Promoter seeks close to $25 mil in damages

Concert promoter Marcel Avram has sued Michael Jackson, claiming the pop star is looking for another promoter for his upcoming World Concert Tour despite a signed agreement with Avram. He is seeking in excess of $20 million in damages.

According to the complaint, filed last week in Superior Court in Santa Barbara County, Avram — who handled Jackson’s 1992-93 “Dangerous” and 1996-97 “History” world tours — was asked to pay a substantial amount of money Jackson owed to doctors in Germany.

Avram’s attorney, Skip Miller of Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, declined to say why Jackson owed money to German doctors and why he didn’t pay it himself. He did say, however, that the amount was several hundred thousand dollars.

In exchange for paying the doctors, Jackson agreed in writing that Avram would promote his next world tour. But, the suit alleges, Jackson is believed to be negotiating with other unknown parties regarding the promotion of his upcoming World Concert Tour. Jackson has not responded to phone calls and letters from Avram, Miller said.

Also pending is a suit Avram filed in June 2000 claiming the pop star backed out of two millennium concerts planned for Sydney and Honolulu. In that case, Avram is seeking in excess of $25 million for lost profits plus expenses for two charity concerts he arranged for Jackson in Seoul and Munich.

Reps for Jackson at Susan Blond Inc. declined to comment.

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