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Last Updated:  Friday, 14 March, 2003, 10:12 GMT
Jackson loses $5m court case
Michael Jackson
Jackson's reputation has taken a battering in recent months
Pop superstar Michael Jackson has been ordered to pay $5.3m (3.3m) to a concert promoter after pulling out of two concerts.

Promoter Marcel Avram had been seeking $21.2m (13.2m) compensation for Jackson pulling out of millennium gigs.

Mr Avram said Jackson cancelled his appearances after he had already paid out $11.2m (7m) to Jackson.

But Jackson testified, during a bizarre court appearance, that it was Mr Avram that cancelled the dates.

However, the jury at Santa Maria court in California sided with the promoter, setting damages at $5.3m.

"It's a big win," said Shawn Sachs, a representative of Mr Avram.

The cancelled millennium concerts were due to be held in Sydney and Honolulu - two sides of the international dateline.

Mr Avram said Jackson pulled out after two earlier charity concerts in Munich and Seoul suffered "dismal" ticket sales.

His lawsuit stated he was left "left to explain Michael Jackson's erratic behaviour - and to pay all his bills."

Disney

Jackson's court appearance turned into a media circus.

On his first day in court he arrived on crutches after saying he had been bitten by a spider.

He told the court that it was Mr Avram who cancelled the dates, fearing they would not be profitable.

But he often told the jury that he could not remember administrative issues from that far back, comparing himself to Walt Disney because he was an entertainer not a promoter.

Losing the court battle is the latest setback for the singer who has endured massive media attention in recent months.

Journalist Martin Bashir's documentary on Jackson caused a storm of controversy and rekindled child sex abuse allegations which had hit him in 1993.

Despite making his own video to counteract the allegations, after saying he was betrayed by Bashir, neither has done anything to change Jackson's image as an eccentric.


SEE ALSO:
Jackson compares himself to Disney
05 Dec 02 |  Entertainment
The many faces of Michael Jackson
15 Nov 02 |  Entertainment
Jackson hobbles back to court
04 Dec 02 |  Entertainment
Jackson releases 'betrayal' footage
12 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Mixed US reaction to Jackson interview
12 Feb 03 |  Entertainment


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