*As infighting among the Jacksons take center stage, now comes word a couple of the brothers are upset over a recent press release put out by a former friend and publicist.
Despite promoting the Jackson brothers’ Unity 2012 tour, the release openly questioned whether the outing would be a success as well as whether the group could incite the same frenzy they experienced in past decades. According to Arthur Phoenix, simply known as “Phoenix,” the view expressed was not a personal attack on his clients, but strictly a professional opinion.
“I looked at the Jacksons from being absent from the music industry for so many years. I did not see or feel that they were capable of doing what they can do like they used to. I did not see the Jacksons being on top like the Jackson Five or the Jacksons used to be,” the PR consultant and author explained to EURweb’s Lee Bailey.
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Phoenix’s view of the Jacksons resulted in a heated phone conversation from two furious members of the celebrated clan.
“When the press release was out in the public I received a phone call and that call was from the Jacksons. The one who took the initiative to call me first when I answered the phone was Tito Jackson,” he revealed. “Tito Jackson called me up because he was upset about the press release and he was angry that I put the press release out. He started to use profanity and bad words over the phone while I was conversing with him. During the time that we were speaking, Jermaine was yelling in the background and he wanted to get on the phone and talk with me. He handed the phone to Jermaine and Jermaine got on the phone and his words to me was ‘You are not a Black man.’”
“And I said, ‘The last time I looked in the mirror I was a Black man. What do you mean by that?’ His words after that was ‘This is why all niggas are f*cked up because how can you do this to us if you claim to be our friend and someone like family to us? This is why Black people can’t stick together because they’re so busy taking one another down’” he continued. “I had no intention ever to take them down or hurt them. My job was speaking about my opinion on a professional level and a professional level only.
Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Phoenix
Phoenix’s fallout with the Jacksons comes amid reports of a family feud involving a missing Katherine Jackson, damaging tweets from Paris Jackson, a battle with the executors of Michael Jackson’s estate over what some in the family say is a fake will and, most recently, a video obtained by TMZ.com showing Janet Jackson confronting her niece Paris Monday (July 23) outside the Jackson family compound in Calabasas, CA.
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Regarding the Unity tour press release, Phoenix noted that Jermaine Jackson’s reaction transitioned in to a physical threat during their phone conversation.
“He explained that from what I had said in the press release, he got angry because I refused to be defeated on what he was telling me about Black people,” he recalled.” He got angry and said ‘Don’t let me see you on the street because when I do it’s gonna be over. It’s over for you if I see you on the street. It’s gonna be me and you on the street and I’m gonna kick your ass.’”
While he understands how upset the Jacksons are, Phoenix – who was also Tito’s manger at one point – wondered why he was singled out among other media outlets and believes all the drama stems from one motivating source.
“It’s geared towards money,” he said, adding that the family’s is “grasping at straws” with no legal leg to stand on regarding their battle with the attorneys handling Michael’s estate. I say that the Jacksons are, financially, in distress based upon all the lawsuits over the years that the Jackson members had to incur with lawyers suing them over concerts that they never kept they word on, other contractual agreements involving the five members, eight members, nine members from when Michael was living. Yeah, there are some financial hardships going on right now.”
EUR BONUS COVERAGE: Listen to an excerpt of Lee Bailey’s interview with Phoenix: