“The fact that he didn’t make a dime on his image and likeness in 2006, 2007, or 2008 shows the impact those allegations had and had until his death,” wrote Holmes in the 271-page decision that haunted Jackson’s fame and finances for most of his life.
The tax battle had resulted in a bill of about $ 700 million after a 2013 tax audit on the estate, whose heirs are Jackson’s mother and three children, of which about $ 200 million was an underpayment penalty.
A new tax bill will now be calculated using Holmes’ numbers and will not contain any penalties.
Also controversial were Jackson’s 50% stake in Sony / ATV Music Publishing, a catalog with 175 Beatles songs; and his interest in another catalog containing the songs he wrote.
The IRS expert had estimated these assets to total around $ 320 million. The judge found that, with Jackson’s debts, both combined were worth only $ 107 million at the time of his death.
The long-awaited verdict resolves one of the few disputes that still loomed over Jackson’s property nearly a dozen years after his unexpected death on June 25, 2009 after a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.
Another was resolved a week earlier when a judge dismissed a lawsuit from choreographer Wade Robson, one of two men starring in the 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland” who alleged Jackson sexually abused him as a child. The similar lawsuit by James Safechuck, the other man in the documentary, was dismissed in October. The men’s lawyer cited the rulings as a dangerous precedent for protecting children and said they wanted to appeal.