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

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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.
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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 ..

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Cascio Tracks

Producer Teddy Riley Comes Clean Regarding Fake Songs From Posthumous Michael Jackson Album

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Legendary producer Teddy Riley has spoken out against the controversial Michael Jackson album he worked on after the pop star’s death, claiming that he believes some of the tracks he was asked to remix for the project are fakes, but that he was “pushed” to say they were authentic.

“I just hope that the truth comes to light because it was never proven to me that it was Michael’s voice,” said Riley in a bombshell video published today by hard-hitting pop culture interviewer DJ Vlad for Vlad TV.

The songs in question, known as the Cascio tracks, were provided to Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson by the pop star’s longtime friend Eddie Cascio and his collaborative partner James Porte.

Cascio and Porte claim that Jackson recorded 12 songs in Cascio’s basement shortly before his death. Three of those songs – “Keep Your Head Up,” “Breaking News” and “Monster” – were included on the Michael album in December 2010.

Riley, who worked extensively with Jackson throughout his life, remixed “Breaking News” and “Monster” for the posthumous project.

Initially, Jackson’s family gave Riley their blessing to work on the project. Michael’s nephew, Taryll Jackson, even joined Riley in the studio.

But upon hearing the Cascio tracks, Taryll believed the vocals were sung by an impostor.

When the rest of the Jackson family heard them, they felt the same way, taking to social media to denounce the Cascio tracks as fakes.

Amidst all the controversy, Riley and Cascio appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s talkshow, where they both insisted the vocals were the real deal.

But when interviewer DJ Vlad asked Riley about it, the producer made the explosive claim that he was forced to say the vocals were authentic:

“I was influenced and pushed to say the things that were said.”

The producer went on to explain that he initially demanded proof regarding the authenticity of the vocals, but that no such proof was ever presented.

“They would not prove it to me,” says Riley.

Riley also says that Jackson’s nephew, Taryll, encouraged him to distance himself from the tracks, but that Riley felt too intimidated by those in control of the project to do so.

“I felt I was dealing with some high, powerful people. And I didn’t want no problems at all.”

Riley explains that his decision to continue working on the Cascio tracks ultimately cost him his friendship with Taryll.

“I was like, Taryll, I already got paid. What do you expect me to do? And he stopped speaking to me for a while. And I was like damn, I lost my friend over this.”

Riley said that to be involved in another Michael Jackson project in the future, he would need proof that the vocals were authentic, and for the Jackson family to be on board and involved.

“[Michael] is their family. This is their brother, their son, their uncle,” said Teddy.

“I will not move until I have their blessing. But this time I want a real blessing. I’m not talking about money. I want a real blessing from the family.”

Riley also took the opportunity to apologise to fellow producer Quincy Jones.

During the interview, DJ Vlad reminded Riley that back in 2010, Riley accused Jones of being too old to know the difference between the real Michael Jackson and a fake Michael Jackson.

“My apologies, my apologies,” said Riley to Jones in the video. “I always wanted to say that, because Quincy is someone I look up to… He’s a guy that I worship as my idol.”

Riley’s interview with Vlad TV comes just months after Sony Music and the Michael Jackson Estate abandoned the Cascio tracks.

As part of the settlement of a consumer fraud lawsuit filed against them over the Michael album, Jackson’s estate and Sony removed the three commercially-released Cascio tracks – “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up” – from streaming platforms around the world.

The corporations have also re-pressed the physical CD of the Michael album without the Cascio tracks, and are now selling the amended version via the official Michael Jackson shop online.

For those of you who are interested, a podcast series called Faking Michael, detailing the findings of my 12-year investigation of the Cascio tracks, is currently in production. Subscribe via 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.
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Huge Win for Michael Jackson Fan as Supreme Court Rejects Sony’s Free Speech Defense in “Fake” Songs Lawsuit

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Two ‘get out of jail free’ cards, used by lawyers for Sony to avoid facing the music in a consumer fraud lawsuit, were ripped to shreds by the California Supreme Court on Thursday last week.

As part of their ruling, the court determined that the description on a posthumous Michael Jackson album cover was indeed commercial speech — not free speech, as lawyers for Sony and Jackson’s estate had argued — and that consumers have a case if false or misleading statements were made in the description.

