By Andrew Dalton, AP Entertainment Writer
Ten years ago, entertainment lawyer John Branca and Michael Jackson renewed the partnership that had brought the wealth and status of both men to new heights. Eight days later, Jackson would be dead. Yet his role in Branca’s life would only become larger.
Branca has represented his own pantheon of stars, but considered Jackson history’s greatest entertainer, and had guided him through some of his biggest moments including the King of Pop’s “Thriller” video, his “Bad” tour, and his acquisition of The Beatles’ song catalog.
“Michael and I in the 80s were quite the team,” Branca, now the co-executor of Jackson’s estate, said in an interview with The Associated Press from his Los Angeles office, where he reflected on the chaotic aftermath of Jackson’s death, the pile of debt that Jackson left, the deals that made his name skyrocket in value again, and challenges like the recent documentary “Leaving Neverland” that threatened to sink his reputation again.