Michael Jackson’s estate has reached a settlement with Jeffré Phillips, a former fiancé of the late singer’s sister, La Toya Jackson. However, the specific terms of the settlement remain confidential.
Phillips was accused of stealing approximately $1 million worth of property from Michael Jackson’s mansion in the aftermath of the pop star’s death in 2009. This included items taken from the singer’s deathbed, pajamas and other valuable possessions in the $25 million estate.
Jackson’s estate had sought legal intervention to retrieve Jackson’s belongings that Phillips allegedly possessed after learning he wanted to dispose of them. Legal documents from June 2022 revealed that Phillips was accused of trying to sell items he allegedly stole during his nine-day stay at Michael Jackson’s Los Angeles mansion after the pop star’s passing.
During his stay at the Carolwood House, Michael Jackson’s lawyers asserted that Phillips stole various items, including Michael Jackson’s and his children’s iPhones, the singer’s driver’s license, prescription medication, clothing, handwritten notes, and a briefcase containing personal and business letters, according to the Daily Mail.
Michael Jackson’s lawyers alleged that Phillips committed a highly distressing and inhumane act by stealing the pajamas Michael Jackson was wearing in the final hours of his life. They added that Phillips also took a resuscitator tube that was used on Michael Jackson during the frantic efforts to save the pop star’s life before his passing.
Accusations against Phillips were filed just a day before the 13th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing on June 25, 2009. The estate of Jackson alleged that they received a tip in December 2021, suggesting that Phillips was trying to auction off items belonging to the late singer.
To validate the items’ authenticity, it is claimed that Phillips confessed to the auctioneer that he had taken these items in the days following Michael Jackson’s death while he was staying at the mansion. The auctioneer contacted the estate to confirm the authenticity of items related to Michael Jackson, including a pair of sunglasses supposedly worn by the singer with makeup still on them, according to Phillips’ claims.
Michael Jackson’s legal team has managed to recover some of the items Phillips allegedly took, but they suspect he still possesses home videos and unreleased music created by the late singer before his passing.
The estate of Michael Jackson requested the court to compel Phillips to return all items he allegedly removed from Jackson’s residence. A judge issued a preliminary injunction in August, preventing Phillips from selling any of these items. In November, the estate filed additional legal documents to reclaim the property, estimating its total value at $1 million.
In the fall of 2009, reports surfaced about a romantic connection between Phillips and La Toya Jackson, which emerged several months after Michael Jackson’s passing in June. Phillips proposed to La Toya Jackson in 2013, sparking speculation about their marriage in December of that year, although La Toya Jackson later refuted these rumors.
Despite their engagement lasting until 2015, they eventually decided to part ways. While they remained close friends, the current status of their relationship remains undisclosed.