(news.com.au) -- Michael Jackson has been revealed as a global megastar who preyed on children, groomed them with treats beyond their wildest dreams then sexually abused them and destroyed their lives.
Jackson has been like a money machine ever since he died from a drug overdose in June 2009, aged 50. Back then he was more than $680 million in debt.
But in the past ten years, according to US magazine Forbes, his hits have earned his estate almost $3 billion.
That estate is overseen by co-executors John Branca and John McClain, who control the allowances of Jackson’s kids, Prince Michael 1, 21, Paris, 20, and Prince Michael II, 16, known as Blanket. They reportedly each get $13 million a year.
The coexecutors also control Jackson’s mother Katherine’s quarter share in the estate.
The Jackson family have strongly denied all claims of sex abuse by Michael.
But questions are now being asked as to whether his posthumous business interests can withstand this latest devastating attack.
As radio stations shun Jackson and ex-fans turn against him, we look at what his estate could lose if the King of Pop is also “cancelled”.
RECORD COMPANY — POTENTIAL LOSS: $350m (to Sony)
Sony Music Entertainment signed a $350 million deal last year for the rights to distribute Jackson’s recordings for seven more years.
It paid upfront, so provided no lawsuits follow, it would seem the Jackson estate won’t lose any money — but they might in the long run.
The losses could be so heavy the label will rethink signing another lucrative contract when the current deal expires.
It was a risky move at the time, given that the Leaving Neverland film was looming.
Music execs warned the controversy could affect sales and commercial uses of Jackson’s music, and so far Sony has declined to comment over its biggest signing.
It would take a brave chart star to release a Jackson collaboration now.
Canadian singer Drake paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to sample Jackson’s vocals on his 2018 track Don’t Matter To Me.
Stars were previously queuing up to release some of the late singer’s unreleased material which the Jackson estate lapped up, as they took a significant slice of the royalties.
Aussie singer Sia, above, has become the first big-name artist to publicly condemn Jackson, tweeting her support for his Leaving Neverland accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck on Wednesday, the day of the first UK screening of the docufilm.
She tweeted: “Dear Wade and James — I believe you and I love you.”
Even one of his biggest fans, Lady Gaga, would think twice about releasing a Jackson track.
AIRPLAY/STREAMING — POTENTIAL LOSS: $55m
Jackson’s biggest hits still make huge money. His 1982 track Thriller alone makes $3.7 million a year through airplay royalties and streaming.
If radio stations pull the plug on his music, the Jackson estate will be seriously hit in the pocket.
So far US and UK stations have not put Jackson on the banned list.
But networks in Australia, Holland, Canada and New Zealand are now leading the charge to ban him, having been appalled by the TV exposé.
MUSICALS — POTENTIAL LOSS: $96m
As with any new show, ticket prices are set to be sky-high, in this case rumoured to be around $270 each, to cover the costs of the lavish production, which has been years in the making.
Jackson fanatics won’t be put off, but the Jackson estate — who have collaborated on the show with production company Columbia Live Stage — will be concerned that everyday theatregoers will vote with their feet and give the production a miss after seeing the documentary.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL SHOWS AND EXHIBITION — POTENTIAL LOSS: $138m
The Jacko-themed Cirque Du Soleil show is a huge cash cow, making up to $330,000 a time for the estate.
The Canadian entertainment firm paid millions for the rights to produce the stage extravaganza, which went a long way towards wiping out the debt incurred before his death.
Called Michael Jackson: One, the show is a constant sellout in Las Vegas — and a downturn in ticket sales would have a big effect. But so far the opposite seems to be the case.
According to ticket reseller Vivid Seats, online searches for the shows increased 60 per cent on the day the first part of the docu aired compared with a week earlier.
A Jackson art exhibition run by the National Portrait Gallery is another high earner that could be hit. More than 250,000 visitors pay $33 a ticket to see the themed galleries in London and Paris.
MERCHANDISE & BRANDING — POTENTIAL LOSS: $18m
Jackson merchandise, which includes official pictures and T-shirts and all branded goods, is still a big earner, bringing in millions of pounds a year.
But how many fashion houses or brands would want to be associated with the late singer’s name now? It’s not exactly good PR.
In 2015, Californian company Triumph International — owned entirely by the estate — successfully sued a Chinese fashion company for trying to cash in on the lucrative Jackson brand.
With the media firestorm raging, it’s doubtful Triumph’s lawyers will be as active in the near future.