The insurance policy taken out by promoter AEG Live in preparation for Michael Jackson’s planned 50-night run at London’s O2 Arena included cancellation clauses relating to the illegal possession or “illicit taking of drugs” by the late artist.
A copy of the policy, which was obtained by the Associated Press, does however cover cancellation of the shows as a result of the artist’s death. But the outcome will hinge on a twice-delayed autopsy report.
Jackson died of heart failure in Los Angeles on June 25, just weeks before the scheduled commencement of the O2 shows.
Speculation persists that the artist died as a result of the consumption of a cocktail of painkillers, some or all of which may have been supplied illegally.
The policy taken out by AEG Live would entitle the Jackson estate to up to US$17.5 million, which would go some way to covering the reported $30 million debt owing to AEG Live.
The promoter also stands to gain up to $60 million from Sony if a court approves a deal between the two companies to distribute a film based on footage taken during Jackson’s concert rehearsals at LA’s Staples Centre.
AP reported that Jackson’s estate is set to receive 90 percent of all profits from subsequent deals following the repayment of the outstanding debt owing to AEG Live.