Connect with us

Cascio Tracks

Infamous Jackson Relationship Extends Beyond Music to Marriage Amidst Pending Fraud Lawsuit

Published

on

Share Button
BREAKING NEWS – James Porte has married Marie-Nicole Cascio, the sister of collaborative partner Eddie Cascio, in a New Jersey wedding ceremony over the weekend.

The news of the marriage comes less than two months after Mr. Porte and Mr. Cascio were slapped with an explosive fraud lawsuit in June.

The lawsuit centres around the authenticity of a collection of songs that Porte and Cascio sold to Jackson’s estate four years ago – three of which were commercially released as genuine Jackson recordings.

Those three tracks – “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up” – featured as part of the Michael album, released by Sony Music in December 2010.

Physical and digital editions of Michael remain available for commercial consumption despite the pending lawsuit. The album is believed to have sold approximately 550,000 copies in the United States to date, and 2 million copies worldwide.

Since the release of the album in December 2010, myself and a team of dedicated researchers have been investigating the authenticity the tracks in question.

Porte and Cascio claim that the songs were recorded by Jackson in the Cascio family’s New Jersey basement in the fall of 2007. The findings of our investigation will ultimately be written and published as a book. (Update: it will now be presented as a podcast series.)

The Porte-Cascio wedding marks the first time Jackson fans have sighted Porte since the 2010 release of the Michael album.

In fact, Porte has not participated in any of the album’s promotional activities, including a segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show (on which the Cascio family did appear) and a promotional documentary published on the official Michael Jackson VEVO channel.

The Porte-Cascio wedding was a very ‘Jackson’ affair.

Photographs taken at the August 9, 2014 event show Porte giving a Michael Jackson dance performance with an entourage of backing dancers made up of wedding guests, including several of Porte’s new Cascio brothers in law.

On top of Porte-Cascio MJ performance, Frank Cascio uploaded a video of his brother, Dominic, dancing to Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”

Furthermore, at least two Jackson family members – Rebbie Jackson and Austin Brown – attended the wedding and reception.

In regards to the lawsuit, all parties have acknowledged it and have filed notice of appearance. There will be more written about it here as the developments unfold.

Porte, Cascio and their production company will be defended by Freedman & Taitelman, LLP in the fraud component of the lawsuit, while Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, LLP and Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP will jointly represent the Estate and Sony against the claims that they mislead consumers.


Damien Shields is the author of the book Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault examining the King of Pop’s creative process, and the producer of the podcast The Genesis of Thriller which takes you inside the recording studio as Jackson and his team create the biggest selling album in music history.
TheVault-DSBanner

Share Button
Continue Reading
42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. waldo

    August 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

    disgusting. it looks like a Michael convention.

    i remember Nicole used to be such a sweet kid.

    Shame on Rebbie for dragging her fat old tired arse there.

    • Shane Michaels

      August 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Leave Rebbie alone.

    • Jorday Fleming

      August 29, 2014 at 2:04 am

      That is uncalled for. Leave Rebbie alone. SMH…

  2. Denzel

    August 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    why would robbie and Austin go smh

  3. Tom Wollaert

    August 12, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Let’s not forget Porte was actively trying to remove what little online presence he had from the internet before we got to hear the Cascio tracks. A few days before “Breaking News” premiered someone (in all likelyhood him, or Frank Cascio, see below) cleared the “Bobby Ewing” biography from Last.fm, where names like Frank Dileo and Frank Tyson were mentioned.

    See here: http://www.last.fm/music/Bobby+Ewing/+wiki/history

    Frank Tyson is of course Frank Cascio, who had co-produced his untraceable “The Slideshow” debut album (which should include the poor “Private Dancer” song that can be found online) and co-wrote at least one Cascio track according to Cascio sympathizer Roger Friedman.

    Frank Cascio of course later tried to distance himself from these tracks so he could go on a press tour promoting his book, spouting lies like “it was the wrong mix of Breaking News!” when the French fans were obviously not having it (hint: there’s no such thing, it was always the same mix. See https://soundcloud.com/herpdaderp/breaking-news-mixmatch. Can you spot where I switch between the original stream version and the album version?)

    • Heath Claiborne

      August 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Damien, I really enjoy reading your articles. You are informative and talented. You have obviously invested much time and energy researching and staying networked to everything Jackson and more. Even every article photo illustration is carefully chosen. The photos alone are indicative of your talent and that you are discriminating in what you post.
      I will enthusiastically continue reading your website. I think it’s a wonderful contribution.
      Because I respect your work I feel obligated to be honest and candid. Posting others wedding photos feels a little over the line for me. Particularly someone that is not your friend or relative, or whose personal wedding images do not really have anything to do with this controversial situation in my opinion.
      I carefully considered the context: that Porte has distanced himself from the album, even disappeared for the last three years until now. But this article kind of feels like a stalker driving by a some girl’s house- I’m cringing LOL.
      It never helps with comments like above from Tom accusing Frank Cascio of “spouting lies.” I watched that book tour video where Frank gets bombarded but politely repeats repetitively that he had nothing to do with the tracks, that was his brother, and he was wanting to talk about the book. The man who would not stop hounding Frank in the video was abrasive, annoying, impolite, and acted like a moron. His persistence was inappropriate, and appeared to force embarrassed organizers to request fans to please ask questions about the book. Even if Frank did tell a lie, then his remark was under pressure, and it was a lie not a “spout of lies.” Even then, even if his defensive remark turned out to have any mistruth does not mean he was intentionally telling a lie. The man was attacking his brother.
      This is the way of the media and world today. Mob rule because of what they read or watch on the internet. The truth will gradually unfold in due and fair process without exaggerated remarks like from Tom. Whether or not the tracks turn out to be authentic or legit, or a combination of both, it is not affair to attack others with malicious remarks until all the facts come out.
      Damien, you have been professional and never made any unfair remarks that I am aware. You simply post facts. But some of the comments made by readers are irrational, twisted, or emotional to the degree some might think it is the behavior of cult-like cockhoo birds.
      Comments like Tom’s is probably why the wedding photos seem a little over zealous to me. I realize they were on Instagram, but I don’t think they lend anything to the diligence of finding the truth and protecting MJs legacy. With much Respect, Heath

