Experts hired by Jackson’s mother have testified Jackson could have earned a billion dollars or more on a worldwide tour, a figure that defense experts have attacked as speculative and far in excess of earnings from the singer’s previous tours.
Jackson’s success or failure during the “This Is It” shows would have determined his future course. By many witnesses’ accounts, including his son Prince and a trusted nephew, Jackson was eyeing a second career as a filmmaker. He considered his long-form music videos such as “Thriller” and “Remember the Time” as films, but was eyeing even bigger projects on Egypt’s King Tut and a Chicago gangster film.
Prince Jackson, 16, recalled during the trial that his father would often show him films twice — the first time with the sound off so that they could analyze shots together. The teenager still has aspirations in show business and told jurors he is considering film school, a decision his father might have steered him toward if he were alive.
The singer suggested to his nephew Taj that he study filmmaking, as well, urging him to focus on 3-D technologies that hadn’t yet become mainstream in 2009. “He just loved the technology and he wanted to do something groundbreaking with it,” Taj said.
He said his uncle talked about working with famous directors and about doing movies based on some of his hits, including “Smooth Criminal.”
Jackson’s devotion to his three children has been a major focus of the trial. The entertainer closely guarded their privacy and often had them wear masks while in public. Since their father’s death, Prince, Paris and Blanket have become household names and their faces are now well-known.
The children now live with Katherine Jackson and are supported by their father’s estate, which has successfully erased the singer’s sizable debts and have kept interest for his music high. But their father’s death has taken away the children’s primary caregiver and a father who by all accounts during the trial sought to bring his children happiness and instill in them a sense that they should help others.