A Los Angeles judge has tossed out Michael Jackson’s $10 million lawsuit against a New Jersey man over memorabilia the pop star claimed had been stolen. U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper dismissed the lawsuit yesterday (Jan. 4) because Jackson had stopped pursuing the case he filed two years ago, according to court papers.
Calls to Jackson’s spokesperson and a lawyer for defendant Henry Vaccaro seeking comment weren’t immediately returned.
Vaccaro had a warehouse full of memorabilia from Jackson family members that included gold-trimmed costumes, financial documents, letters, awards and one of Michael Jackson’s first outfits worn with the Jackson 5.
At one point, Vaccaro’s lawyer, Edgar Pease III, alleged the items also included gold records and personal items including skin bleach, soiled underwear, sexual videotapes, sexual paraphernalia and a hand-drawn picture by Jackson of a 7-year-old boy.
A lawyer for Jackson at the time said the singer never claimed the bleach, sexual materials, underwear or picture were his.
Vaccaro, an Asbury Park construction company owner, said he was awarded the memorabilia after years of legal wrangling stemming from a failed business venture that wound up in bankruptcy court.
He took items that had been in an Oxnard storage facility but were sold during the bankruptcy proceeding involving Jackson family members. Vaccaro posted the items on a pay-per-view Web site about Michael Jackson.
The singer sued, saying some of the items still belonged to him and Vaccaro only had a right to property belonging to his brothers, Tito and Jermaine, and their parents. He got a court order barring Vaccaro from displaying or selling the items until the case was resolved.
However, Vaccaro said that before the order was issued he had shipped some memorabilia to a European buyer who had paid more than $1.4 million.
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