The unanimous ruling sets an important precedent for the protection of California consumers in cases of alleged fraud moving forward.

This case

The controversy centers around an album titled Michael, released 18 months after Michael Jackson’s death by his estate and Sony Music Entertainment.

Prior to the album’s December 2010 release, members of Jackson’s family claimed that three songs on Michael  — “Breaking News,” “Keep Your Head Up” and “Monster” — were fakes, with vocals sung by a Jackson impersonator.

But Sony and Jackson’s estate insisted the songs, which they acquired from the pop star’s friend Eddie Cascio and his collaborative partner James Porte, were the real deal.

The songs are known as the ‘Cascio tracks’.

In response to the controversy, Estate attorney Howard Weitzman said he’d conducted an “exhaustive investigation” during which a host of Jackson’s former producers had listened to the Cascio tracks and confirmed that the vocals were “definitely Michael”. 

But several of those producers dispute Weitzman’s version of events. You’ll hear their stories in an upcoming podcast series called Faking Michael.

Nevertheless, based on the purported findings of Weitzman’s investigation, Sony asserted their “complete confidence” in the authenticity of the Cascio tracks.

With the authenticity a matter of conjecture, fan Vera Serova relied on Sony and the Estate’s assurances — that the tracks on Michael were indeed sung by Jackson — when she decided to buy the album.

Further convincing Serova to hand over her money was the product description printed on the reverse side of the album cover. It stipulated that the vocals were “performed by Michael Jackson”.

But as evidence contradicting the official story emerged, Serova began to believe she’d been duped.

And so she hired a world-renowned forensic audiologist, who conducted a groundbreaking scientific examination of the vocals on the Cascio tracks. His opinion: the vocals weren’t Michael’s.

That forensic examination was the catalyst for what became an eight-year David versus Goliath legal battle, culminating in Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling.

Corporations can’t sell fake art as the real deal

“Relief has long been available in California to unwitting purchasers of imitation art who relied on false representations about authenticity” said the court in their 45-page opinion. 

“If Sony’s assertion that Jackson contributed lead vocals affects consumers’ experience of Michael, this illustrates how misrepresentations about an artist’s contributions can harm consumers in ways that matter to them.”

Executive director of the Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice, Ted Mermin, who supported Serova in her battle with Sony, said:

“If we are buying an album that is marketed as being the songs of Michael Jackson, it had better have the songs of Michael Jackson.”

As well as setting an important legal precedent protecting California consumers, the court’s ruling inadvertently protects artists. 

Based on the ruling, there is no plausible excuse for falsely attributing fake works to famous artists. This puts songs on par with paintings and sculptures when it comes to outlawing art forgery.

The ruling is a huge win for creatives, whose reputation — and therefore livelihood and legacy — could be at stake if corporations were free to commercially exploit pastiches under their name.

“Misleading attributions on a record jacket might not only confuse consumers […] but also harm a performer’s reputation,” the court’s ruling states.

But what happens if a corporation sells a forgery without knowing it’s a forgery? This was also covered in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Sony’s ‘lack of knowledge’ defense

Sony’s purported ‘lack of knowledge’ was raised by the corporation itself in a 2016 petition to be removed from Serova’s lawsuit.

At the time, lawyers for Sony and the Estate volunteered to argue their case based on the notion that the Cascio tracks were fakes, but that they ‘didn’t know’ at the time they released them back in 2010.

It should be made clear that this wasn’t an ‘admission’ that the Cascio tracks are indeed fake. Rather, it was their way of arguing that ‘even if’ the tracks are fake, they’ve done nothing wrong by selling them to fans as authentic Jackson material.

In a December 2016 trial court hearing, attorney Zia Modabber argued that to be liable for misleading consumers, Sony and the Estate had to know the songs were fake, adding that Cascio and Porte had “failed to disclose to Sony or the Estate that Michael Jackson did not provide the lead vocals.”

But the judge overseeing that hearing didn’t take kindly to Sony’s position, saying:

“I think what [Modabber] is saying here is. ‘We were duped… We didn’t know [Cascio and Porte] were recording stuff in a basement that wasn’t recorded by Michael. [Cascio and Porte] told us it was Michael. We believed it was Michael.’”

