Jacko's Death Could Cost Comeback Promoter Millions

Star's death may invalidate insurance on 50-gig London comeback
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2009 5:05 AM CDT
An electronic billboard advertising Michael Jackson's series of London concerts in July is seen on the Dome, which houses the London O2 Arena.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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(Newser) – Michael Jackson's death will be either "horrible or really horrible" for the promoters who set up his 50-concert comeback, depending on how watertight their insurance is, industry insiders tell Billboard. AEG Live has already paid out an estimated $30 million in production costs, as well as a $10 million bonus to Jackson, and now faces the costly and complicated task of refunding $85 million in ticket sales.

AEG execs said last month that the company was well-insured and that Jackson had passed the medical with "flying colors." But a traditional nonappearance policy was never written, according to one source. Even if AEG had such an insurance policy, the promoter might not be able to get a payout if it turns out that Jackson's death was drug- or alcohol-related—or due to a pre-existing medical condition, said the source.