The man who claims he was Michael Jackson’s “only manager” in the year before the King of Pop’s death has settled his megabucks lawsuit over allegedly unpaid commission.
Tohme Tohme settled with the co-executors of Jackson’s estate Thursday after suing them in 2012 and starting a trial in Santa Monica last week, the parties said in a joint statement.
Jackson’s mom Katherine Jackson and brother Jermaine Jackson were listed as potential witnesses.
“The estate of Michael Jackson and Jackson’s former manager, Tohme Tohme, confirm that they have amicably settled a lawsuit that had been underway in the Santa Monica Superior court,” the statement said.
“The Estate acknowledges his efforts on Michael’s behalf,” it continued. “The confidential settlement marks a resolution to an almost decade-long contractual dispute.”
The parties declined to specify any financial terms of the deal.
In court filings, Tohme said Jackson hired him in May 2008 to help prevent a foreclosure on Neverland Ranch and signed him as a manager in July 2008 under a contract paying 15% of the “Beat It” singer’s total compensation.
He claimed he was owed a $2.3 million finder’s fee for the loan Jackson got for Neverland Ranch and a cut of the estate’s “This Is It” profits.
Estate executors initially fought the lawsuit, saying the management agreement was unenforceable. The executors argued Jackson signed the deal without independent legal advice and that Tohme wasn’t a licensed talent agent when he booked the singer for the ill-fated “This Is It” tour.
They also claimed Tohme was fired before Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an accidental overdose of the surgery-strength anesthetic propofol administered illegally in his bedroom.
Tohme’s relationship with Jackson was the subject of disturbing emails that were at the center of the Jackson family’s failed lawsuit against AEG Live, the concert company that created and promoted the “This Is It” tour that was supposed to take place at London’s O2 arena between 2009 and 2010.
Jackson died while preparing for the tour.
In emails previously obtained by The News, AEG boss Randy Phillips talked about Jackson’s personal demons as he described how he and Tohme struggled to get the singer to the podium of the O2 arena on March 5, 2009, to announce the “This Is It” deal.
“MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” Phillips wrote. “Tohme and I are trying to sober him up and get him to the press conference.”
Phillips said he screamed at Jackson “so loud the walls are shaking.”