      • Claudia

        August 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm

        Heath Claiborne

        I totally agree with your post. This wedding has nothing to do with the tracks!

  4. waldo

    August 13, 2014 at 12:06 am

    the article is fine Damien. kudos for blogging about it.

    I just hope that Rebbie and Austin were merely there to spy on proceedings because if they weren’t their presence is like approving the whole MICHAEL album fiasco happened.

    i don’t understand Nicole’s attraction to this Porte character. look at him. you dress up and dance like Michael at your own wedding !?!?

    who really is obsessed with Michael. the fans that followed him around the world or the friends and acquaintances he kept closer company with?

    Michael must be spinning.

    • Heath Claiborne

      August 13, 2014 at 6:27 am

      More nonsensical and malicious comments without posting their full real name. Mealy mouthed, half-cocked, spineless attacks while hiding behind a computer screen – the way of the internet generation.

  5. J.Leone

    August 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    The bodyguards who published their book, “Remember The Time”, confirmed that Michael worked on his music in the basement with the Cascios. THEY WERE THERE! I’ve never doubted that it was Michael singing on those songs. The Estate, unless you feel they are lying, used people who had worked with Michael for years to listen. THEY said they believed the vocals to be Michael. The Estate hired TWO forensic audiologists to compare the vocals on the songs with Michael’s previous works. They BOTH said the test results confirm that it was Michael’s voice. How much more proof do people need? I don’t get it.

    • Tina

      August 14, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      I TOTALLY agree with you, J. I’ve always believed that it’s Michael’s voice only on that album. He is no longer here to release his music the way he wanted…but I also believe that if he hadn’t wanted anything released after his death, he would’ve left instructions. We know he was very well known for making notes and writing on anything including behind paintings and under furniture! 🙂 And before anyone says how do we know if he left instructions, anything like that would have been leaked. Michael wasn’t stupid, he knew about releases after someone passes away….

    • Damien Shields

      August 15, 2014 at 6:42 am

      No one is denying Michael and his children were at their home during 2007. It’s a fact. They were. For a tad over 2 months. That’s not up for debate. Michael worked on Wanna Be Startin’ Something and For All Time for the Thriller 25 project in their home studio, too. That’s credited in the Thriller 25 booklet. No one is debating that either. It’s another fact. But saying Michael definitely recorded 12 additional songs in their basement just because he was there and because Eddie says so is like saying Michael definitely molested Wade Robson at Neverland because Wade Robson was at Neverland when he claims the alleged abuse took place.

      Regarding the Estate’s so-called “proof” – have YOU read those forensic reports? Do you know for sure they even exist? Have you spoken to people who were in the room during the “confirmation” that the vocals are Michael’s? Did they really say what’s being attributed to them? These are questions that need to be, and will be, answered. Vera Serova, the fan suing James Porte, Eddie Cascio, Angelikson Productions, Sony Music and the Estate has obtained two independent forensic reports that reject the hypothesis that Michael sings these songs. Michael’s family, including his brothers, sisters, parents and children reject the claims that Michael recorded these songs. A host of Michael’s fans, friends and former collaborators insist this is not Michael’s voice.

      So I don’t know about you, but the proof you said doesn’t really stand for much when you look at the other side of the argument. At the very least questions need to be asked and answers need to be given. Investigation needs to be done. And that’s exactly what I, and others, are continuing to do until we have all the pieces of this bizarre puzzle.

    • Mike Gunn

      August 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Jason Malachi, look this guy up on you tube J Leone, he is just one of many who can get quite close to MJs voice. I think long time MJ fans will be able to tell its not MJ. Its when you get to that high pitched angry mj voice like when mj sings “just wait til I get through because im bad, im bad….” that it becomes sus. No one can do that except MJ. Does the estate have acapellas of teh tracks on the Michael album because that would be more revealing?

      “TWO forensic audiologists “, what forensic method was used to determine it was MJ, if they were used at all? Was it by ear? If so that is subjective. I would like to see this forensic report if it exists at all.

    • Juve10

      August 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      I totally agree. I don’t understand this witchhunt against Cascio.

      • Damien Shields

        August 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm

        You don’t understand the need for answers to genuine questions regarding the potential defrauding of millions of Michael Jackson fans around the world with fabricated songs attributed to him? Should these kinds of questions be ignored and we just allow any old person who knew MJ to say he recorded 12 songs in their basement? I don’t understand your statement that you don’t understand.

        • Heath Claiborne

          August 21, 2014 at 8:23 am

          Not to split hairs, but it depends on what a “witch hunt” means.

