Here’s a lawsuit that’s pretty, uh, off the wall.
Michael Jackson’s record label Sony and the co-executor of the singer’s estate have been hit with a lawsuit alleging that Jackson might not have actually sung three of the tracks on the 2010 posthumously released album “Michael.”
The lawsuit, filed by California woman Vera Serova in Superior Court in Los Angeles County on Thursday, questions whether it’s actually Jackson’s vocals on the tracks “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up.”
Serova claims that “several members of Jackson’s family” have disputed the authenticity of the tracks. And, even though Sony subsequently went on record stating that it has “complete confidence” that it’s Jackson singing the songs, Serova says she enlisted an independent audio expert who concluded that “it was very likely” that the vocals aren’t those of Jackson.
Sony had no comment for TheWrap. However, Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Michael Jackson estate, vehemently denied the allegations when contacted by TheWrap, saying that the vocal tracks had been authenticated by multiple experts.
“This lawsuit filed 3 ½ years after the album’s release we consider to be frivolous. The Estate believes the lead vocals on all tracks of the ‘Michael’ album were sung by Michael Jackson,” Weitzman said in a statement. “Two musicologists and 6 former producers of Michael’s prior albums confirmed that it was Michael Jackson’s voice on lead vocal.”
Serova filed the suit as a class-action complaint, saying that she’s making the allegations “for herself and on behalf of all others similarly situated.” The lawsuit estimates that there thousands of people who bought the tracks in California, who would presumably receive a third of the cost of a CD back in compensation if they prevail.
Serova’s suit alleges fraud, violation of the unfair competition law and violation of the consumers legal remedies act.
She’s asking that the defendants be barred from claiming that Jackson performed on the songs in question, and is seeking unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.