Henry Vaccaro sues John Branca for defamation
August 2015 Update: Henry Vaccaro's defamation lawsuit against John Branca got dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. Vaccaro had filed the lawsuit in New Jersey but Branca isn't a New Jersey resident and doesn't have enough ties to New Jersey for NJ to have jurisdiction on him. If Vaccaro wants to pursue his defamation lawsuit, he will have to refile in California.
Original Post: In an interesting turn of events Henry Vaccaro sues John Branca for defamation. You might know that Henry Vaccaro had a business deal with Jacksons in 1993. When Jacksons failed to make payments, Vaccaro sued and won judgments against several members of Jackson family. Vaccaro later seized some assets (also known as Jackson family memorabilia) to satisfy those judgments. Both Janet and Michael sued Vaccaro. Michael successfully shut down a pay per view website but did not follow up the lawsuit due to his criminal proceedings. So as a result Michael’s 2004 lawsuit against Vaccaro was dismissed.
Vaccaro later formed a partnership with Howard Mann. Howard Mann formed a partnership with Katherine Jackson to exploit Vaccaro assets. MJ Estate sued Mann and later Vaccaro for copyright infringement. Estate argued Michael wasn’t a part of the original bankruptcy/judgments and Michael maintained his copyrights. Court agreed that the bankruptcy sale sold only personal property but did not transfer any rights, titles or interest in MJ’s intellectual property. In other words while Vaccaro is/was the owner of the physical items he acquired during Jacksons bankruptcy/judgment, Michael Jackson (and now his Estate) is the owner of MJ's intellectual property rights.
At the end court granted a permanent injunction to stop Mann/Vaccaro from using those assets (mainly photographs, drawings and music) and they were ordered to pay $2.5 Million to MJ Estate. Vaccaro is responsible for paying $500,000 to MJ Estate while Mann is responsible for the rest.
In a recent twist, on December 17,2014 Vaccaro filed a defamation lawsuit against John Branca. In his lawsuit Vaccaro says in May 2013 Core Media approached to him to acquire some or all of Jackson Memorabilia. (At the time Core Media was part owner of Elvis Presley Estate and memorabilia but they sold their share at November 2013.)