Nearly three years after being awarded $9.4 million in a lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s production company, star producer (and honorary Vulture staffer) Quincy Jones lost most of that money in an appeal of the case. The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles reversed $6.9 million of that award due to a procedural issue involving the jury being allowed to interpret two separate producer agreements in the original trial. That money comes from record royalties ($5.3 million) and potential remix fees ($1.6 million). The $2.5 million Jones will be able to keep largely comes from the use of Jackson’s music in This Is It, the 2009 concert documentary that became a posthumous project after his sudden death.
“Quincy Jones was the last person we thought would try to take advantage of Michael Jackson by filing a lawsuit three years after he died asking for tens of millions of dollars he wasn’t entitled to,” said Howard Weitzman, a lawyer for the Jackson estate, in a statement to media. “We knew the verdict was wrong when we heard it, and the court of appeal has completely vindicated us.” Meanwhile, Jones’s lawyer J. Michael Hennigan told the New York Times, “While we disagree with portions of the Court’s decision and are evaluating our options going forward, we are pleased that the Court affirmed the jury’s determination that [MJJ Productions Inc.] failed to pay Quincy Jones more than $2.5M that it owed him.” Let’s just hope he hasn’t already spent all that cash.