NEW YORK – Michael Jackson's former managers yesterday blasted him for branding Tommy Mottola a racist, and said the Gloved One is using the Sony chief in an "absurd," "ridiculous" effort to explain why his last album flopped.
Managers Frank DiLeo and Sandy Gallin, along with music impresario Russell Simmons, were among those who rallied to support Mottola after Jackson's blistering weekend attack accused the music mogul of making a racial slur and called him "devilish."
"Tommy Mottola is not a racist," said DiLeo, who managed Jackson during the years of his blockbuster Thriller and Bad albums. "This whole thing is about Michael looking to put the blame for a bad record on somebody besides himself, and it's an unfortunate way to do it."
Jackson blames Sony for the failure of his new album, Invincible.
"Despite what Michael says, he has been making his own marketing and management decisions for more than 12 years. What that kid really needs to do is stand in front of a full-length mirror and take a good hard look at the real problem," DiLeo said.
Gallin, who managed Jackson for seven years in the 1990s, also weighed in, albeit reluctantly. "I don't want to take sides, but this is really the most absurd situation," he said.
Meanwhile, Simmons, who has known Mottola 20 years, said: "There are two things I know: Tommy Mottola is not a racist, and, in black music, especially, you don't need $30 million to make an album successful. If it's a hit record, it'll stick on its own.