Theme Park Developers Leave Trail of Broken Promises
By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - So who are the people behind the theme park and entertainment complex proposed for Spring Hill, and how are they going to come up with $750 million?
A NewsChannel 5 investigation discovered that the developers have left behind a trail of big deals that they promised but never delivered.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates reached Roger Kidneigh, listed in some documents as the president of Big International Group of Entertainment Inc., whether his company has ever delivered on a single deal that it has promised.
"Not at present, although we've been close on several occasions," Kidneigh said by telephone. "It's been a matter of getting a project right up the front door and having a situation occur beyond our control."
Among the promised deals: an animated movie with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, about an orphan named Sailor who teams up with a lonely rich girl and a band of endangered animals to save the Earth.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates found that the developers, through a company called Sailor Productions, was sued and was forced to pay out for a $200,000 that bounced.
"We were very close on bringing that to fruition when Michael got into trouble," Kidneigh said. "He was later found innocent, and we started the production back up only to be confronted with Michael's untimely death."
However, the deal appears to have fallen apart long before Jackson's death.
In 2009, Kidneigh himself declared personal bankruptcy, saying that he was drawing $1,100 a month in Social Security, driving two old cars worth about $6,000 total, with his wardrobe being worth just $350.
How could he possibly be involved in a $750 million project?
"Well, that's an absolutely idiotic question, sir," Kidneigh answered. "People are involved in major projects all the time. The fact that I'm in a Chapter 13 has nothing to do with my intellectual ability nor my background."
What about his finances?
"My finances are my personal property, OK?" Kidneigh said.
Kidneigh blamed the bankruptcy on a terminal illness suffered by his wife.
His company also announced plans for a theme park in Las Vegas that never happened -- he blames rising real estate prices.
They also announced two music magazines that were never published.
All of those, he says, were other people's fault.
So how does he say they are going to come up with the money? He says its "private investors," but he wouldn't name a single one.