Witness claims intrigue over Jackson catalogue deal with Sony – AP

Posted on Wed, Mar. 02, 2005 [b]Witness claims intrigue over Jackson catalogue deal with Sony[/b] By LINDA DEUTSCH AP Special Correspondent Michael Jackson’s infamous relationship with Sony Music became a subtext for testimony at his molestation trial Wednesday, with suggestions by a witness that associates were plotting behind his back to wrest away his co-ownership of a valuable song catalogue that includes the music of the Beatles. The unexpected testimony came from Ann Kite, who was hired briefly in 2003 to work on public relations damage control after the airing of a documentary in which Jackson said he let boys sleep in his bedroom. She suggested that some of the men charged as unindicted co-conspirators in the molestation case were actually enemies of Jackson’s interests who were planted in his inner circle to bring about his downfall. The issue of the catalogue came up during cross-examination of Kite by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. Drawing on Kite’s previous statements to police he suggested there was a backstairs intrigue going on among Jackson’s “team.” “You told the police that you thought Michael Jackson was being slammed by the team?” asked Mesereau. “Yes,” she said. “And your opinion was this team was not out to help Michael Jackson?” asked the lawyer. “That was my opinion,” she said. Jackson’s stake in Sony/ATV, which includes catalogues for the Beatles and many Elvis Presley songs, was estimated by Forbes magazine several years ago to be worth at least $350 million. Jackson bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Sony for about $95 million in 1995, but retained a half interest.