Michael Jackson's sheikh settlement
Nov 24, 2008, 9:10 GMT
Michael Jackson -no trial for you...EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO
Michael Jackson has reached an out of court settlement with the sheikh who is suing him.
The 'Thriller' singer's lawyers negotiated an agreement with the representatives of Sheikh Abdulla Al-Khalifa - the son of the King of Bahrain - hours before the pop star was due to board a flight to the UK to appear in London's High Court.
A spokesperson for Jackson said yesterday (23.11.08): "As Mr. Jackson was about to board his plane to London, he was advised by his legal team to postpone his travels since the parties had concluded a settlement in principle. Therefore, he will not be attending court on Monday."
The sheikh claimed the 50-year-old star had "breached contract", alleging he had pulled out of a signed agreement to make two new albums under his record label 2 Seas and demanded he paid back £4.7million loaned to him to help Jackson with his financial problems.
However, the 50-year-old singer insisted the money was given to him as a "gift" and claims he did not read the terms and conditions or seek legal advice before signing the contract - which also required him to write an autobiography and pen a stage show.
The £4.7 million included £23,500 in utility bills for his Neverland estate, a 10-day Paris hotel bill of £105,000, bank funds of £655,000, court costs during his child abuse case in 2005 totalling £1.5 million, £335,000 living expenses during six months in the Middle East as well as Italian and UK holidays coming to £234,000.
The sheikh is also believed to have paid for a new recording studio at Jackson's Neverland ranch - which Jackson was recently forced to sell after struggling to pay maintenance costs.
Jackson's lawyers had originally requested he gave evidence at the hearing via video link because he was too ill to travel from America.
However, when doctors insisted he was fit to fly, demand to see him appear in court - for what would have been his first meeting with the sheikh since May 2006 - was so high that authorities issued a limited number of passes and admission was to have been by ticket only.