Read this carefully...
Again, from JRT's book, beginning on page 617 and going over to 618: "A couple years ago, Michael used his one-half share of the Sony/ATV catalogue as collateral to borrow $200 million. Sony guaranteed the loan for Michael. However, if he defaults, the company can then move to claim his share of ATV. 'He's a financial time bomb waiting to explode,' said Myung Ho Lee, former financial manager. " JRT goes on to say the payment was due in 2006. "Also, he can take comfort in knowing that he can eradicate the entire manner by doing the one thing he most doesn't want to do: tour."
Isn't it safe to say that just about anyone in the business world, any business attorney, and any financial advisor saw this scenario unraveling, too? He was put in a situation to do nothing but fail, especially by Sony who was "guaranteeing the loan" yet stood to profit by gaining the entire share of his portion of the catalogue, if (or when in their minds) he defaulted. Doesn't that sound like a conflict of interest? It was like a steam-engine rolling towards him...with others waiting to collect the dollar bills as they went in every direction after the impact.
"'But it takes too much out of me, ' he told me of touring back in 1995. 'It's like a two hour marathon, every show. I swear, I must lose ten pounds a concert. The expectations are too high. It's hard.'"
Does that sound like a man that WANTED to do these 50 shows again? At 50 years old, after all the SHIT he went through each day for the past decade? After the scandals and accusation and the ridicule and humiliation? NO! He was bullied into it with no other option. "Comfort" out of touring to earn a living? PLEASE. Touring after the trial was an impossibility. He was not capable of performing at the level he would expect of himself and even Jack Wishna saw this, too.
If Michael lost his share of the Sony/ATV catalouge, which is essentially his most valuable asset, then what would he do to make a living? He was not under contract to release albums, and sales were not as they used to be for him. He was not capable of touring from an emotional or physical standpoint. Royalties are typically a sham compared to royalties paid in the film industry. (Michael should have gone into film after everything for that reason, too!) How did he stand to make a living for his children? He had little formal education. He could not go to work in a "normal" place. Hell, he could not even go shopping without being mobbed. How was he to feed his children, provide them with a house, with clothes, with schooling? His name and reputation had been ruined. His life was ruined. People should have been BEGGING to work with him, to collaborate with him across the world. Here was a man that loved to work finding himself in a position where he almost could not work anymore.
When I try to make light of what began unfolding concerning Neverland in 2007, I get utterly confused. Seems like he maintained ownership of an unknown portion and Tom Barrack the other portion, the majority portion. His items were set to be auctioned off to collect debts due. What could have been worse? To have your own personal items sold, never to see them again, to have them taken from you? To keep being thrown deeper and deeper into a hole when you should be coming OUT of it after being FOUND NOT GUILTY of crimes you know you damn-well did not commit? I sit here about to cry a river of tears while at the same time a fire is raging within me that will only be fed as I further put pieces together in this puzzle. I will not shut up, either. How could this happen to someone who gave back so much to the world? It is estimated he earned up to $500 million dollars during his lifetime, with one-fifth of that amassed after Thriller. It has been said he donated $300 million dollars to various charities during his life. Crunch those numbers and what do they tell you? I hope it fires you up as much as it fires me up. Justice is far from being in sight, and even if those responsible for his death go to prison, it still will not be enough.