEG. She thought the terms were too generous for them, however AEG rebuffed her, saying they had made many “concessions” to the Estate and could not make more. This means that the Estate probably wanted AEG out of that deal but had to give them 10% of the profit from the documentary and another share from the profit made by the video:

Court papers filed last week revealed that Columbia Pictures [Sony] would pay a minimum of $60 million for the rights to make the Jackson movie.

Katherine Jackson’s lawyers, while endorsing the movie deal, have objected to terms given to AEG, saying they are too generous to the company.

Jackson’s lawyers objected to the estate’s agreement to let AEG recover all its expenses from that money, then take 10 percent of the remainder. It also gives the company a perpetual share of the profits from the video rights.

AEG Live’s lawyer said the company had made many concessions to the estate and could not make more.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/17/jackson.estate/index.html

As if all that was not enough the documentary was shown in all 6782 cinemas of the Regal cinema chain which belongs to – now you have probably guessed it – the owner of AEG, Philip Anschutz,  after whom the company was named (Anschutz Entertainment Group).

AEG screened the documentary in a digital format (don’t know what it is but must be something revolutionary) which also most probably made them the owners of this revolutionary screen version of the film.

Wiki speaks of Regal cinemas as America’s largest cinema chain, but does not mention that the owner of it is Philip Anschutz:

“Despite the fact that IMAX screenings are usually planned and booked months in advance by the film’s movie distributors, Regal Entertainment Group, America’s largest cinema chain, stated on September 30, that they would screen IMAX versions of the film at their cinemas.[67] 

Regal stated that they are planning on making 25 of their IMAX locations available for the screening of the film when it opened to the public on October 28.[67] Dick Westerling, head of marketing and advertising for Regal, stated that the film was selected due to its strong ticket sales.[67] 

IMAX Corporation and Sony stated that the film will open in digital IMAX theatres and that the limited IMAX release will be played domestically during “evening show times” in 96 IMAX digital theaters, and additionally the movie will be played in 27 of the company’s international digital locations.[68] A key part of the IMAX DMR process includes re-mastering the soundtrack to take advantage of IMAX’s 14,000 watt digital audio system.[68]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_It_(Michael_Jackson_concerts)

After you try and add up all the money AEG got following Michael’s death (even without getting its two insurances covering cancellation and loss of production costs) you will see that the article written by an AEG employee called “Bragging about the boss” makes a gross understatement of their results when it says that “the losses to AEG were minimal, with most of the money recouped”:

Though a conservative Christian who has had Billy Graham for a house guest; Anschütz has dipped his finger in the rock ‘n roll pie on occasion.  After sitting down with Michael Jackson, he agreed to back the singer’s ill-fated farewell performance, due to Jackson’s sincere desire for redemption.   Jackson’s atoning theme also encouraged Anschütz to back the movie Ray. After Jackson’s death, the losses to AEG were minimal, with most of the money recouped.

http://www.teapartytribune.com/2011/06/14/bragging-on-the-boss/

The way Philip Anschutz is able to make money out of what is considered a tragedy by others, is absolutely unique and is not a novel thing for him to do. At the rise of his career, when Anschutz was 27, he bought an oil-field and when it caught fire he sold to Universal pictures the right to shoot his firefighters acquiring $100,000 this way:

As the story goes, in 1967 Anschutz borrowed heavily to buy up land after discovering oil near Gillette, Wyoming. But after making the purchase, his oil field caught on fire, threatening to destroy the nascent oilman before he could even count his first barrels of crude. To salvage the field, Anschutz hired Red Adair, the legendary oil-well firefighter, who reportedly told the young businessman, “If you don’t pay me, don’t ever have another oil-field fire.” Not one to risk his investment—or a pass up a good side bet—Anschutz contacted Universal Pictures, which was putting together John Wayne’s Hellfighters, a movie about oil-well firefighters, and negotiated a $100,000 fee to let a film crew shoot the blaze and the battle to stop it. Anschutz used that money to pay off his creditors, and after the fire was beaten, set himself along the road to unfathomable fortune—if not quite fame.

http://www.portfolio.com//companies-executives/2009/08/07/who-is-philip-anschutz-and-why-is-he-in-business-with-michael-jackson-and-the-weekly-standard/index1.html

However let us return to Frank Dileo and his story of the way the famed documentary about Michael Jackson came into being.