          Witch hunt : the act of unfairly looking for and punishing people who are accused of having opinions that are believed to be dangerous or evil.
          : the searching out and deliberate harassment of those (as political opponents) with unpopular views

          It’s completely fair to question the legitimacy of the tracks, so seeking answers is not unfair. There are reasonable and legitimate concerns and questions raised that have not been fully or transparently answered.
          But like many instances of mob rule in media and society today, people cast their own judgements instead of allowing the judicial system play out. This is precisely what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri today. Basically a group of society does not trust the U.S. legal justice system, so many have made their own pre-determination and judgement before all facts have been released and considered.
          There is no doubt the Cascios have been punished and harassed on the internet before all facts have been exposed. That aspect fits the definition of a witch hunt.
          Without rehashing what we do know, I personally speculate that the truth is going to lie somewhere in the vast middle. I.e. it seems there is logical probability that there is some degree of cover up of something. It’s logical the estate does not want to discuss it. Same as the impersonator in the hologram. The estate has nothing to gain by “confessing” the details, so they hedge around the truth with evasive wording and media. Few really give a rat’s ass about the transparency of the hologram anyway.
          “Fabrication” is such a broad term. If an impersonator finished a line, or say partial lyrics were written without Jackson, or samples manipulated from previous MJ recordings …how fake is fake? There are plenty of gray areas. Many production techniques and audio processing used in studios today arguably create “fake” final recordings compared to the original vocal that came out if the singer’s mouth.

          • Damien Shields

            August 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

            “How fake is fake?” — How about having not written or recorded the songs in any way, shape or form? IF that is shown to be the case, the accusation of this being a witch hunt goes out the window. If these songs were not recorded by Michael Jackson, that makes James Porte and Eddie Cascio criminal conspirators. Remember, the first accusation was NOT the fans or Jackson family saying that Michael did not record these songs. No. The first accusation was James and Eddie saying that he DID record them. And when they made that claim, they did not prove it. Instead, Sony and the Estate took their word for it. Any other producer, engineer, songwriter or musician who has recorded Michael Jackson has the evidence to prove it. Porte and Cascio do not. And if they do, when the time came to present it in 2010, they did not do so. Fans cannot be accused of a witch hunt regarding this issue. This issue deserves all the scrutiny it receives and the truth will eventually be told.

          • Heath Claiborne

            August 21, 2014 at 11:08 am

            If IFS & BUTS were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. In the meantime, if people are going to blatantly accuse and demean before the all the facts are presented in due legal process, then it is a witch hunt. If they investigate and question, and pursue transparency and truth-no problem.
            If it turns out MJ did not write or record anything at all, that would be almost comically stupid and ballsy. I would be shocked, but you never know. Milli Vanilli might have to write the forward.

          • Damien Shields

            August 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm

            I better hit Milli Vanilli up for that foreword then. Although, how could I trust that it would really be THEM writing it? 😉 Haha.

          • Heath Claiborne

            August 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm

            Oh, that’s easy, Damien. If the copy begins to repeat over and over…”Girl you know it’s true”…
            Then you’ll know.

        • Juve10

          August 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm

          What I was trying to say is that people were defaming and vilifying Cascio based on accusations and nothing else. I don’t mind the search for “truth,” but it seems that the only “truth” some people will accept is the “truth” that those songs were “fake.” Unless there are proof that Cascio was dishonest, I think people should leave him alone.

  6. Orbyte

    August 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Is there still a chance that the book “A Truth Untold” will be coming out Damien?

    • Damien Shields

      August 15, 2014 at 6:43 am

      Yes. The project is still in the works.

      • Angie

        August 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm

        Damien I have a question. So do you believe that Michael Jackson never recorded any songs with the Cascios in 2007?

        Are you saying that MJ never even wrote or co-wrote any songs of the Cascio tracks?

        • Damien Shields

          August 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm

          I am saying there are serious questions here. These are serious accusations that require a serious investigation with serious and detailed explanation. The facts of the matter must be presented and put in context. So far this has not happened. One person who can tell you the truth is dead and the other two (Eddie and James) will certainly not tell you anything other than “this is Michael’s voice”. Are they telling the truth? A complete exposé of the facts will allow you to draw a conclusion yourself. That’s what I, and others, are working on at the moment – and have been for the last 3.5 years.

          • Angie

            August 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm

            Okay, but I want to know what is your opinion, do you believe that MJ never ever wrote, co-wrote any thing with the Cascios?

            I too know it’s not MJ’s voice at all, none what-so-ever on the ‘Michael’ album, but I want to know do you believe if MJ wrote or co-wrote with the Cascios?

          • Heath Claiborne

            August 22, 2014 at 4:21 am

            No, you don’t know, Angie. You FEEL. If you know then what does it matter what anyone else thinks.

          • Heath Claiborne

            August 22, 2014 at 5:14 am

            Let me further speculate. I feel like the vocals on these tracks were simply not finished. What I mean is they (Michael and anyone else in the basement) were still building the vocals/maybe lyrics out. If there were different segments of demo recordings, then even Michael could have had pitch off, particularly in the environment of a basement, practically in excile, broke, and no vocal coach or best engineers or normal patterns- completely out of his prepared and pampered element. As Bruce Swedien emphatically said, “The first thing I want to tell you is – no matter how good a song is, or how accomplished the musicians playing it are, a poorly done recording and mix of that song will leave you cold.”
            At some point Michael would have singed different parts. He was so brilliant at it he could create his own mini MJ chorus singing each part of a four part harmony: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. He would have typically double, even 4 stacked these tracks of harmonies in perfect pitch. I simply speculate they never finished them. They were segmented out parts in progress. Then Cascio would have been forced to construct segments himself. If the pitch and harmonies was not completed with Michael then they were screwed. That’s why the whole Melodyn/Autotunes/ processing thing comes into discussion because they would have been forced to pull all these pieces together. If the pitch was even off slightly you have to manipulate them. Maybe even bring in someone else to sing -who knows what the hell they could have done. It’s a perfectly plausible scenario. I hear the accusations about the absence of notes, outtakes, all that crap. I hear the cries about the lack of proof or response from the accused. I hear the cries about the greedy inept estate who screws up everything. I get it. I’m just pointing that I unfinished recordings seems as plausible as any other theories. Especially considering that he WAS in that basement. That alone seems crazy! He surely didn’t just sit around watching the Simpsons for 3 months.

