Billionaire Who Bailed Out Michael Jackson Becomes Donald Trump's Super PAC Backer

  • by: Alan Duke

Tom Barrack, the billionaire who took helped Michael Jackson restructure his massive debt in exchange for a promise the superstar would tour again, has formed a $32 million super PAC to help fund Donald Trump's presidential campaign in the general election, according to CNN.

Since Trump has backed away from his earlier pledged to fund his own campaign -- which he claimed would keep him from being indebted to special interests groups -- the real estate tycoon is calling on his wealthy friends to help. Barrack responded by created a super PAC the is now poised to be a huge funder of Trump's bid, CNN reported Thursday.

"Super PAC officials earlier in the day filed documents with the FEC for a new group, Rebuilding America Now, that Barrack said had attracted tens of millions of dollars in early money. Barrack, who hosted Trump's first major fundraiser, has long been pointed to by donors as an eventual point man for Trump's super PAC operation, which thus far is nascent and has yet to attract large donations. He said he will not have a formal role with the group."

Barrack's Colony Capital real estate investment firm owns Neverland, the former ranch home of Michael Jackson. The firm has the 2,700-acre estate in Santa Barbara County, California, for sale for $100 million. Barrack got control of the property in 2008 in exchange for paying off Jackson's $24 million mortgage on it. It was at a time when Jackson owed $270 million and his income was declining since he had not tour in he wake of his child molestation trial that ended in 2005.

As part of the deal with Barrack, Jackson agreed to launching a comeback tour in 2009. Jackson died of a drug overdose 18 days before his "This Is It" show was set to start in London.

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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