Frank sincerely thinks that it was a chance occurrence and if it weren’t for Paul Gonaware of AEG who at the last minute thought of buying two cameras, the rehearsals wouldn’t have been shot at all. Since he believes this fairy tale it is clear he doesn’t know what Anschutz Entertainment Group is, what facilities it has, and how ferocious and sophisticated their business acumen is.  He says:

 Dileo: This movie was not ever shot to be a movie. It was two cameras that were bought in the beginning because Michael couldn’t afford his documentary crew that he always hired for every tour and to document all his movements. Been through it on the Victory Tour, been through it on the Bad tour. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the funds to do it. At the last minute Paul Gongaware who worked the Victory tour, who worked the Bad Tour as a cameraman suggested, “Hey maybe I’ll go get a couple of cameras.” They bought a couple of cameras for like six thousand, just to film the rehearsals. There was no intention of like, “Oh we’ll cause some harm to Michael so we can put out a movie.” Thank God we had it.

Wait, what is he talking about? Michael always hired a team for a tour to document his movements? But this means he hired people to follow him from town to town and document the way the tour went on – and this is actually why we now have so much footage of the fans screaming and following him. These people were also employed to make a footage of everything around his videos – it is enough to remember the extra footage on making Black and White and Remember The Time which is included into the Dangerous album (if I remember it right) and makes the album so thrilling.

Was it a custom for Michael to have all his rehearsals shot “in high definition with state-of-the-art digital sound” as a Sony release says it? If Michael had also done it for previous tours can you imagine how much footage we should be having now? And how many millions it would cost on the entertainment market? Only I don’t hear of anything like that being offered yet….

Yes, thank God we have it. Only let us not forget that the footage of rehearsals is a very valuable thing and the rights of  its ownership are an absolutely crucial matter. This footage is almost equivalent to a concert and may be as precious as the main thing.

It is usually the artist who has all rights to it as it is his intellectual property – even in case the other side spends $6 thousand on the equipment and something else on the documentalists. Their expenses can be deducted later from the footage sold and the fact that they “bought the cameras” doesn’t make them automatically the owner of the film.

Frank is either underestimating the problem and is shy to admit that he gravely let Michael down here, agreeing to what he shouldn’t have agreed to  and depriving Michael of  tremendous opportunities. For a manager who should know serious things like that he sounds too naïve and even helpless.

Kenny Ortega, Frank Dileo, Randy Phillips at the Premiere of This is it

And by the way it was his business and direct duty to negotiate who owns the footage and fix the terms favorable for Michael.

Frank says that Paul Gongaware who “was previously a cameraman” just offered to go and buy a couple of cameras and did it at the last minute too?

No, guys, this is too amateurish an approach for a company whose owner is involved in film making, has two film production companies, a chain of 6782 Regal cinemas and owns a giant telecommunications network called Quest.

When Frank Dileo echoes Kenny Ortega’s words that the film was made as an “accident” I totally disbelieve this idea.  Philip Anschutz never leaves anything to chance and is far-sighted to such an incredible degree that when he was once selling an old railroad he looked so far ahead that reserved for himself the right to lay a fiber-optic cable along its lines.

The Slate says about it:

“Remember, he made his big fortune by laying 21st-century technology—fiber-optic cables pulsing with digital information—along the 19th-century railroad right-of-ways he owned.

Likewise, in the movie-exhibition business, Anschutz has hoped to reap new economies by being among the first to deliver movies to theaters via fiber-optic cable and project them electronically”.  http://www.slate.com/id/2115253/

To show you what power is standing behind the man whom Frank regarded just as a “former cameraman” let us have a look at this article about Philip Anschutz by Matt Haber:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who Is Philip Anschutz? (And Why Is He in Business with Michael Jackson and The Weekly Standard?)

by Matt Haber
Portfolio.com
Aug 07 2009

The shadowy billionaire, who hasn’t spoken on the record since 1974, is trying to lock in Jackson film and keep the Weekly Standard in print.

… Jackson may have found his most mysterious—and lucrative—partner in Philip Anschutz, the Denver-based billionaire who has made money in everything from oil to telecom to movie-making and -distribution.

The two men couldn’t be more different: One a child star who grew up to become possibly the world’s most flamboyant and famous performer, but whose life imploded amid accusations of child molestation, tabloid embarrassments, and gross financial mismanagement. The other is barely known outside the business world, rarely quoted on the record, and a supporter of Conservative causes that include limiting the rights of gays and lesbians and promoting “traditional” family values in entertainment and media.

Yet they struck a deal potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, for a series of concerts in London and a possible tour. And after Jackson’s demise, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (just one of his many companies) is still in the Michael Jackson business. No matter what tragedy befalls his core asset, it seems Anschutz has figured out how to continue monetizing Michael.

… Now, AEG Live is partnering with Jackson’s estate to release a movie culled from more than 100 hours of footage of Jackson preparing for the concerts. This Is It, which hits theaters October 30, was shot (per a Sony release) “in high definition with state-of-the-art digital sound” at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the site of Jackson’s July memorial service, an event that helped rehabilitate the singer’s reputation and led to an outpouring of good will for him and his family. AEG, not so incidentally, owns the Staples Center. Two AEG Live executives, Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware, are listed as producers on the film as well.