          • Damien Shields

            August 22, 2014 at 6:51 am

            In THEORY it’s possible he wrote and sang all 12 of the Porte-Cascio tracks in their entirety. In theory it’s possible he co-wrote them and sang partial lyrics. In theory it’s also possible he did not write them at all and sang nothing. But I am not interested in theorising. The facts have to dictate the narrative. I think you’ll find the book veryyy interesting, Heath. And quite confronting, too. We’ve gone to great lengths to get to the bottom of this issue. That shall be my last comment on the matter here.

          • Heath Claiborne

            August 22, 2014 at 9:26 am

            I anticipate the pertinent questions will be answered and any coverups exposed.
            I just enjoy theorizing, and setting myself up for the big “I told you so,” or eating of crow. I like the mystery and speculation. Bring on the facts so I can maybe reaccess my theories. My feelings are of course based on the limited knowledge that has been available. I hope that your narrative does not lead down a road of obvious guilt but unprovable due to burden of proof (OJ Simpson)
            My issue has been that if one cannot prove the authenticy of the tracks , then how can you market the authenticy of the tracks without full disclosure? If two different parties of audio forensic teams supposedly have opposite opinions, then somebody is full of crap.

        • Damien Shields

          August 22, 2014 at 4:00 am

          I believe my opinion is irrelevant. I’m just the middle man. The messenger. I prefer to let the facts tell the story. When my book about this issue comes out all facts will be presented, in context, so you can see what really happened.

          P.S. There are only three songs on the ‘Michael’ album whose origins are under scrutiny here: “Breaking News”, “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up”. All seven other tracks on that album are absolutely, beyond any doubt, Michael Jackson songs.

          • Angie

            August 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm

            Well, I don’t believe at all that your opinion is irrelevant, I’m in total agreement with you. I do not believe any of the songs are by MJ, nor co-written by him, on the ‘Michael’ album to be honest. I just don’t think that MJ would of did work with the Cascios, they were just his friends and a second family to him, that’s it, but to do co-write music or sing songs for them, no.

            The only song I believe is Michael’s on the ‘Michael’ album, is the one you actually hear his voice in, ‘Hold My Hand’.

            I believe every one of those songs by the Cascios are only the Cascio’s work, not MJ’s at all. I don’t think he would of co-wrote any music with them. This is my opinion. As you said, I don’t think MJ would of wrote a song like ‘Monster’ about himself, the Casicios maybe thought MJ was a monster, or thought that others saw MJ as a monster, and that’s why they came up with that song.

            Also the silly songs like “Breaking News” and ‘Keep your Head Up’. They made ‘Breaking News’ because they know that there’s always news about MJ, etc., they made that song, not MJ. And I don’t believe MJ would of named a song such as ‘Keep your head Up’, lol, MJ didn’t speak that way first of all, sounds more like a rappers song title.

            And the song ‘Burn Tonight’ seems to me that it’s in reference to MJ’s 1984 Pepsi burn, and it’s a mockery song. MJ would never write something like that. Also seeing that the Cascios meet MJ during the time MJ was burned in 1984, makes me believe they made that song ‘Burn Tonight.

            I’m in agreement with you 100% about these Cascios. To me for some reason I see this phoniness underneath them. I see meanness that shines through their cover up. I see it in the father, and some of the boys, especially Eddie, even when he was a little boy, I seen this meanish expression on his face like he’s disgusted or something.

            Just because they were a very good friend to MJ, and MJ considered them as a second family, that doesn’t mean they are not eligible to do MJ any harm. Just listen to MJ’s 1992 ‘Glenda Calls’ when he was speaking with Glenda’s husband, in which Glenda’s husband asked Michael who hurt him the most, and MJ answered was “People that’s closet to me”.

            MJ also said during an 2003 home interview with Brett Ratner “Not to trust everybody”, which was his greatest lesson learned. And I believe that the Cascios fit MJ’s category of not to be trusted – after he died.

            And just look at Wade Robson, on how he turned on MJ as soon as he died. When MJ was alive he was taking up for MJ in interviews, etc., now that he’s gone, the true him came out. Money talks. And I feel that the Casicos are the same way. The Casicos actually remind me of Wade Robson for some strange reason.

            Money talks. If the Casicos wanted to make money with their own records, but haven’t made much or none at all, or just wanted to make more, to them it was worth lying and saying that MJ co-wrote and sang songs on the ‘Michael’ album, especially with the pressure of Sony and John Branca who probably are very good convincers to get them to lie and make up songs and say it was co-written by MJ.

            The Cascios are liars. If they can lie about saying that it was 100% Michael Jackson on the ‘Michael’ album, they can lie about anything. There’s no demos, or written lyrics, recordings, absolutely nothing as evidence that MJ wrote these songs, because they are liars, they wrote all these songs, and had a voice alike of MJ sign the songs.

