Jones claims Jackson's estate owes him $30 million
Quincy Jones' lawyer said Michael Jackson owes his client $30 million in royalties at the opening of a trial in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 11.
The legendary producer, 84, is suing executives at Sony Entertainment and MJJ Productions, who co-manage the rights to Jackson's music since his death at age 50 in 2009.
In his opening statement, Jones' attorney Mike McKool argued that Jones, who produced Jackson's albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad, is owed at least $30 million per written agreements he made with the singer.
According to Variety magazine, McKool stated the 1978 and 1985 agreements called for the super producer to be paid in line with the total royalties Jackson received.
Jackson's estate lawyer Zia Modabber said Jones had already been paid more than $18 million in royalties and that he did not deserve any additional payment as the agreements did not cover licensing fees for TV and film.
"Mr. Jones is asking for tens and tens of millions of dollars. He just wants it and he hopes you will give it to him," Modabber told the judge.
MJJ's lawyer did acknowledge that Jones may have been underpaid, but he claimed the amount owed is far less than what Jones is asking for.
Under questioning John Branca, the co-executor of Jackson's estate, said he had offered Jones between $2 million and $3 million to settle the case.
The trial is expected to last about three weeks, with Jones due to testify next week.
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