Michael Jackson Can't Be Thrilled by More Lawsuits

Actress who played his date in "Thriller," former publicist suing Jacko for money they say they owed

By Natalie Finn May 06, 2009 11:15 PMTags
Michael JacksonNationalphotogroup.com

The people Michael Jackson does business with won't stop till they get enough.

The much-sued King of Pop is the target of two new lawsuits, one that harks back to the making of Thriller, while the other is a reminder of his later, not-so-royal days.

First up, Ola Ray, the actress who played a cat-eyed Jackson's horrified date in the "Thriller" video, has filed suit against the singer, claiming she has never been paid royalties from her role in the 1983 classic.

"She just wants to get her fair share of payments from this extremely successful project that she's very proud of," Ray's attorney, Jason Feldman, told the New York Daily News Tuesday. "She did receive some payments early on, but we don't believe they were complete, and they were never timely."

Feldman didn't specify, but called the amount Ray is entitled to a "significant sum."

Jackson's former publicist has a particular amount in mind, however.

The comebacking star's longtime spokeswoman and personal general manager, Raymone Bain, has sued her former boss for $44 million, claiming she's owed at least that much for various deals she brokered for him over the five years they worked together.

Bain, who's since been replaced in Jackson's inner circle by new rep Dr. Tohme Tohme, filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., stating that, in addition to entrusting her to run nearly every aspect of his life, Jackson agreed to pay her 10 percent of the proceeds for the business transactions she oversaw, including the release of the 25th anniversary edition of Thriller and the negotiations that led up to the scheduling of his 50-date concert run in London.

But Bain still thinks Jackson's the greatest, she says, even though she's been forced to play hardball.

"Despite the action I have been compelled to take for professional and business reasons, when looking back, I have no regrets," she said in a statement Wednesday. "Michael Jackson, in my opinion, is the 'King of Pop.' "


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