            Why should we believe anything they say if they lied about the ‘Michael’ album being 100% MJ? Sorry, but the Cascios can’t be trusted, they’re liars and they know it.

            The only songs MJ did while at the Cascio home in 2007 were the songs like ‘Hold My Hold’, and the songs for Thriller 25. I don’t believe MJ co-wrote or sang any songs with these Cascio brothers. If he did, I really believe they would have been released a long time ago, as badly as the Cascios wanted to make songs and produce, these songs would of been released long ago. But MJ never did any songs with them, not one, no co-writing, no singing, nothing. Nothing but a bunch of lies, plain and simple. My opinion.

            Damien I think you are a true blessing to the fans. Can’t wait to read your book, you’re the best. Keep up the good work! You’re awesome. You’re a hero to the MJ fans. MJ would be very proud.

            My fans are activists. They will fight you for me. ~ Michael Jackson.

          • Heath Claiborne

            August 23, 2014 at 1:51 am

            Oh boy I’m not as gracious as Damien. I’ll assume those comments were from a younger person. Unfortunately the internet is flooded with nonsense like that from grown adults.
            You ought to see my childhood photos. I would have predicted I would have turned out a serial killer. I’m glad she agrees with you Damien HaHa #putwordsinonesmouth

  7. J.Leone

    August 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Well, that lawsuit that woman is pursuing, seems to me as just another vulture looking for a payout. So, the bodyguards said that they heard Michael in the basement working on music. So, they are witnesses that music was being made. What bothers me more than anything, is if, indeed, these are “really” Michael, then because of all the accusations we will never get to hear the other nine. I would believe the forensic science of comparing Michael’s vocals over the human ear.

    Here is a brief description of Michael’s stay at the Cascio’s from the bodyguards’ book:

    “Bill: Mr. Jackson was also using that time to work on his music. Angel Cascio had that studio in the basement, and the two of them would spend hours down there.”

    I don’t think the Cascios would betray their friend of twenty-five years. Michael loved them dearly because they gave him stability by treating him like a family member; the stability that he didn’t have with his own family members. However, as you say, money talks, and talks, and talks…. I hope they did not betray that trust and love that Michael had for them.

    In the bodyguards’ book, Bill Whitfield recalled a conversation he had with Michael in an elevator. Michael was getting ready to move to LA to begin the rehearsals for, “This is It”. Here is their conversation.

    This was a particularly sad conversation from the book. There were so many that betrayed Michael. Here is that conversation remembered by Bill Whitfield:

    “I could see the stress getting to him. There was this weight just coming down on his shoulders. I remember a conversation we had at the Palms. I’d just driven him back to the hotel, and we were in the elevator headed up to his room. We were coming from a meeting where he’ finalized some deal. Probably it was those loan papers,something big. And as we rode up in the elevator, he had this look on his face. It was like he was getting himself ready for something he knew was about to happen, something he was dreading. He said, “You weren’t here before, Bill, so you haven’t seen it yet. But you’re going to.”

    “Haven’t seen what, sir?”

    “the vultures,” he said. “they’re going to start coming now. Everybody is gong to want something, and nobody is going to trust anybody else. You’re about to see the ugliness in people Just wait.”

    • Damien

      August 31, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Your argument proved absolutely nothing, unfortunately. No one is denying MJ worked on music in the Cascio basement. To do so would be to ignore the facts. The fact is that Michael worked on WBSS2008 and For All Time for Thriller 25 in their basement. That is credited in the Thriller 25 booklet. The fact that he was down there working on music is beyond question. It’s confirmed. But did he record 12 additional NEW songs on top of the Thriller 25 material? THAT is the question being asked.

      And to call the fan lawsuit a vulture seeking payout is completely ridiculous. This is about Michael’s artistic legacy and seeking the truth regarding what is and is not part of his discography.

      • Heath Claiborne

        September 2, 2014 at 4:46 am

        And WBSS2008 is awful. Ridiculous too muddled and bassy with Akon nauseating voice on top. Does indeed sound like a thrown together basement track.
        Speaking of , am I the only one who wants to hurl vomit and decorate a studio like a a horrendous Ed Hardy shirt when I hear Akon and Rodney Jerkins take liberty to give themselves spoken credits: “AKAAAHN and mj” on HMH, and “Daaaawkchiiild” on Xscape
        So small and cheesy

  8. J.Leone

    September 1, 2014 at 6:37 am

    “And to call the fan lawsuit a vulture seeking payout is completely ridiculous. This is about Michael’s artistic legacy and seeking the truth regarding what is and is not part of his discography.”

    Ok. If they are fake, and the fans who bought the CD were deceived, how much money can I expect to get? I bought more than one copy, so will I get money for each copy I purchased? I want to be sure that I get what I deserve for the deception.

    I’m being sarcastic of course. If this woman is doing it for Michael’s legacy,and the songs are proven to be fake, then it would definitely be a good thing. I just wonder what effect this would have on the executors if they purposely lied about all they did to confirm that it was Michael? Could they be relieved of their duties?

    I don’t know anything about this woman, or why she waited several years to decide to file a suit. I do honestly hope that her intentions ARE honorable and it is being done for Michael’s legacy.

    I haven’t been following the conversation about your book, so I’m curious as to how you are getting the information for it? How are you privy to the information that seemingly no one else is?

    As to your comment about Robson, that is an utterly ridiculous comparison. Especially since Robson had nothing but praise for Michael until his death, which leads us back to the “money talks” conversation again. As Michael sang:

    They’d do me for the money
    They don’t care
    They use me for the money

    Time will tell, I guess. I, for one, would like to have a definitive answer about the songs so all this controversy could be put to bed.

