Jack Wishna, a man who was instrumental in getting Michael Jackson to come back to the states after he fled the backlash incurred during his child molestation scandal, has died at age 54 of carbon monoxide poisoning. Las Vegas coroner Mike Murphy has confirmed the death was a suicide after his body was found in a car in his garage on Tuesday.
Wishna was a fixture in Vegas who made friends with the biggest names to grace its stages and brokered deals for them with high-paying casinos, including Wayne Newton and Donald Trump. At one time, Wishna was a close friend of Michael Jackson’s and was on the verge of creating a huge deal for him to star in his own show at a theme-casino several years ago, but the deal fell through. Because of his efforts, however, the French circus troupe Cirque Du Soleil was introduced to Jackson’s work and created a show based on his music, which will premiere at the Mandalay Bay Theater next year.
As founder of CPAmerica, an entertainment consulting firm, Wishna had many friends in high places; several of them have expressed their grief today at the news of his passing.
“I am in shock. This came out of nowhere. It is a terrible tragedy,” producer Ron Dante said. “I knew when he didn’t respond to my e-mails over the past two or three days, something was wrong. When he didn’t show up at the office on Monday, I knew something was wrong.”
Wayne Newton offered his condolences to Wishna’s wife, Donna.
“It comes as a tremendous surprise. Jack and Donna have been longtime friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with Donna during this time of great loss. Jack will be missed.”
Memorial services have yet to be announced, and the family has not commented on his passing.
Image: Ethan Miller/Las Vegas Sun