When Michael Jackson passed away, many outlets (not Rock Daily, mind you) were quick to jump on a January 2009 story from U.K. tabloid the Mirror stating that the King of Pop planned to leave his 50 percent stake in the Beatles' Sony/ATV publishing rights to Paul McCartney. However, when Jackson's 2002 will was unearthed, it made no mention of McCartney, and all of Jackson's assets went to the Michael Jackson Family Trust. One person who wasn't surprised by the false report was McCartney himself, who writes in a message on his official Website that he knew all along that the Mirror's story was fiction — and that he's not "devastated" about failing to reclaim the Beatles' rights.
"Some time ago, the media came up with the idea that Michael Jackson was going to leave his share in the Beatles songs to me in his will which was completely made up and something I didn't believe for a second. Now the report is that I am devastated to find that he didn't leave the songs to me. This is completely untrue," McCartney writes. "I had not thought for one minute that the original report was true and therefore, the report that I'm devastated is also totally false, so don't believe everything you read folks!"
As Rolling Stone noted in our analysis of Jackson's tangled financial web in the days after the singer's death, the Sony ATV stake — which also features songs by Bob Dylan and Eminem — is worth an estimated $300 to $500 million a year. However, a heavily in debt Jackson borrowed millions of dollars against his investment, so the actual fate of the stake is not yet known. Still, despite being omitted from Jackson's will, McCartney wrote, "Though Michael and I drifted apart over the years, we never really fell out, and I have fond memories of our time together."
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