This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Michael Jackson Estate Pays $55,000 To 'Thriller' Actress
Ola Ray earned a certain amount of fame starring opposite Michael Jackson in "Thriller," the most popular music video of all time, but she didn't get rich.
Ray sued Jackson in 2009—not long before he died—for nonpayment of royalties, and that lawsuit has finally been settled for just $55,000 (plus $20,000 for her attorney), according to TMZ. The suit was filed in Santa Monica, though Ray lives in Sacramento.
Ray was a Playboy Playmate, who told Vanity Fair that she ended up fleeing Los Angeles because she was sick of the casting couch: "There were so many big-name directors who told me that if I wanted to do films I had to sleep with them."
But Ray said she enjoyed the brief time that she got to know Jackson. Making the video 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."