  9. zeboulon

    September 5, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I support you 100%, Damian.
    I’ve been a fan since 1983 and I trust my ears because I have probably spent an entire YEAR with MJ’s voice since then.
    Those tracks are so weird. It’s even like if Porte/Others sang without that hard vocal processing it would have sounded even more like MJ.
    Even when Adam Levine sang as MJ doing Sesame Street the other day sounded more like MJ.

  10. Heath Claiborne

    September 6, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Adam Levine sounded like Adam Levine doing an impersonation. C’mon.
    Why is it I’ve been DJing for years, and I consider myself fairly discriminating and MJ knowledgable but I’m not certain of the audio, some experts are not certain, but so many fans are so emphatically zealous to the point they some even attack personally with ad hominem names and the like. More than the actual recording, I see more questions raised based on facts surrounding the controversy (I.e documentation, lack of response from those responsible, etc.)

    • J.Leone

      September 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      I had to laugh, Heath. I missed the first part of who Adam was impersonating, and when I heard him, I thought he was doing Stevie Wonder! LOL! I’m sure it was not random that “Sesame Street” was chosen for Michael. Fallon was all over himself laughing about it. It was just another dig at Michael’s expense.

  11. J.Leone

    September 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    It is strange that Michael’s sister and nephew would show up for the wedding when the family has basically said Eddie Cascio and Porte are liars.

    I wonder if Michael’s children’s trust funds will ever be fully funded?. It seems there is just one lawsuit after another which imposes large expenses on The Estate. Every lawsuit means that more money is deducted from the children’s inheritance.

    I read where Guy Laliberté said that, “Immortal” has not made much of a profit due to production costs. “Immortal” just ended its tour, and it was announced that it was the eighth largest grossing tour of all time, but there wasn’t any information written about the net profit. Once again, Michael’s children lose, but hopefully the mere fact that the tour was taken all over the world, will keep Michael in the public eye- especially for the generations coming up who only now know of Michael because of his music, videos, and shows such as, “Immortal” and “ONE”.

  12. F.man

    June 7, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Guys .. It seems crazy .. but … Maybe Mike collaborated with Malachi to make these songs !! … Mike is prankster !! …

    Why would Sony and the estate release weird songs even though they have invincible era songs and Will.i.am songs???

    There’s a hoax ..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cascio Tracks

Court Date Set in Supreme Court Battle Over Legal Right to Sell Alleged Michael Jackson Forgeries

Published

on

Share Button
Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson will again fight for their right to sell alleged forgeries as authentic Jackson songs in an oral argument set to be heard by the Supreme Court of California on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

The hearing centres around a class action lawsuit filed by Californian consumer Vera Serova, who purchased the Michael album – released by Sony and Jackson’s estate in 2010 – under the premise that it was a collection of unreleased songs recorded by pop star Michael Jackson.

In her lawsuit, Serova alleges that three of the songs on Michael are forgeries – sung by an impostor vocalist – and that she, along with millions of fans around the world, were misled when the pop star’s estate and record company falsely represented the tracks as authentic Jackson material in the album’s product labelling and advertising.

The three songs in question – “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up” – were produced by Jackson associates Eddie Cascio and James Porte and are known as the ‘Cascio tracks’.

Cascio, Porte and their production company are also included in the lawsuit – sued by Serova for fraud. The May 24 hearing will not deal with their culpability.

The lawsuit has been in the California court system for almost eight years, since June 2014. For six of those years, Sony and the Estate have argued that it is their constitutional right to sell forgeries under the First Amendment – the right to free speech – and they should therefore not be liable in this case.

In a 2016 hearing, Sony lawyer Zia Modabber argued that if anyone were to be held liable, it should be Cascio and Porte, because they sold the songs to Sony and the Estate under the premise that they were authentic.

After several rulings and subsequent appeals from both sides in the lower courts, the Supreme Court of California will finally decide whether Sony and the Estate should face the music in this case.

If Sony and the Estate can successfully convince the Supreme Court that they should indeed be able to sell forgeries as authentic Jackson material, they will be removed from the case – once and for all.

And if plaintiff Serova prevails, the corporations may be forced to decide between settling the case – which would involve dissociating Jackson from the songs and removing them from record stores and streaming platforms around the world – or defending their actions at trial.

Serova’s position is supported by several consumer advocacy groups and government branches, including the California Attorney General.

In a press release issued on January 29, 2021, the AG said:

“Products must deliver on their claims. If someone buys an album from a recording artist, they should expect that the songs on the album were made by that artist unless noted otherwise… We must hold companies accountable to stand by their products. Companies have a First Amendment right to communicate, but their claims must be informed and accurate.”

Sony is supported by the First Amendment Coalition.

Counsel for both sides will present their oral arguments remotely via video link, while the public will be able to stream the hearing live via the judicial branch website.

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding Sony and the Estate’s liability, the fraud component of Serova’s lawsuit against Cascio, Porte and their production company will move forward.

At that time, Serova will finally be able to add the alleged singer of the forgeries, Jason Cupeta, as a defendant to her lawsuit. 

Cupeta is Deputy Sheriff at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office who goes by the artistic pseudonym Jason Malachi.

Serova first informed the court of her intention to add Cupeta in a March 2018 filing, but has been unable to complete this process due to the case being stayed pending the outcome of the oral arguments set to be heard by the Supreme Court on May 24.