Who is Anschutz? More than just a businessman, that’s for sure. He’s active in Christian fundamentalist and Conservative political causes, including funding a campaign to support Amendment 2, Colorado’s 2006 ballot initiative to overturn gay rights, the Institute for American Values, the Center for Marriage and Families, and Morality in Media.

Invariably described as “secretive” or “reclusive” in the press, he is nonetheless involved in media. He just bought the Weekly Standard for a reported $1 million from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which funded the small—but for a time, highly influential—conservative magazine since 1995. Add this to his other conservative media holdings, which includes the Washington Examiner, a free tabloid, and the 101 locally targeted Examiner-branded sub-sites and it’s no wonder Forbes described Anschutz as “The Stealth Media Mogul.”

That’s one of the nicer things that has been publicly said about the 69-year-old mogul. Fortune once called him America’s “greediest executive,” prompting a rare public statement from Anschutz, who hasn’t spoken to a journalist on the record since 1974. The Anschutz Company released a statement that called Fortune’s moniker “inaccurate and unfair.” (Who says billionaires can’t have their feelings hurt?)

Other than making money—which even his detractors concede he does exceptionally well—Anschutz seems to be setting up the same sort of combined production and distribution deal that he’s been doing for the last few years in his Hollywood holdings. As the owner of the 6,782-screen Regal Cinemas (which he created from the Regal, Edwards, and United Artists chains), Anschutz has created a huge venue for screening the family-friendly films he has funded, like 2005′s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, 2004′s Oscar-winning Ray, and 2003′s Holes. (The latter of which was likely close to Anschutz’s heart since he made his first several hundred million with some oil-producing holes he dug in Northern Wyoming back in 1967—more on that later.)

Anschutz not only controls the making of the movies and [their] presentation, but can ensure delivery of the digital “print” via fiber-optic lines he owns under the aegis of Qwest Communications. Talk about covering all his bases.

Anschutz seems to have used a similar 360-degree scheme with Jackson by promoting a series of concerts through AEG Live, which were to be held an AEG Worldwide venue, and filmed for a concert movie which he will share ownership of with Sony and the Jackson camp. If only Jackson, who died at the hands of a doctor hired for him by AEG, had lived to fulfill the deal.

Luckily for Anschutz, he can probably recoup some lost funds by distributing the film to his Regal theaters (ensured that it will be family-friendly since he has a stake in its creation) and promoting it through any of his newspaper, magazine, or Web holdings.

Originally published here  but since the link is no longer working you can read the full story at: http://aconstantineblacklist.blogspot.com/2009/08/who-is-philip-anschutz-and-why-is-he-in.html

While you are still calculating the sums AEG recouped and aggragated after Michael’s death let me draw your attention to another aspect of the situation around that footage. Let us recall once again Kenny Ortega’s story how the documentary “accidentally” came into being and pay attention to some of his words:

Michael Jackson’s ‘accidental’ film

Oct 21, 2009, 12:01 GMT

Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ film came about as “an accident”.

Kenny Ortega – the choreographer behind the 50 planned London shows the ‘King of Pop’ was rehearing for when he tragically died in June – revealed the documentary was pieced together from private footage of the star rehearsing and was never intended to be released to the public.

He said: “The recordings were made so we could use them, then the tapes were destined for Michael’s private library. They have a real unguarded honesty to them.

“At first I got so many messages from fans around the world asking to see the shows, asking to see the footage and eventually I realised the journey wasn’t over and we had to do this.

‘High School Musical’ director Kenny, 59, also claims Michael was getting progressively healthier as he practiced for his mammoth comeback and amazed the performers he had recruited to join him on stage.

He added in an interview with BBC Radio 1: “He had dancers less than half his age – he was 50 years old and still he would have them falling to their knees in amazement of his moves.”

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/news/article_1508402.php/Michael-Jackson-s-accidental-film

Sure they would fall to their knees in amazement, but let us not get distracted and see what Ortega said about the film being meant as Michael’s private footage and for Michael’s private library only.

Michael’s private footage? Michael’s private library?

Michael’s private footage? Michael’s private library?

But if it was meant to be Michael’s from the very beginning of it, why did it suddenly become the ownership of AEG? Especially if their so-called contract with him said that all videos were to be included into the Production costs which were to be covered by Michael?

Do you see what I’m talking about?

Why did the rehearsal footage suddenly become AEG’s ownership? Especially if it was meant for Michael and his private library from the very beginning?

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