Court Documents Reveal Michael Jackson Was Over $500 Million In Debt At Time of Death

When Michael Jackson died of a cardiac arrest in 2009, his financials were apparently in complete “disarray” and was more than $500 million in debt. This is according to new court documents that were filed on Friday, June 21st, 2024 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court — nearly 15 years after exactly his death.

Jackson was known as a lucrative spender, and required a massive income in order to pay off his yearly $30 million debts. By 1997, he was already $140 million in debt. He was noted by the executors of his estate that he would spend large amounts of money on travel and luxurious items — especially jewelry. Furthermore, at the time of his death, he had more than a dozen lawsuits pending around the world. Clearly, things were not looking for the King of Pop financially. The executors stated that Jackson was simply “overwhelmed” by the amount of debt he was burdened with.

The night before his tragic death, Michael Jackson performed a grueling six-hour rehearsal at the Staples Center for his This Is It tour. He put his body through great strains to be able to be tour-ready, which included long hours and physical performances. This, combined with his insurmountable debt, put him and his body under great stress.

The executors were able to renegotiate a financial structuring of his debt with many creditors, reducing interest rates and preventing the loss of assets to the estate. This restructuring was also able to resolve a $40 million debt to concert promoter AEG, among many others.

The court filings have also revealed that the executors have resolved all matters involving the Jackson estate, including litigation. However, there are still tax and business-related ends to tie. This has effectively retained the image and legacy of Michael Jackson and his estate, not to mention his beneficiaries. His three children, Paris, Prince, and Bigi.