2002 - Michael Jackson made a surprise appearance, at a fan demonstration against Sony Music. He arrived riding on the top deck of an open-topped sightseeing bus, in front of the European offices of Sony Music, in Great Marlborough Street.
Later, Michael attended "Killer Thriller Fan Party" at The Equinox nightclub in London, organized by MJNI fanclub.
At the event, Michael spoke for the first time of his problems with Sony CEO Tommy Mottolla, and explained that Sony takes advantage of their artists, including himself:
"I want to thank all the great, incredible talents. As long as you play the music, I want to dance! [referring to Ernest Valentino] I want to thank this guy for a wonderful performance. I thought Bryton McClure was amazing, too. He’s a great singer as well. Anyway, I first wanted to say, I really don’t like to talk that much. I really don’t. I prefer performing than talking. I really want you to know what I say. The tradition of great performers: from Sammy Davis Junior, James Brown, to Jackie Wilson, to Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly. The story is usually the same, though. These guys worked really hard, and they’re crabbed, for the story ends the same. They are usually broken, torn and usually just sad, because the companies take advantage of them, they really do.
And being the artist that I am, at Sony I’ve generated several billion dollars for Sony, several billion. They really thought that my mind is always on music and dancing. It usually is, but they never thought that this performer -myself- would out think them.
So, we can’t let them get away with what they’re trying to do, because now I’m a free agent. I just owe Sony one more album. It’s just a box set, really, with two new songs which I’ve written ages ago. Because for every album that I record, I write -literally, I’m telling you the truth- I write at least 120 songs every album I do. So I can do the box set, just giving them any two songs. So I’m leaving Sony, a free agent, owning half of Sony. I own half of Sony’s Publishing. I’m leaving them, and they’re very angry at me, because I just did good business, you know. So the way they get revenge is to try and destroy my album. But I’ve always said, you know, art -good art- never dies.
And Tommy Mottola is a devil! I’m not supposed to say what I’m going to say right now, but I have to let you know this. [Points to crowd.] Please don’t videotape what I am going to say, ok? Turn it off, please. [Pausing, then changing his mind] Do it, do it, I don’t mind! Tape it!
Mariah Carey, after divorcing Tommy, came to me crying. Crying. She was crying so badly I had to hold her. She said to me, ‘This is an evil man, and Michael, this man follows me’. He taps her phones, and he’s very, very evil. She doesn’t trust him.
We have to continue our drive until he is terminated. We can’t allow him to do this to great artists, we just can’t. I just wanted to let you know, I appreciate everything you’ve done, you’ve been amazing. You’re so loyal! [Scanning the audience]. Diana, everybody, Waldo, all the people here! I love you all. You’ve been amazing, I love you! But still, but still, I promise you, the best is yet to come!"