Michael Jackson’s Estate and Sony Music have finally reached a settlement in the prolonged lawsuit regarding false music recordings of Jackson. Both parties have decided to formally end the suit, reports Billboard.
“Regardless of how the Supreme Court may rule, the parties to the lawsuit mutually decided to end the litigation, which would have potentially included additional appeals and a lengthy trial court process,” Sony and the estate said in a statement to the outlet.
In 2010, three singles were included on the late icon’s posthumous album, Michael. The authenticity of the tracks—“Breaking News,” “Monster,” and “Keep Your Head Up”— were questioned by fans and family members. The songs became the subject of a class action lawsuit, filed by a woman named Vera Serova, who alleged the songs were sung by an impersonator and violated California state consumer protection laws.
Since then, Sony and the estate have pulled three songs from streaming platforms. The defendants told Billboard the removal of the songs was “the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all.”
In response to the rumors of fake MJ recordings, Sony and Jackson’s estate hired forensic musicologists, along with former producers and engineers, to investigate the songs. The group, who were all familiar with working with the King Of Pop, initially claimed and verified the music’s authenticity.
In a 2018 court hearing, Sony Music Entertainment admitted the three tracks were indeed recorded by an impersonator. Initially, representatives for Sony and the estate denied the claims made by Serova in a class action suit, before the case was thrown out. A California state appeals court eventually reversed the decision.
Before the reached settlement, the defendants and plaintiff were awaiting a decision from the California Supreme Court since its filing in 2014. There is still a possibility that the court may move forward with a ruling on the case.