Michael Jackson has reached a last-minute, out-of-court settlement with Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the king of Bahrain’s son, who was suing him for breach of contract.
Deal meant Jackson did not take the stand in London’s High Court on Monday as expected, disappointing British fans and media, who had eagerly anticipated the reclusive singer’s appearance.
The wealthy Arab prince had claimed Jackson reneged on a contract to record a new album and write a candid autobiography. He also alleged that Jackson owed him $7 million after the prince paid for his legal costs, travel and other expenses in the period after Jackson was acquitted in his 2005 trial on child molestation charges.
“As Mr. Jackson was about to board his plane to London, he was advised by his legal team to postpone his travels since the parties had concluded a settlement in principle,” said the singer’s London spokesman.
After Thursday’s surprise announcement that Jackson would be coming to London — his people had initially said he was too unwell to travel — the court took the unusual step of assigning tickets to media outlets wanting to cover Monday’s hearing, in anticipation of the huge interest his appearance was likely to generate.