*A lawyer representing the estate of Michael Jackson has condemned the sale of commemorative belts which have allegedly been produced without the permission of the trustees, and appear to have been authorized by Jackson’s own parents, Joe and Katherine.
TMZ.com posted a photograph [below] that appears to show the pair signing one of the items.
One of the belts has also allegedly been autographed by Jackson’s kids – Prince, Paris and Blanket – and is scheduled to be auctioned off with a starting bid of $5,000. Some 7,000 other unsigned belts are also set for sale online at around $1500 each.
Many feature several images trademarked by the King of Pop — including dancing feet, MJ’s silhouette and the MJ crest. Trustees must authorize any commercial use of those trademarks, as well as his name or image. But the estate’s lawyer, Howard Weitzman, insists that none of the items have been approved.
“The Trustees of the Estate of Michael Jackson did not authorize the making or the sale of the Michael Jackson Tribute Belts,” he told TMZ. “We would never condone the use of Michael’s children’s signatures to promote the sale of merchandise.”
TMZ reported: “We haven’t found out who’s behind the website … but Jerry Olivarez, a PR guy and friend of the Jackson family, has been touting the sale of the belts. We’re told the site goes live today.”