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Manager Denies Jackson Has Money Troubles

Michael Jackson’s music manager denied a report Thursday that Jackson is in financial trouble and must make a $70 million payment to a lender by Tuesday.

Charles Koppelman said no payment was due in that amount to Bank of America or anyone else.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Jackson, who is facing child-molestation charges in Santa Barbara County, owed $70 million to the bank under a loan agreement.

Koppelman said in a phone interview that Jackson’s assets far exceed his debts but he declined to go into detail about the singer’s money. He said Jackson, like most people with large assets, also has large debts and that Jackson routinely renegotiates loans.

He said Jackson would be involved in a significant financial transaction in the next few days but declined to provide details.

“Michael is an individual who has the ability to generate huge sums of money,” Koppelman said.

Bank of America spokeswoman Jennifer Tice declined comment on the report.

Koppelman also said Jackson’s ability to raise money had not been hurt by his current legal problems or his association with the Nation of Islam, as was reported by the newspaper, which cited unidentified Jackson advisers.

Koppelman denied that the Nation of Islam had any involvement in Jackson’s financial affairs, and he asserted that high-ranking Nation of Islam member Leonard Muhammad has not taken on the role of Jackson’s chief adviser. He said Muhammad is a friend of Jackson’s and one of many advisers.

A hearing is scheduled Friday in the singer’s child molestation case. Jackson was not expected to attend the hearing, where a judge was to set a date for his preliminary hearing and hear arguments on several motions to unseal documents in the case.

Jackson has pleaded innocent to seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an “intoxicating agent,” reportedly wine, to get the boy to comply. He is free on $3 million bail.

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