Paul Anka

Paul Anka

Songwriter Paul Anka has accused Michael Jackson's 1980s entourage of stealing a song the pair wrote together.

Anka was stunned when he heard a leaked version of the King of Pop's first posthumous release, This Is It, because it was identical to a song they co-wrote 28 years ago, called I Never Heard.

It got resolved in about two hours. Everything is sorted out. The right thing has been done. Everyone is happy. It was an honest mistake.

The singer insists the release is an honest mistake by Jackson's estate and quickly agreed a deal to share royalties.

Anka says, "It got resolved in about two hours. Everything is sorted out. The right thing has been done. Everyone is happy. It was an honest mistake."

But he insists the tape only came to be because either Jackson or one of his associates stole it from the recording studio where the duo worked on the track - because neither artist had granted the other the right to use the song.

Anka adds, "He didn't finish the project and I didn't have the rights to put it on one of my albums.

"I don't know if it was Michael or those around him, but they did illegally take the tapes from the studio. I was very upset about it and I went to his lawyers, who were my lawyers. It almost got into a legal issue.

"They returned the tapes, but Michael had obviously copied those original tapes and put them away. That copy he had in his drawer was the one they used, thinking it was a new song."

Anka and Jackson's I Never Heard was released as a single by little-known singer Sa-Fire in 1991.

In other news the estate of Michael Jackson is facing yet another lawsuit - a former choreographer now claims he is owed $144,500 (£90,300) in unpaid fees.

Dancer LaVelle Smith Jr. alleges he worked for the late King of Pop between 2008 and early 2009, but was only paid part of the salary he agreed with Jackson.

In a suit filed in Los Angeles on Monday (26Oct09), Smith Jr. states he is still owed $144,500 (Gbp96,300) by the administrators of the singer's fortune, according to Tmz.com.

It is the latest in a long line of creditors' claims against the late superstar's estate since his death in June (09) - in September (09) alone, officials were hit with non-payment suits from an accounting firm, a Las Vegas security business and a hairstylist.


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