Michael Jackson was fined £5,500 yesterday for failing to appear in court
Aug 18, 2005, 10:53 GMT
Michael Jackson was fined £5,500 yesterday (17.08.05) for failing to appear in court to face sexual assault claims.
The eccentric star nor his lawyers attended the hearing, in New Orleans, to face a civil case brought against Jackson by Joseph Bartucci.
Bartucci claims the 'Billie Jean' singer, who was fully acquitted of child sex charges in June, sexually assaulted him in 1984.
The 39-year-old alleges he was forced by Jackson's associates to allow the star to engage in sex acts with him.
Bartucci insists he is only seeking compensation for his ordeal now because he had repressed memories of the alleged assault until recently.
However, it is not yet known what damages Bartucci is seeking from the star. After issuing the fine against Jackson, Judge Eldon Fallon has set the date for the trial as September 7.
Meanwhile, a juror in the Michael Jackson child abuse trial has claimed the star has a detachable nose.
Ray Hultman, who is writing a behind-the-scenes account of the court case, claims he was told by an eyewitness that without the prosthesis the singer looks like a "mummy with nostril holes".
The 62-year-old writes in his upcoming book, 'The Deliberator', which is quoted by America's New York Post newspaper: "One person who has seen him without the device says he resembles a mummy with nostril holes."
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