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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Stewart to pay for missed concert
Rod Stewart
Stewart said he was recovering from thyroid cancer at the time
Singer Rod Stewart has been ordered to pay a Las Vegas casino $2m (1.1m) for missing a New Year concert in 2000.

Stewart, 60, said he was unable to play at the Rio hotel and casino because he was recovering from throat surgery.

Giving evidence last month, he said his voice disappeared after an operation to remove a cancerous thyroid tumour.

The Rio's lawyer said Stewart's bill could be "several million dollars" with interest, costs and fees - but the singer's team is planning to appeal.

Stewart was paid the $2m advance in January 2000 to perform over New Year's weekend at the end of that year.


But he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had surgery in May 2000. "I was petrified," he told the jury. "I was scared. This was my livelihood."

There was still "no strength" to his voice in December, he said. "There was nothing there."

The singer said his voice only recovered in time to begin a world tour in June 2001 and he has since performed 150 shows.

He said he would be willing to play up to two concerts at the Rio to make up for the cancellation but told the court his offer was rebuffed.

'Only fair'

The seven-member jury ruled Stewart should not have kept the advance payment for the original concert.

Jury foreman Stevan Jorgensen, 56, said the case boiled down to a misunderstanding of the contract between the rocker and the casino.

"We felt it was only fair that if Mr Stewart didn't perform the concert that he should give the money back," he said.

The star was not in court when the verdict was delivered. A lawyer for the casino said he was "delighted and relieved" by the decision.

In November, he was ordered by a Los Angeles court to return $780,000 (420,000) to promoters of a 2002 South American tour that was cancelled.

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