Source: Pool / Getty
It’s been eight years since Michael Jackson‘s untimely death and details about his last days are still emerging.
According to an investment banker who testified on Tuesday in a tax trial against the singer, MJ was on the verge of bankruptcy before his 2009 death and the IRS is taking on his estate for up to $1 billion in unpaid taxes. The IRS also claims the singer’s estate has undervalued assets, but overseers of Jackson’s estate say the artist was virtually worthless at the time of his death and was millions in debt.
The New York Daily News reports that investment banker David Dunn took the stand in U.S. Tax Court, testifying, “He was on the edge. He was desperately trying to figure out what he could do to address his financial crisis.” Dunn added that Jackson remained in a “very precarious situation” in early 2008 with more than $300 million in debt, out-of-control spending habits and his lavish Neverland Ranch near foreclosure.
He told the court, “We talked about his sadness in knowing he was never going to live in Neverland again. It was the culmination of the molestation allegations, the culmination of recognizing the financial situation he was in.” The teller also says he resigned in May 2009 because it was hard to tell “which way was up, which way was down,” and Jackson hadn’t paid him in two years, despite owing him some $300,000.
Jackson’s estate maintains the singer was so tarnished by his child molestation trial and media coverage of his eccentric personal life that his image was virtually worthless when he died. However, if the judge finds the King of Pop’s estate has undervalued assets, the long-awaited trial could lead to a whopping $1 billion tax bill for Michael.
20 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Michael Jackson
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1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
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2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
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3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like "Minnie Mouse."
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4. His middle name was Joseph - Michael Joseph Jackson.
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5. "Billie Jean" is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
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6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was "Ben" in 1972.
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7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
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8. Get this… The costumes for the "Thriller" video came from the Salvation Army.
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9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of "Smooth Criminal."
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10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
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11. Sources say MJ "borrowed" the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
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12. The original song title for "Thriller" was "Starlight."
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13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
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14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
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15. "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ's closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson's children.
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16. MJ's estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
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17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
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18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
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19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
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20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL's Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
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