A podcast series detailing my investigation of this case, called Faking Michael, is currently in production. Subscribe to Faking Michael on Apple PodcastsSpotify or YouTube to be notified when episodes are released.


Damien Shields is the author of the book Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault examining the King of Pop’s creative process, and the producer of the podcast The Genesis of Thriller which takes you inside the recording studio as Jackson and his team create the biggest selling album in music history.
TheVault-DSBanner

Share Button
Continue Reading

Cascio Tracks

First Amendment Coalition to Support Sony and the Jackson Estate in Fake Songs Lawsuit

Published

on

Share Button
There has been yet another twist in the class action lawsuit filed by Californian consumer Vera Serova against Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson regarding three allegedly fake songs commercially released on the 2010 Michael album.

In documents filed with the California Supreme Court yesterday, an organisation called The First Amendment Coalition has requested permission to file an amicus brief in support of Sony and the Estate’s purported constitutional right to sell fake songs as authentic Michael Jackson material.

FAC’s request comes after four separate amici were filed in support of plaintiff Serova by several consumer protection groups along with the California Attorney General’s Office.

All previously filed briefs support Serova’s assertion that this is a straightforward case of false advertising, and that billion-dollar corporations should not be able to commercially label fake art as authentic.

They also assert that by filing an anti-SLAPP motion against Serova, Sony and the Estate misappropriated a statute which is supposed to protect the general public against the limitless resources of wealthy corporations, and to prevent those corporations from intimidating the public into abandoning legal action against them.

Nine consumer protection organisations stated in a joint filing that Sony and the Estate have misused the anti-SLAPP statute to achieve the exact opposite of its intended purpose.

But according to documents filed yesterday, The First Amendment Coalition believes that if the Supreme Court rules in plaintiff Serova’s favour, and if a precedent is set that Sony and the Estate cannot sell fake songs as authentic Jackson material, it could have “significant implications for many different First Amendment contexts beyond the particular circumstances of this case.”

In this case, Sony asserts that they should not be held accountable for the statements made on the Michael album cover and in their television commercial, because those statements were “noncommercial” in nature. Rather, they argue, those statements are merely their contribution to the ongoing public debate about whether the vocals on three of the songs were authentic or fake, and that this makes it free speech under the First Amendment.

FAC has indicated that they will stand with Sony on this matter.

According to the mission statement published on their website, FAC is a nonprofit public interest organisation dedicated to “advancing free speech” and “public participation in civic affairs.”

By definition, public participation in civic affairs is a process in which members of society take collective action to address issues of public concern.

This begs the question: Is the definition of FAC’s mission more appropriately applied to a multi-billion dollar corporation’s purported right to claim that a commercial product is legit, when in fact it is fake? Or to a member of the public who seeks to take collective action to address the issue of that multi-billion dollar corporation falsely advertising that same product to millions of unwitting consumers?

Despite Sony and the Estate’s best efforts to stop her, the plaintiff in this case (Miss Serova) is a member of society who is attempting to take collective action (by filing a class action lawsuit) to address an issue of public concern (that a corporation may be defrauding consumers).

Moreover, FAC’s mission statement also claims to advocate for a “more open and accountable government” and “the people’s right to know”.

It should be noted that the Californian government is in fact advocating for openness and accountability and for the public’s right to know in this case – on behalf of the plaintiff, against the billion-dollar corporation that has conceded in its legal arguments to have ripped her off.

For the purposes of this proceeding, defendants Sony and the Estate have stipulated that the songs in question are indeed fake. And while their exact arguments aren’t due to be filed with the court until March 10, 2021, in the context of the defendants’ concessions, FAC could, in theory, be perceived to be advocating in favour of fraudulent representation of forged art, rather than for openness and accountability and the people’s right to know.

In a press release issued on January 29, 2021, the California Attorney General said:

“Products must deliver on their claims. If someone buys an album from a recording artist, they should expect that the songs on the album were made by that artist unless noted otherwise… We must hold companies accountable to stand by their products. Companies have a First Amendment right to communicate, but their claims must be informed and accurate.”

More to come when FAC files their amicus brief.

A podcast series called Faking Michael is in the works, detailing a decade-long investigation of this case. You can subscribe to Faking Michael on Apple PodcastsSpotify and YouTube.


Damien Shields is the author of the book Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault examining the King of Pop’s creative process, and the producer of the podcast The Genesis of Thriller which takes you inside the recording studio as Jackson and his team create the biggest selling album in music history.
TheVault-DSBanner

Share Button
Continue Reading

Cascio Tracks

Californian Government Joins Fraud Lawsuit Against Sony Music and Jackson Estate

Published

on

Share Button
The California state government has officially joined a class action lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s estate and record company.

In a press release issued yesterday, the state’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, accuses Sony of “shirking responsibility” for making “false and misleading claims” about a posthumously released Michael Jackson album, and then declaring ignorance of their misrepresentation.

The Attorney General also filed an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court, urging them to intervene in the case of Serova vs Sony Music Entertainment, et al., for fear that “broad, destabilising consequences for well-established false advertising principles,” could be felt if it did not take action and rectify a problematic Appeals Court decision in the case.

The lawsuit at the centre of the amicus brief was filed almost 7 years ago. The suit alleges that Sony Music and the Jackson Estate misled consumers when they commercially released the Michael album, comprising 10 tracks, in December 2010.

The plaintiff in the case, Vera Serova, insists that three of the 10 tracks on Michael are part of an elaborate artistic fraud masterminded by co-defendants Eddie Cascio and James Porte, who sold the tracks to Jackson’s Estate for millions of dollars after the superstar’s death. 

