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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Jackson sues pay claim associate
Michael Jackson
Jackson was recently said to be recording new material
Singer Michael Jackson has launched legal action against a former associate who claims he is owed more than $3m (1.6m) by the star.

Mr Jackson has filed a counter claim against Marc Schaffel, who says he is owed payment for producing two TV shows and for loans he made to the singer.

Mr Jackson says Mr Schaffel failed to pay costs from the production of a song and kept artwork belonging to the star.

Mr Schaffel's lawyer said the action was "another ridiculous claim".

Mr Jackson accused Mr Schaffel of concealing and misappropriating funds in an action lodged with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The singer's action said his former associate failed to pay costs from the production of the song What More Can I Give? and continued to represent himself as affiliated with the star after their business arrangement ended.

Court appearance

It also claimed that Mr Schaffel kept $250,000 (139,000) in sculptures and paintings belonging to the singer.

In his original claim, which was filed in November last year, Mr Schaffel said Mr Jackson owed him $2.3m (1.2m) for payments and loans he had made to the singer since 2002.

He claimed Mr Jackson owed him $800,000 (447,000) for producing two TV specials in 2003.

Mr Schaffel gave evidence about the recording of charity project What More Can I Give? at Mr Jackson's trial in May.

The trial resulted in the singer being acquitted on child molestation charges.

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