Michael Jackson Estate Sued For Thriller Royalties

Movies & TV

John Kennedy / October 31, 2009

Three people have filed claims against Michael Jackson’s estate, all claiming they were owed money for Thriller.

Jackson’s estate was hit Thursday with accusations from John Landis, Thriller’s writer and director; Levitsky Productions, the company that hired Landis for the video; and George Folsey Jr., the video’s producer.

All three together are asking for close to $3 million. Landis claim involves Jackson signing a deal to turn the legendary 1983 music video into a Broadway production. Landis says Jackson had no right to make the deal… he’s now seeking $400,000.

Folsey says Jackson owes him money for the Thriller-inspired merchandise, which included comic books, and video games, while Levitsky says they were never paid profits from the actual video.

On Tuesday, Jackson’s concert documentary, This Is It, premiered in Los Angeles and reportedly raked in $2.2 million overall.

Jackson’s video for “Thriller,” which cost a reported $500,000 to make, debuted in 1983. – Linda Hobbs