Michael Jackson’s financial situation is such that he’s taking handouts from famous music producers.
William James Adams Jr., aka Will. I. Am, the genius musician who guides the Black Eyed Peas and also produces music for Justin Timberlake, is donating his services so far rendered to Jackson.
The pair began working together in earnest last fall in Ireland, when Adams paid his own way from California to see whether or not Jackson was serious about making new tracks for an album.
Since then, I’m told, Adams has been constructing tracks for Jackson to hear. “Michael gets them, and adds his thing to them,” says a source. “But it’s Will who’s doing the writing.”
Luckily, Adams writes in what we might call the school of Michael Jackson, so his ideas should be a good mix for the one-time King of Pop. (All Jackson needs now is hip-hop producer Timbaland, and he can make a Justin Timberlake album.)
Jackson and Adams are scheduled to meet again next month in Las Vegas, where Jackson has been living since Christmas Day 2006.
But don’t think Adams is paying his way and contributing his services for free because he feels sorry for Jackson.
“Will doesn’t want the money thing coming between them while they do creative work,” says a source.
It’s understood — at least by Adams — that if published and recorded music comes out of these sessions, he will then receive remuneration. It’s not totally clear if Jackson, who expects most services for free and has to be sued for bills due, understands this.
Meantime, Jackson’s financial outlook remains as precarious and oddly constructed as ever.
Two days after he returned to the United States from Ireland, Jackson paid off the $2.2 million mortgage on his parents’ home in Encino, Calif. But since the house on Hayvenhurst Avenue is thought to be worth around $5 million, Jackson then took a new loan against it for about $4 million, sources tell me.
Ironically, the house wasn’t always Michael’s to borrow against. A family source says that situation occurred in 2003, when Jackson was allowed to borrow against its value to pay his $3 million bail after he was arrested for child molestation and conspiracy (he was later acquitted on all counts).
Since then, with his Neverland Valley Ranch tied up with a $25 million lien against it secured by Fortress Investment Group, Jackson has had only the Hayvenhurst property available to him as a way of generating cash.
According to my sources, the Jackson family — meaning Michael’s parents — only found out through a secondary source that this new bit of financing of Hayvenhurst had taken place.
Outside of one brief meeting with his parents right after Christmas, Michael has had no contact with any members of the Jackson clan.
Fortress, by the way, which holds Jackson’s $325 million worth of loans, is the very same firm that last week became the first hedge fund in the U.S. to go public. They made around $650 million for themselves on the opening day. Each of the principals in the firm is now said to be worth well over a billion dollars. At this point, they could forgive Jackson’s loans and never even notice — not like that will ever happen!
The never-ending saga of jailed private-eye-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano is not over.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles released a superseding indictment that details more clearly the relationship between Pellicano and now-indicted Hollywood lawyer Terry Christensen. For the first time, the government is explaining how Christensen used Pellicano for alleged spying and other illegal activities.
At the same time, the New York Times has finally gotten around to naming actor/producer Andrew Stevens, son of B-list actress of the 1960s Stella Stevens, as a “person of interest” in the Pellicano case and a possible government witness.
This very column detailed here on Nov. 2, 2006, what Stevens’ involvement was, and how he would contribute to the prosecutors’ case against Pellicano.
What happens next? Pellicano remains in jail awaiting his August trial. In the meantime, prosecutors continue to prepare their case and compile more information about his illegal activities. Hollywood lawyers and movie execs who did business with Pellicano remain on tenterhooks.
I told you on Monday that Al Gore would be announcing rock concerts scheduled for July 7 which would take place in many cities. All I didn’t tell you was the name of the project, Live Earth, which is a descendent of Live Aid and Live 8.
What wasn’t revealed today, but what I told you on Monday: Producers want the Washington Mall or Shea Stadium for the U.S. show, and The Police will probably be the headliners.
As well, Live Aid/Live 8 guru Harvey Goldsmith is the man putting this all together. But so far there’s no mention of Sir Bob Geldof being involved. I guess he’s more about poverty than the environment.
For now, let’s make the joke that this whole thing should be called “An Inconvenient Concert.” Unless it’s handled correctly, the prospect of seven massive rock concerts throwing off seven piles of trash is the kind of press disaster critics lie in wait for!
Let’s hope that if Live Earth comes off, all the incidentals will be “green.” We don’t want the organizers to be “red” in the face when it’s over!
A change in the annual party schedule over Oscar weekend will be a huge benefit to the Indie Spirit Awards.
The Spirits are handed out on Saturday afternoon under a huge tent on the beach in Santa Monica near Shutters hotel.
A post-awards reception always follows at the hotel sponsored by the IFC Channel. But every year, because Miramax throws its lively “Max Awards,” most Spirit winners had to decamp quickly in order to get back and change for the Beverly Hills romp.
This year, however, Miramax, now The Weinstein Company, has decided to take a year off. (They’ll back next year, don’t worry, with lots of nominees, I’m sure.)
The result is that the Spirit reception at Shutters is turning into a huge event, much bigger than in the past.
Already RSVP'd are Tobey Maguire, Terrence Howard, Jimmy Kimmel (girlfriend Sarah Silverman is hosting the show), Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch, Zooey Deschanel, Djimon Hounsou, Emilie de Ravin, Josh Hartnett, Henry Rollins, Rachel Bilson. Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden is deejaying. More to come …