The judge accused Sony of throwing Cascio and Porte under the bus before ruling in Serova’s favour, ordering Sony to face the music. 

But Sony appealed, and in 2018 the appeals court took Sony’s side, dismissing the corporation from the lawsuit. 

Serova then challenged the decision to dismiss Sony, petitioning the California Supreme Court to intervene, which they did.

That, in a nutshell, is how we got to Thursday’s ruling — arguments for which were heard by the court on May 24, 2022.

During that May 24 hearing, Modabber again argued that Sony couldn’t be held accountable because they didn’t know the vocals were bogus when they released them in 2010.

But on Thursday, the court rejected Sony’s lack of knowledge defense once and for all, stating that if ignoring evidence was all a corporation had to do to get away with fraud, false advertising laws would be redundant.

“If ignorance around a product’s authenticity were a legitimate defense against false advertising claims, sellers would be incentivized to know as little as possible about their own products,” said the court in their ruling.

“Sellers making claims about their offerings surely do not avoid false advertising regulation […] by scrupulously declining to verify those claims or to acquire knowledge.”

Jeremy Bollinger, one of the attorneys representing Serova, told the LA Times that the court’s ruling was not only a victory for his client, but for all music and art consumers.

“The decision confirmed that it doesn’t matter whether the seller has personal knowledge of the veracity of its statements about its products,” Bollinger said. “If you’re going to sell something, you’re responsible for those representations.”

If they didn’t know in 2010, they knew by 2018

As we discussed earlier: back in 2010, before the Michael album was released, questions were raised regarding the authenticity of the Cascio tracks. 

At that time, several people told Estate attorney Howard Weitzman that they did not believe the vocalist was Michael. They alleged it was another singer, named Jason Malachi.

In response, Estate attorney Howard Weitzman claimed that he spoke to Malachi and confirmed that he wasn’t involved. 

But when fans heard the Cascio tracks, many identified Malachi’s voice — not Jackson’s — on the tracks.

Further validating the reaction of fans was Malachi’s longtime producer, Tony Kurtis. In a barrage of comments posted via YouTube, Kurtis stated that he knew “without a doubt” that Malachi was the vocalist.

Even the aforementioned audiologist noted in his forensic report that the dialect and vibrato of the Cascio vocalist were consistent with Malachi, but not with Jackson.

Then, in early 2018, Malachi hired a lawyer. 

That lawyer then contacted Vera Serova’s legal team to discuss Malachi’s involvement with the Cascio tracks.

Serova and her lawyers claim that Malachi’s lawyer said that his client wanted to help resolve Serova’s litigation with Sony — and to get paid for his involvement.

A meeting between Malachi’s lawyer, Serova’s lawyers and lawyers for Sony and the Estate was arranged.

But according to Serova’s lawyers, the day before the meeting was set to take place, Sony and the Estate cancelled it, and communications with Malachi’s lawyer came to an abrupt end.

For the four years that followed Malachi’s attempted intervention, Sony and the Estate continued to argue their ‘lack of knowledge’ defense, while also continuing to commercially exploit the Cascio tracks as authentic Jackson recordings.

Calls and emails to Malachi and his lawyer — offering them the right of reply — were not returned.

Why don’t Sony and the Estate sue Cascio and Porte for fraud?

In their 45-page ruling, the California Supreme Court supposed that if the Cascio tracks are indeed fake, Sony and the Estate would want to file a fraud action against Cascio and Porte for duping them, stating:

“Presumably, Sony would seek to invoke any warranties, or assert fraud or other claims, against Cascio and his associates if it believed they peddled fake recordings.”

But in this case, it’s the exact opposite.

In fact, Sony and the Estate have stood firmly behind Cascio and Porte since 2010, regardless of the overwhelming evidence and public outcry against them — something that no one, including Jackson’s family, fans and former collaborators can understand.

Songs removed, case closed

In a somewhat anticlimactic end to their eight-year legal battle, just days before the Supreme Court issued its ruling, Sony and the Estate reached a settlement agreement with Serova.

