Producer Quincy Jones took the stand in the Michael Jackson royalties case in Los Angeles on Thursday to testify on how he “was cheated out of a lot of money — a lot of money,” the New York Daily News reports.
After Jackson’s death, Jones testified, the pop star’s estate remixed songs so they could freeze the producer out of royalties earned on the songs. “One example is ‘This Is It,'” Jones said. “My name is nowhere near that.” He says he made less than $500,000 in royalties from the film, but the estate made $90 million from the 2009 movie.
Estate lawyer Howard Weitzman pointed out to Jones that the estate’s money goes to Jackson’s children — Prince, Paris and Blanket. “You understand the estate of Michael Jackson is comprised of his children, correct? His children are the beneficiaries,” Weitzman said during cross-examination.
“I’m not suing Michael. I’m suing y’all,” Jones said in response. “I’ve got children too.” He filed a lawsuit in 2013 against MJJ productions, which Jackson’s estate controls.
Weitzman said that Jones has received $18 million since 2009, when Jackson died, and that licensing revenue paid previously to Jones was a “gift.”
Jones contested that idea, saying: “If we made the record, we deserve to get paid. It’s that simple.” Henry Gradstein, one of Jones’ lawyers, said Weitzman was misunderstanding Jones’ contracts. “The contracts expressly provide for licensing revenue,” he said. “The parties, for 35 years, have interpreted the contracts that way and paid on that basis. To say it was a ‘gift,’ that’s just absurd.”
Jones met Jackson on “The Wiz,” and produced “Off The Wall,” “Thriller,” and “Bad.”
After Jones’ testimony, both sides rested and closing arguments were set for Monday.