Michael Jackson found himself in court again today (November 17) over a $7 million lawsuit on claims alleging he took advanced money on an album and autobiography he never completed.
According to the Associated Press, Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain filed the suit claiming he advanced cash to the King of Pop in exchange for a joint autobiography and album. Jackson, however claims the money was a present.
A lawyer for Al Khalifa, Bankim Thanki, says the men’s business relationship began around 2004 when Jackson was on trial in California for child molestation charges. Paying millions in his attorneys’ fees and legal costs as well as moving him to Bahrain while supporting Jackson’s family and entouage, Al Khalifa – who is also an amateur songwriter, hoped to work with Jackson by rebuilding his music career.
“The cost even included the expenses of brining out Mr. Jackson’s hairdresser,” Thanki told the AP. “It’s not a conventional commercial dispute.”
While not dismissing the fact that some items were given to Jackson as gifts including “watches [and] jewelry,” the attorney alleges a majority of the materials were in connection to the two’s business arrangements.
Lawyers for the singer are reportedly claiming Jackson will request permission to testify by a videolink from the United States.
No trial date has been announced as of today (November 17).
In related news, the multi-platinum selling singer recently was forced to give up the deed on his iconic and popular California home amusement park, the Neverland Ranch.
According to the BBC, the 2,500 acre spot was transferred when Jackson lost ownership to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company. Sycamore also shares ownership with investment firm Colony Capital which helped the singer last March when he owed $24.5 million on the property.
MJ also recently announced that he has no intention in participating in the rumored Jackson 5 reunion tour.
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