As part of the settlement, Sony and the Estate were forced to remove the Cascio tracks from digital retailers and streaming platforms around the world.

Based on Serova’s statements over the years, it was clear that no settlement could have been reached without this demand being met.

It should be noted that, according to Serova, she did not receive any money as part of her settlement.

As she has maintained from the beginning of her legal action, Serova’s main objective in filing this lawsuit was justice for Michael Jackson, his art and his fans. 

And while Sony hasn’t offered refunds — or an apology — to fans who feel they’ve been duped, the removal of the Cascio tracks from digital platforms worldwide has gone a long way to restoring the integrity of Jackson’s discography.

But despite the Supreme Court’s ruling — that the wording on a CD cover is subject to consumer protection laws — it appears Sony and the Estate have opted against recalling CD copies of Michael from music stores or other retailers around the world. 

This is surprising.

The case with Serova is settled only with Serova, meaning anyone else who purchased the album within the statute of limitations — or anyone who might buy the album in the future — would be able to sue Sony and the Estate just like Serova did.

The only difference is that a potential future plaintiff wouldn’t have to argue that the wording on the album cover was commercial speech, or contend with a ‘lack of knowledge’ defense from the corporations.

Now that the case is settled, will the truth regarding the Cascio tracks and the Michael album ever be told?

After selling the Cascio tracks as authentic Jackson recordings for almost 12 years — since December 2010 — Sony and the Estate’s settlement with Serova seems to have absolved Cascio and Porte of liability. At no point were the alleged forgers required to testify under oath, or prove the authenticity of their songs.

And while Sony and the Estate have stated that the recent removal of the Cascio tracks from digital platforms is the “simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all,” many of Jackson’s most dedicated fans continue to demand answers.

My forthcoming true crime podcast series Faking Michael will explore those answers, taking listeners behind the scenes to uncover the music industry scandal they were never meant to hear about.

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to be notified when episodes become available.


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.
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Alleged Forgeries Removed From Michael Jackson’s Online Catalog After 12 Years of Protests and a Fraud Lawsuit

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Three songs alleged to have been falsely attributed to Michael Jackson were abandoned by the pop star’s estate and record company this week after 12 years of fan protests and a consumer fraud lawsuit.

The alleged forgeries – known as the ‘Cascio tracks’ – come from a collection of 12 songs which producers Eddie Cascio and James Porte claim Jackson secretly recorded in Cascio’s basement in the fall of 2007.

The 12 Cascio tracks were sold to Jackson’s estate a year after the pop star’s death, and three of them – “Breaking News,” “Keep Your Head Up” and “Monster” – were officially released by Sony Music on the Michael album in December 2010.

But Jackson’s fans insist the songs are fakes, with vocals sung by an impostor, and they’ve been demanding the tracks be removed from Jackson’s catalog for the past 12 years.

This week, they got their wish, with the controversial songs being removed from streaming platforms around the world. Jackson’s estate also appear to have discontinued the original 10-track CD version of the Michael album, replacing it with a 7-track edition which can now be ordered from their official website.

But according to a joint statement issued by Jackson’s estate and Sony – who are currently co-defendants in a class action lawsuit which alleges that the Cascio tracks are fakes – their decision to abandon the tracks had nothing to do with their disputed authenticity:

“The Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music decided to remove the tracks ‘Breaking News,’ ‘Monster’ and ‘Keep Your Head Up,’ from the 2010 ‘Michael’ album as the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all,” reads the statement, adding that “nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks – it is just time to move beyond the distraction surrounding them.”

But many fans aren’t accepting Sony and the Estate’s position, because the “conversation associated with these tracks” is founded entirely on their disputed authenticity. According to some fans, removing the songs while defending their authenticity is not way to move “beyond the distraction surrounding them.”

And despite the fact that the “conversation associated with these tracks” has persisted relentlessly for 12 years, Sony and the Estate continued to sell the tracks to unwitting consumers throughout that entire period, while reaping millions of dollars from what many believe are brazen forgeries.

Until now.

The Jackson family tried to warn them

Prior to the release of the Michael album in 2010, several members of the Jackson family tried to reason with the Estate, informing them that the vocals on the Cascio tracks were not Michael’s while urging them not to move forward with their release.

