Published June 29, 2007
Michael Jackson’s siblings — including Janet — and his parents are so worried about the failing pop star that they’ve sent out an emergency 911 call.
Sources tell me that the Jacksons are in the process of contacting Thomas Mesereau, the superstar criminal lawyer who won Jackson an acquittal two years ago in his child molestation trial.
The word from the Jacksons is that they’ve met several times as a family and discussed bringing Mesereau in for an intervention to save Michael.
Mesereau, who did not return calls to this column, is said to be open to finding out what Jackson’s true mental and health status is at this point. If he doesn’t like what he sees, the Jacksons will ask him to do something legal to save their brother’s life.
Jackson, according to insiders, is in perilous health right now. There is talk that his liver is damaged and that he’s been seen vomiting blood, although there’s no confirmation of that.
What has been confirmed is that Jackson — whose penchant for prescription meds and alcohol is well-known — is depressed, alone and mixing ingredients instead of making a new album or working.
But it’s the two-year isolation from friends and family that worried the Jacksons enough to consider including Mesereau in the conversation, sources tell me. The culprits are said to be publicist/manager Raymone Bain and aide de camp/nanny Grace Rwaramba.
For instance: this column has now learned that Bain has brought Rev. Jesse Jackson on in some kind of executive capacity in Michael’s businesses.
Bain and Jesse Jackson have a long relationship, so this is no surprise. But two years ago, Mesereau — sensing trouble — removed Bain and asked Jesse Jackson to leave after he arrived in Santa Maria, Calif., to grandstand at Michael’s trial.
It was Jesse Jackson who two years ago caused an avalanche in Michael’s finances. Jesse Jackson, sources say, interfered in Michael’s business by attempting to call Bank of America president Ken Lewis to complain that Michael was being “ripped off” in some way over his $270 million.
Lewis refused to speak with Jesse Jackson. He was so annoyed by Jackson’s interference that he ordered the banker in charge of the account to sell the loans to Fortress Investments.
The result was a sale and subsequent refinancing that put Jackson another $50 million in the red. Jesse Jackson at the time had convinced Michael that business partners Alvin Malnik and Charles Koppelman’s plan to bail out the singer was no good.
But in hindsight, he was wrong. Under the original plan, Jackson would only have sold half his interest in the Beatles’ catalog to Sony. Now, next May, thanks to the Fortress deal, he will have to dispose of all of it.
Michael Moore went down to Wall Street on Thursday to hold a press conference about “Sicko,” health care and other related issues.
CNBC had set up an interview with him and host Maria Bartiromo live from the New York Stock Exchange. But when the show’s producer told the security guards what was happening, they wouldn’t allow Moore in.
No one gave an answer. Moore did the interview on the pedestrian walkway right in front of the stock exchange anyway, and then held his press conference.
No one asked him this time, but last Friday, fans of his film asked him to sign pill vials. That’s a first. “Sicko” opens today on 441 screens across the country, and adds 200 more next Tuesday.
Friends and fans around the world are praying for opera legend and New York megastar Beverly Sills. Sills, nicknamed Bubbles for her effervescent personality, is gravely ill from lung cancer.
Today, if it can be done, she’ll be transferred from a hospital to her home to live out her final days. She turned 78 on May 25.
Sills, nee Belle Silverman, is a cultural icon in New York. Like the recently departed Kitty Carlisle Hart, she committed herself to good works and arts education after a magnificent career on the world’s great opera stages.
If you can imagine that there ever was such a thing, Sills was the most famous and important American opera singer for about a quarter century, from 1955 through 1980. A coloratura soprano, Sills’ voice and face were instantly recognizable not only from opera but from TV appearances on shows like “Carol Burnett" and the Muppets.
In recent years, Sills has been head of Lincoln Center and also the Metropolitan Opera. Few New Yorkers have achieved such fame based on real work, and because of that, she has been beloved. She will never be forgotten and, like so many of her extraordinary generation, never replaced either.
Last night, hip-hop entrepreneur Jay-Z was dining with an incredibly beautiful girl at the Waverly Inn. Ah yes, it was Beyonce. The two dined sans posse in a red leather booth that earlier had been occupied by Revlon’s Ronald Perelman with pals like Sony’s Rob Wiesenthal and Conde Nast’s Richard Beckman.
Elsewhere in the Waverly, TV guy Donnie Deutsch, record producer/manager Jerry Blair and hair salon star Joel Warren. …
Also last night, Warner Independent Pictures launched “Introducing the Dwights.” For some strange reason, they’ve chosen this title over the easier to remember “Clubland,” which was the name of this wonderful musical film when debuted in January at Sundance to raves. I smell “dumping” here, which is a shame.
Brenda Blethyn gives a rock-solid, Oscar-worthy performance as a boozy singer trying to hold onto her career and her family. But why release it on July 4 against many blockbusters? It makes no sense.
Hopefully, Blethyn will be remembered in the fall for awards season. In the meantime, do not miss this witty, riotously funny film. ...
Kudos to Jon Bon Jovi. He and his group have their first number one album since 1988. “Lost Highway” sold nearly 300,000 copies last week. Rock 'n' roll will never die with guys like this around. …
Paul McCartney reportedly had a great “secret” show in Hollywood Wednesday night at Amoeba Records. Ringo Starr and Olivia Harrison were there, along with ELO’s Jeff Lynne. The former parties obviously survived their Larry King experience well enough. McCartney’s “Memory Almost Full” continues to be a top five hit, thanks to its Starbucks release. …
Sting is reading John Perkins’ scathing “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” on the Police tour. ...