*The estate of Michael Jackson is warning fans against a documentary debuting in Japan today from Marc Schaffel, a former business partner who had a major falling out with Jackson in a messy trial in which they sued each other four years ago.
In a statement sent to The Associated Press on Thursday, the estate says the film’s promoters “misled Michael Jackson’s fans” by making it appear as if it were authorized.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” the estate said. “His estate was not consulted on this film, and will not endorse it.”
The estate said none of the film’s proceeds go to the estate, which benefits his children, mother and charities. It also said the movie cannot legally use any of Jackson’s music.
Schaffel’s lawyer, Howard King, said Thursday that his client had licensed footage that Schaffel either shot himself or hired a crew to take for the film’s producer, Flamingo Features. He also said Schaffel never stated that his film was endorsed by the estate.
“Marc Schaffel could not have been more clear about the lack of involvement of the estate,” King said in an interview.
Schaffel provided footage from 2003 including of Jackson’s birthday party at his sprawling Neverland Ranch, and was in Tokyo for the premiere with Jackson’s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, King said.
King said the Japanese distributor, a company called Star Sands, may have mistakenly been promoting the film as authorized, but he said advertisements were being changed early Friday.