Michael’s siblings Randy, Jermaine and Latoya all claimed that the vocals on the tracks did not belong to their brother.

They were ignored.

Michael’s mother – Estate beneficiary and family matriarch, Katherine Jackson – raised her voice against the tracks.

She was also ignored.

Michael’s oldest brother, Jackie Jackson, also came out against the Cascio tracks, revealing that both he and Estate co-executor John McClain had insisted for many weeks that the alleged forgeries should be removed from the album.

Their concerns were “not taken seriously.”

Michael’s nephews Taryll, TJ and Taj from the group 3T also spoke out, taking to social media to dispute the authenticity of the songs and raise awareness regarding some of what went on behind the scenes. 

Once again, their concerns were ignored.

In a statement issued on the 5th of November 2010, Sony asserted their “complete confidence” in the authenticity of the tracks. It was even reported that two independent forensic musicologists had verified that the vocals were Jackson’s.

Fans reject Breaking News

On the 8th of November 2010, five weeks before the Michael album was officially released, Sony unveiled one of the Cascio tracks – “Breaking News” – in a world premiere on Michael Jackson’s website.

When fans heard the track, they revolted. 

Many rejected the notion that Michael was the vocalist while pointing the finger at another singer named Jason Malachi.

But as they’d done with the Jackson family, Sony and the Estate ignored the opinions of fans.

Instead of reconsidering their plan to release the Cascio tracks, the Estate opted to gaslight fans in a statement, claiming that they’d investigated the authenticity of the vocals and believed “without reservation” that they were indeed Michael’s.

The following month the Estate and Sony took things a step further, stipulating in no uncertain terms that the vocals were “performed by Michael Jackson” on the back cover of the Michael album – released in the U.S. on the 14th of December 2010. 

ABOVE: RESERVE SIDE OF MICHAEL ALBUM COVER

They also arranged for Eddie Cascio to defend the authenticity of his songs on the Oprah Winfrey show. The Jackson family, however, were not invited to tell their side of the story.

The lawsuit

In June 2014, Michael Jackson fan Vera Serova filed a class action consumer fraud lawsuit against Jackson’s estate, Sony, Eddie Cascio, James Porte and their production company.

In her lawsuit, Serova alleges that Cascio and Porte are the masterminds of an “elaborate artistic fraud” in which they forged a collection of fake songs, and that Sony and the Estate misled her and others by attributing those forgeries to Michael Jackson on the Michael album.

As part of her lawsuit, Serova demanded the removal of the Cascio tracks from Jackson’s discography – a demand which now seems to have been met.

But despite the Cascio tracks having now been removed, Serova’s lawsuit remains ongoing.

It has been reported by the media this past week that Sony and the Estate won this case in 2018. 

This is simply not true.

In fact, Serova actually won the initial ruling on Sony and the Estate’s involvement in this case back in 2016. At that time, Sony and the Estate had tried to shirk responsibility, but were ordered to face the music by the Los Angeles Superior Court.

But Sony and the Estate felt they’d done nothing wrong and appealed that ruling – an appeal on which they prevailed in 2018.

In turn, Serova fought back, petitioning the California Supreme Court for review.

And based on the Supreme Court’s view that the appeal court’s ruling was legally “problematic,” Serova won her bid for review.

Oral arguments in that review were heard by the state Supreme Court the 24th of May 2022. 

A ruling has not yet been made, but is expected soon.

Sony and the Estate will need to prevail to be officially removed from litigation once and for all. If they don’t prevail, they’ll remain defendants in this case.

As of today (July 7), neither party has definitively prevailed and there is no judgment.

As mentioned, the original producers of the Cascio tracks – Eddie Cascio and James Porte – have also been sued as part of Serova’s lawsuit. They are sued with fraud, and that aspect of the lawsuit also remains ongoing.

You can hear my opinion on the removal of the Cascio tracks and much more below, in a roundtable discussion hosted by Michael Jackson podcast The MJCast:

I am also working on a podcast series called Faking Michael detailing the ins and outs of the Cascio tracks and the Michael album. Subscribe via podcast apps to be alert when episodes are released in the future.


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.
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