Michael Jackson due in court in legal battle with Arab sheikh
Nov 20, 2008, 11:22 GMT
London - US popstar Michael Jackson is expected to turn up in court in London Monday to defend himself against breach-of-contract allegations brought by an Arab sheikh, involving a sum of 4.7 million pounds (7 million dollars).
Jackson's legal representative, Robert Englehart, told the High Court in London Thursday that his client had been given medical clearance to travel to London for the trial.
It had earlier been expected that the 50-year-old superstar would give evidence by videolink from Los Angeles. His appearance at the High Court in central London is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
The case involves Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, second son of the King of Bahrain, who is suing Jackson to get back what he claims he spent on the star.
Jackson is contesting the sheikh's claim that he entered into a 'combined rights agreement' (CRA) under which the superstar was committed to a recording contract, the production of an autobiography and a musical stage play.
The singer insists there was no valid agreement and that the sheikh's case is based on 'mistake, misrepresentation and undue influence.'
In his pleaded defence, Jackson says the payments he received were 'gifts' and that no project was ever finalised. Jackson also claims that the sheikh 'took advantage of his vulnerability and lack of business acumen,' according to his lawyer.
However, Sheikh Abdulla, appearing in the witness box Thursday, rejected the notion that Jackson, whom he described as a 'delightful person,' had little business sense.
'I regarded him (Jackson) in the same way as other businessmen. He is a person who is very switched on, a fantastic businessman and fantastic intellectual,' said the sheikh.
He told the court that, in 2004 and 2005, it had been his ambition to 'attract Jackson to Bahrain' and developed a close relationship with the singer.
Sheikh Abdulla is the governor of the Southern Governate of Bahrain and head of the country's Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife.
He is also the founder of the 2 Seas Group, an entertainment and record production label.