Serova alleges that those three tracks, known as the Cascio tracks, are fakes sung by an impostor. And she’s not alone.

Months before the album was released, members of the Jackson family warned Sony and the Estate regarding the Cascio tracks, insisting that they were fakes and should not be released. One of the Estate’s co-executors, John McClain, agreed with the Jackson family.

In response, Sony issued a press release stating that they had “complete confidence in the results of their extensive research” that the vocals were authentic. The company then released the album, including three Cascio tracks, against the family’s wishes.

Sony even went as far as to explicitly inscribe on the album cover that the vocals on all the album’s tracks were “performed by Michael Jackson.”

But despite Sony’s repeated assurances that the vocals were legit, when Jackson’s fans got their hands on the album and heard the Cascio tracks for themselves, a huge controversy ensued. Thousands upon thousands of fans around the world instantly rejected them as fakes.

Ironically, this very controversy – which Sony itself created by releasing the Cascio tracks – is one of the many points the company has since tried to raise as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Sony says that because thousands of people were questioning the authenticity of the vocals, the company’s claim that Jackson sang them was not commercial in nature, but merely their non-commercial contribution to the ongoing authenticity debate.

But the Attorney General argues that Sony’s logic is absurd. The fact that there were questions over the vocals, the AG says, only increased Sony’s need be sure that the songs were indeed authentic if they intended on claiming they were:

“Questions about the authenticity of songs allegedly recorded by Michael Jackson shortly before his death naturally led to significant interest and debate among fans, members of the media, and the public more generally. That level of interest made it all the more important for Sony to provide accurate information about the songs to consumers.”

The AG added: “It would seriously frustrate the State’s interest in combating false or misleading advertising to immunise a seller from liability merely because its claims bear some relation to a matter of public interest or a public figure.”

Moreover, the Attorney General completely rejects Sony’s claims that their speech wasn’t commercial in nature.

Because the album cover explicitly stated that the songs were “performed by Michael Jackson,” Sony was bound to that statement as being the truth, and could be held liable under consumer protection laws if it were proven otherwise.

“A seller’s description of a product on a label or in an advertisement is a classic form of commercial speech. Thus, assuming Serova’s allegations are true, application of California’s false advertising statutes fully comports with the First Amendment.”

In the press release issued yesterday to alert the media of the California state government’s support of Serova’s lawsuit, Attorney General Becerra said: 

“Products must deliver on their claims. If someone buys an album from a recording artist, they should expect that the songs on the album were made by that artist unless noted otherwise… We must hold companies accountable to stand by their products. Companies have a First Amendment right to communicate, but their claims must be informed and accurate.”

Sometime in mid-February the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is due to join the California Attorney General and the nine other consumer protection groups already supporting Serova’s case. No amicus brief has been filed in support of Sony or the Jackson Estate.

A date for the oral hearing of these briefs is yet to be set.

A podcast series called Faking Michael is in the works, detailing a decade-long investigation of this case. You can subscribe to Faking Michael on Apple PodcastsSpotify and YouTube.


Damien Shields is the author of the book Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault examining the King of Pop’s creative process, and the producer of the podcast The Genesis of Thriller which takes you inside the recording studio as Jackson and his team create the biggest selling album in music history.
TheVault-DSBanner

Share Button
Continue Reading

Subscribe to Podcast

Articles

Cascio Tracks2 weeks ago

Court Date Set in Supreme Court Battle Over Legal Right to Sell Alleged Michael Jackson Forgeries

Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson will again fight for their right to sell alleged forgeries as authentic...

Creative Process7 months ago

Invincible, ‘Xscape’ and Michael Jackson’s Quest for Greatness

Below is a chapter from my book Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault, revised for this article. The full book...

Creative Process7 months ago

‘Blue Gangsta’ and Michael Jackson’s Fascination with America’s 20th Century Underbelly

Below is a chapter from my book Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault, revised for this article. The full book...

Creative Process7 months ago

Michael Jackson Meets America in Invincible Album Outtake ‘A Place With No Name’

Below is a chapter from my book Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault, revised for this article. The full book...

Cascio Tracks1 year ago

First Amendment Coalition to Support Sony and the Jackson Estate in Fake Songs Lawsuit

There has been yet another twist in the class action lawsuit filed by Californian consumer Vera Serova against Sony Music...

Cascio Tracks1 year ago

Californian Government Joins Fraud Lawsuit Against Sony Music and Jackson Estate

The California state government has officially joined a class action lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s estate and record company. In a...

Creative Process1 year ago

Love Never Felt So Good and Michael Jackson’s Work with Paul Anka

The following is based on a chapter from my book, first released in 2015 as Xscape Origins and re-issued in...

Cascio Tracks1 year ago

Fake Michael Jackson Songs Lawsuit Boosted by Support from Consumer Protection Groups

A legal quest for justice over a posthumous Michael Jackson album including 3 allegedly-fake songs has received a serendipitous boost...

Creative Process2 years ago

The Genesis of Thriller – A Michael Jackson Podcast Documentary

Taking listeners inside the recording studio with Michael Jackson and his production team, The Genesis of Thriller tells the story...

Cascio Tracks2 years ago

Sony and Jackson Estate Not Off the Hook in Fake Songs Case

The California Supreme Court today granted review of an ongoing lawsuit centred around the alleged forgery of three songs attributed...

Trending

Copyright © 2022 DamienShields.com. All rights reserved.