Jackson woes grow with charity org suit

The legal troubles of Michael Jackson grew with the filing of a lawsuit by a charitable organization alleging the entertainer, a licensing company and three law firms interfered with an agreement to pay the charity commissions on the sale of Jackson-licensed merchandise.

In the 128-page complaint filed by the Childrens’ Peace Foundation of Beverly Hills and its executive director Peter Georgi, the group is seeking $ 25 million for lost revenues stemming from an October 1988 agreement that promised the charity 5% of gross royalties on a series of deals involving the sale of products such as perfume, chocolate and cosmetics.

The suit alleges Jackson’s lawyers — Ziffren, Brittenham & Branca — and others orchestrated similar deals with other companies which were deliberately designed to circumvent the earnings potential of the charity. The lawsuit also claims the charity is owed money from the sale of the merchandise.

Other firms named as defendants in the suit include licensing firm Entertainment Properties, Inc. and three other law firms that represented the companies involved in the contract.

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