LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson could have earned $1.1 billion or more had he performed a world concert tour and created a Las Vegas show before his death, an accounting expert familiar with the singer’s earning potential told jurors yesterday.
Arthur Erk, a certified public accountant who conducts royalty audits for musicians, told jurors that Jackson may have earned $1.5 billion for the shows if he had charged higher ticket prices during later shows on the “This Is It” tour.
Erk said he was using conservative estimates to figure Jackson’s earning potential if he had lived for several more years, completed a worldwide tour and created a Las Vegas show based on his music.
The estimates took into account endorsements and royalties that Jackson could have earned and are heavily dependent on the idea that Jackson would have performed a 37-month world tour.
His testimony came in the case brought by Jackson’s mother against concert promoter AEG Live.
Katherine Jackson claims AEG Live is liable for her son’s death because it failed to properly investigate Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of giving the singer a fatal anesthetic overdose.
AEG denies it hired the doctor or bears any responsibility for Jackson’s death at age 50 in June 2009.