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Raymone Bain Sues Michael Jackson for $44 Million

Michael Jackson, right, and Washington-based publicist Raymone Bain leave the courthouse after a day of testimony in Jackson's March 2005 child molestation trial. (AP Photo/Robyn Beck, Pool)

Thought Michael Jackson was broke? So did we -- but Raymone Bain is suing him for $44 million.

The D.C.-based PR exec -- her client list includes Marion Barry, Serena Williams and Babyface -- represented the King of Pop for the last six years and claims he owes her millions in unpaid business earnings. "It's heartbreaking to have to file a lawsuit against someone whom I thought I knew so well," Bain told us.

In a complaint filed today in federal court here in Washington, Bain says she started working for Jackson in 2003 and became general manager of his empire three years later, when the pop star agreed in writing to pay her 10 percent of any business she brought in. She hired staff, "averted imminent foreclosure" of several of Jackson's properties, supervised moves from France to Ireland to Las Vegas, and oversaw his living expenses and payroll. Bain also claims she was responsible for launching the bestselling "Thriller" 25th anniversary re-release, settled legal claims that threatened ownership of Jackson's song catalogs, and refinanced his loans.

Raymone Bain at home in 2006. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

In late 2007 -- after years of talking several times a day -- Jackson stopped calling and signed to do a series of London concerts this summer. Bain told us she has tried to collect what is owed her to no avail.

She's posted a video on her Web site, recounting their relationship and explaining why she finally decided to go to court. "I have been his voice to media, fans, supporters, business interests and associates as well as those who dislike, misunderstand and constantly malign him. I have also been the constant defender against those who have, in the past, attacked him in any fashion or form. . . . I did not look at him as just a client, but a family member."

Bain said she expects the fans to get nasty -- but has no regrets: "I wish him, and his family, only the very best."

Representatives of the entertainment company handling Jackson's London concerts said they could not comment on his business affairs. A personal representative for Jackson did not return calls.

By The Reliable Source  |  May 6, 2009; 6:52 PM ET
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