Michael Jackson plans to testify next week in a British court in a lawsuit brought against him by a Bahrain prince, Jackson’s lawyer said.
The singer is being sued by Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the second son of the king of Bahrain, who says Jackson reneged on a contract to record a new album and write an autobiography.
He also says Jackson owes him $7 million after the prince paid for his legal costs, travel and other expenses.
Jackson spent time in Bahrain as a guest of the royal family following a 2005 trial at the end of which he was acquitted of child molestation charges.
“Mr Jackson is intending to travel to this country…and will be available to give evidence to your lordship,” Jackson’s lawyer Robert Englehart told the British High Court in London today (Nov. 20).
The singer is expected to take the witness stand on Monday.
Englehart had initially argued that Jackson was unwell and should not travel, handing the judge a report earlier this week on the singer’s medical condition.
Bankim Thanki, representing al-Khalifa, said the medical evidence produced was “pretty unsubstantial” and that Jackson had a habit of producing a “sick note” when he did not want to turn up in court. He had wanted Jackson to appear in person.
Jackson contests that there was no valid agreement with al-Khalifa and that the sheikh’s case is based on “mistake, misrepresentation and undue influence.”
In his pleaded defense, Jackson said the payments he received were “gifts” and that no project was ever finalized.
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