Katherine Jackson’s Business Partner: ‘I’m Truly Concerned For Her Safety’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Katherine Jackson's business partner is headed to a Los Angeles court on Monday to learn a judge’s summary judgment ruling in his ongoing legal battle with the Michael Jackson Estate -- all while mystery continues to surround the whereabouts of the famed music family’s matriarch.
Ironically, it was Canadian-born entrepreneur Howard Mann who first claimed the Estate is a "fraudulently obtained dictatorship" -- long before five members of pop star’s family penned a letter in which they suggested their late brother’s last will and testament was “fake, flawed and fraudulent" — and that the executors of the estate, John Branca and John McClain, forged the King of Pop’s signature on it.
Speaking exclusively to Celebuzz, Mann said he was concerned for the welfare of 82-year-old Katherine, who was reported missing to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Saturday night. She reportedly contacted police late Sunday afternoon.
"I am truly concerned for Katherine's safety," Mann told Celebuzz.
"My thoughts are with her and Paris, Prince and Blanket as they attempt to maintain a normal life in this tumultuous time."
As Katherine’s lawyer Sandra Ribera told Celebuzz, she flew to Albuquerque, N.M. on July 15 to watch her four sons in concert two days later, but has not been heard from since. Jermaine Jackson, one of Michael Jackson’s brothers, said Friday afternoon that his mother is doing fine and is simply "resting up" in Arizona.
Mann operates the website JacksonSecretVault.com -- and helped Katherine produce the coffee table book, "Never Say Goodbye". In Jan. 2011, the Estate filed a lawsuit against the businessman, accusing him of violating copyright and trademark laws by cashing in on all things Jackson.
The latest drama surrounging the Jackson clan came after Tito, Randy, Jermaine, Janet and Rebbie Jackson demanded the co-executors of their brothers’ Estate resign immediately, as Celebuzz first reported.
Said Mann: "While I feel there is tremendous merit in some of accusations being made by Katherine's children in the letter they sent out this week, I feel the approach being taken by the siblings is a mistake.”
"Even if, as the Estate claims, the Michael Jackson Will and Trust was validated and litigated in court, issues remain outstanding,” added Mann.
“One, where is Mrs. Jackson's and the children's money and two, do Katherine and the children truly believe that John Branca serves their best interest as a Trustee? Based on my direct discussions, I believe they do not have such confidence in Mr. Branca.
"Are there massive issues surrounding the Will and Trust of Michael Jackson? Put simply, yes. But the time and window to contest the Will might have lapsed.
"The key focus on the validity of this Estate is not the Will and Trust. Instead, in my opinion, it resides in the current execution of the trust. But they are a family and that Estate Administration part is really none of my business."
According to Brian Oxman, the Jackson family's former lawyer, the octogenarian is "okay" but has "gone into seclusion because she's very upset about the will."