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Michael Jackson Estate Seeks Book Deals, Family Aid

The temporary administrators put in charge of Michael Jackson's estate filed court papers Thursday seeking permission to sign publishing agreements and to also release some funds to Jackson's three children and his mother, Katherine.

The so-called Special Administrators, John Branca and John McClain, named by Jackson as

Michael Jackson
AP
Michael Jackson

executors in a 2002 will, are waiting to find out next month if they will be named permanent administrators of the estate.

In the meantime, the judge in the case is allowing them to come to court with immediate financial requests, as long as Katherine Jackson is made aware of those requests and given time to object.

In one filing Thursday, attorneys for Branca and McClain asked the court allow them to give some money from the estate to Jackson's beneficiaries--his children and his mother, saying those heirs had been completely dependent on Jackson for financial support.

"Other than social security benefits, which the Minor Children have not started to receive," the filing states, "the Minor Children currently have no other financial resources to provide for their care and support." It says that Katherine Jackson is only living on "extremely modest social security benefits".

Branca and McClain asked the judge to let them "pay a family allowance for the benefit of the Minor Children in order to ensure that the Minor Children's needs of maintenance and support are met." As of this evening, the judge had not approved such an allowance.

However, Judge Mitchell Beckloff did approve a request by the men to enter into agreements with various publishers to reprint the 1988 Jackson autobiography "Moonwalk".

The "significant deal terms" of those agreements were entered into court under seal.

Branca and McClain's attorneys wrote that time is of the essence, as one publisher which plans to release the reprint in France needs the contract signed by Friday in order to have the book out by August. Otherwise, it won't be released until September.

"The Special Administrators believe that it is in the best interest of the Estate for all book publishing agreements to be entered as soon as possible," says the filing, "as sales of the book and profits for the Estate will be maximized the sooner the book is released due to the notoriety surrounding Michael Jackson's unexpected death and the resulting heightened demand for such products."

The judge, who has said his main worry is making sure Jackson's three children are provided for, signed the order allowing new book contracts to be entered into immediately.