Michael’s empire was worth over $2 billion gross at the height of his career. This included royalties from his own album, plus Beatles album catalog. However, much of this was spent on extravagant whims.
- Mr. Jackson was the Sony's partner in a lucrative music publishing business that included songs by the Beatles and other musicians. Jackson owned 50 percent share of that $1 billion business.
- Album sales of Bad (1989 @$125million), Dangerous (1992 @$67 million), HIStory (1996 @$55 million) and BOTDF (1998 @$12million)
- Michael Jackson was once worth $2.3 billion dollars gross of debts. At his time of death he was only worth a few million!
- On February 6th, 2003, Martin Bashir asked Michael Jackson how much he was worth. Bashir asked, "How much do you think you're worth?" Jackson replied "It's way up there." Bashir later asked, "A billion dollars?" to which Jackson replied "It's over there." Bashir asked for confirmation: "Over a billion dollars!" to which Jackson replied "Yes." When the interview was aired in the United States, broadcaster Barbara Walters replied, saying, “As for his claim to be worth over a billion dollars,” Walters explained, “his actual worth is in the two or three hundred million range. That’s hardly bad, but it’s nowhere near a billion”.
- During Jackson's trial, defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. said that the Beatles catalogue (of which Jackson owns 50%) was worth $1 billion in 2003. There have been estimates it's now worth between $4 billion and $5 billion, but forensic accountant John Duross O'Bryan testified that the total value of Jackson's assets was $130 million
"I think that Michael never had any concept of fiscal responsibility, or logical fiscal responsibility. He was an individual that had been overindulged by those that represented him or worked for him for all of his life," said Alvin Malnik, a former financial adviser to Mr. Jackson and a former lawyer for Meyer Lansky, the late mob kingpin. "There was no planning in terms of allocations of how much he should spend. As a businessman, you can forecast your spending for the next six months to a year. For Michael, it was whatever he wanted at the time he wanted. Sounds very much like our very own boxing hero Manny Pacquiao.