Ola Ray, who played Michael’s girlfriend in his iconic ‘Thriller’ short fim, settled a royalties’ dispute with his estate last year, for $75,000. According to TMZ, she received $55,000 of the payout, with the rest going to her attorney.
Ray sued Michael’s estate in May 2009, just a month before Michael died, claiming she was owed unpaid royalties for the short film.The actress-model said for years that she was not compensated much for the short film, which was released in 1983.
“Everyone thinks I made millions,” she told the U.K.’s Sunday Mirror in late 2008. “But I don’t care … I wouldn’t change a thing.”
John Landis, the director of ‘Thriller’ also filed a lawsuit against the estate over profits from the film. In August of last year, the estate told the Hollywood Reporter it had reached a settlement with Landis. Though the terms of the deal have remained confidential, Landis and producer George Folsey Jr. had alleged they were owed $2.3 million.
But Ola Ray said she enjoyed the brief time that she got to know Michael and making the short film left an indelible impression on her: “That walk with Michael, when he was dancing around me and singing, I felt like I was the most, I don’t know, blessed girl in the world. Being able to do that and being able to play with Michael, and having him play around me. I felt so in love that night. You can see it in my eyes. You can see it for sure.”