Court Fight Over Michael Jackson Costumes

      MANHATTAN (CN) - Nestor "Zaldy" Goco, a ballyhooed fashion designer for scores of musical acts, wrongfully cut business partners out of more than $250,000 in proceeds from work done for the estate of the late Michael Jackson, two men claim in court.
     Goco, who goes by the named Zaldy professionally, is a Filipino stylist and designer in New York City. A former model, since leaving the runway, he has worked as a consultant to Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. fashion label and designed outfits for acts that include Lady Gaga, Brittney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and members of the Rolling Stones.
     According to a 2009 profile in W Magazine, Zaldy was contracted to design costumes for Michael Jackson's "This is It" tour, though the singer died on June 25, 2009 of an overdose of propofol and benzodiazepine.
     Those costumes have since been incorporated into an ongoing worldwide tour of Jackson memorabilia and other shows authorized by the Jackson estate, including the "Immortal World Tour" and "Michael Jackson One," a show by Cirque du Soleil.
     Plaintiffs Christopher Demers and Travis Payne claim in New York County Supreme Court that they entered into an artist management agreement with Goco on July 10, 2009, related to any and all business ventures "regarding the artist known as Michael Jackson and all entities relating to same or his estate."
     Under the terms of the agreement, they say, they were to serve as Goco's managers and assist him in getting work from the Jackson estate.
     They claim they were "entitled to receive from defendant 'a sum equal to twenty percent (20%) of artist's gross income derived from artist's activities ... related to Michael Jackson, his entities, and estate."
     Demers and Payne say they fulfilled their obligations to Goco, but that the designer has stonewalled every time they sought payment for their services. They estimate that Goco has earned at least $1.4 million from his Michael Jackson-related work since 2009, and that the amount could be as high as $2.4 million.
     As a result, they say, they are owed at least $280,000, "and perhaps upwards of $480,000."
     The plaintiffs seek an accounting, money earned, and costs.
     They are represented by David Tachtenberg, with Trachtenberg, Rodes & Friedberg.