The girl from “Thriller” video sues Michael Jackson


Ola Ray, a former Playboy Playmate and the girl from the Michael Jackson “Thriller” video, is suing Michael and his production company for royalties on the video. The video, from 1983, is regarded as one of the “most successful music videos” and has made millions around the world. Now Ola feels, 26 years later, that she should finally receive the “significant sum” that she is owed.

The former Playboy centerfold who played Michael Jackson’s crush in his legendary “Thriller” video wants a jury to end her nightmare of trying to collect royalties.

Ola Ray, 48, filed a lawsuit in Santa Monica, Calif., Tuesday claiming Jackson deadbeat when it comes to paying for her her famous strut and blood-curdling scream in the 14-minute zombie fest.

“She just wants to get her fair share of payments from this extremely successful project that she’s very proud of,” her lawyer Jason Feldman told the Daily News. “She did receive some payments early on, but we don’t believe they were complete, and they were never timely.”

A Jackson attorney reportedly paid an unspecified amount to Ray through the Screen Actors Guild in 1998, but payments to date have fallen short, Feldman said.

“We’re expecting it to be a significant sum that she’s owed,” he said. “The video continues to sell a lot worldwide and was just released again for it 25th anniversary.”

He said licensing of the video’s content and images to various DVDs and video games might also add up to a “substantial sum.”

[from NY Daily News]

It sounds like she’s been trying to sue for royalties for some time and hasn’t been successful. But it shouldn’t have taken her 26 years to figure out how to sue. She was a Playboy centerfold in 1980, three years before the video, which means that she probably had the cash to get good lawyers and fix the problem at that time. Still, the wheels of justice turn slowly, so maybe we should give her a break on the timing.

As for Michael Jackson, this is just the latest in a laundry list of legal issues he has been dealing with. Many of his possessions, including many statues of young boys and girls, were put up for auction against his will, and his lawyers were unable to stop it. There is a 27-city tour currently being planned, but who knows if his profits from even that will be able to refill his pocketbook.

He should probably stop buying deluxe masks for his kids and stick to the traditional medical facemask – he’s going to need the cash.


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22 Responses to “The girl from “Thriller” video sues Michael Jackson”

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  1. paranel says:

    It does not matter if she was in the video . It’s all by how the contract was drawn and what the agreement stipulates. That’s why you should always have a top notch representation.

  2. cherryblossom says:

    You know I couldn’t figure out who was who in that header until I looked for the one wearing heels. Heh.
    I think she’s not going to get a dime. And her timing is off. Even if she’s been working on it for a while…but 26 years?

  3. (The original) Blondie says:

    This is pathetic! If there were something iron clad in her contract granting her royalties based on album sales or video coverage she would have pursued this long before now. She’s probably hoping he’ll just throw some money at her to keep it out of court. Like Ashley said, Wishful thinking! Gosh, wonder if the executor of Vincent Price’s estate is suing for narration royalties too. LMBO

  4. Jenna says:

    It’s just crazy that he’s been so successful and now hardly has any money.

  5. ChristinaT says:

    i feel so badly for michael jackson… i was a big fan… and still kind of am.

  6. Green Is Good says:

    26 years? Not gonna happen.

  7. Green Is Good says:

    Hard to believe there was a time MJ was actually good looking.

  8. c says:

    He WAS good looking, wasn’t he? So sad what he’s done to himself. I bet he’d have been a totally gorgeous man now if he hadn’t messed up his face. Oh well.

  9. CB Rawks says:

    HAAHA! Man, I remember dancing around in my pyjamas to that video. Then I moved on. You might want to try that, Ola.

  10. Ursula says:

    I thought the girl was MJ dressed as a woman. LOL

  11. yasin says:

    leave Mj alone .. everyone is out there for his money!.

  12. Haley says:

    Yep, poor Michael. My son is 24 and a huge fan – he is going all the way to London for his concert in July so there are some loyal fans left. He was and I guess maybe still is a legand but all of these people have jumped on the bash Michael bandwagon. I don’t know what the truth is but he does have talent no denying. This girl Ola should have stuck to the shadows. She did not age well and better to remember how she looks in the video. She does look like a man in drag now. Yikes!

  13. anon says:

    yup, “c”, it’s a shame what he did to his face.


  14. Blossome says:

    Hey, Extremely poor timing. The King is now dead, 6-25-09. Ola Ray is just late!

  15. sharon barber says:

    This Ola Ray chick is out there. You can obviously see that she has or has had a drug problem. She is just like the rest of those who go after the deep pockets because they think they are owed something. Too late Chick..should have had your parents involved back in the day to watch over your (ass)sets. Let it be and get on with your life. You were on the news last night crying over the death of are a could care less about him, it’s his money you are going to miss.

  16. rex says:

    When I think of Michael, it will always be the Michael of the Thriller years or earlier. I feel so fortunate to have grown up during that period…it was magical.

  17. Scott Z. says:

    Sorry Ola, as someone stated above, you should have had your parents involved in your business affairs back then. You signed and got what you thought you deserved back then and that’s that.

    Move on.

  18. Mickey says:

    R.I.P MJ you’r still the pop leganed.<3 :…(

  19. candice says:

    i luuuuve him and miss him sooooo much that im getting a tatoo of his face :-) xx

  20. Daisy says:

    My Sentence is: I think that OlaRay loves you Michael and i think you love her too so maybe you should kiss her so on Thriller it was so funny but later i got in big trouble for watching Thriller because i’am a Jehovah’s Witness and so are you you should stop singing and go back to serve Jehovah with your family.

  21. Cotiffa1 says:

    Ola Ray need to just leave it alone she got her fame and its over Girl Bye. RIP MJ!