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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
Jackson jury hears phone messages
Michael Jackson
Mr Jackson, living in Bahrain, is not expected to appear in court
A man suing Michael Jackson for $3.8m (2.1m) has played in court phone messages from the singer to show their formerly close working relationship.

In one message, Mr Jackson said the pair could "conquer the business world". Others were about projects he planned with the late Marlon Brando.

Mr Schaffel says he is owed millions after working on an unreleased charity record and documentaries with the star.

Mr Jackson, who is counter-suing, is not expected to appear in court.

In a message from 2001 played to the court, Mr Jackson said: "Marc, please never let me down. I like you. I love you.

"I really want us to be friends and conquer the business world together. Please be my loyal, loyal friend."

Brando deal

In June 2001 the musician left several messages relating to what he called the "Marlon Brando deal".

Mr Jackson's plans for a film in which the friends would interview each other, and also a DVD about acting, fell apart because of costs, Mr Schaffel said.

"Marlon Brando has been pushing," Mr Jackson said in one message.

Marc Schaffel
Mr Schaffel produced pornography before working with Mr Jackson
"He's a wonderful man. He's a god. He wants a lot of money. He wants to get things done right now."

The court in Santa Monica, California, also heard about a charity record, What More Can I Give?, recorded for 11 September victims but never released.

Mr Schaffel said the record had cost millions and required travelling to record more than 30 major artists.

In 2003, Mr Jackson left a message suggesting another plan for the record: "It should be for America in Iraq. It's a perfect cause. It means more now than any other causes."


Mr Schaffel says he is still owed money for working on the record and two TV documentaries, as well as for expenses and loans that were not repaid.

The pop star has filed a counter-claim that Mr Schaffel failed to pay costs from the song production and kept sculptures and paintings worth $250,000 (138,000).

Florida businessman Alvin Malnik also appeared in court and said that he had advised Mr Jackson and found him bewildered by financial matters.

He said he had frequently loaned money to the singer - $7m to $10m (4m to 5.5m) - and once received an urgent request for $1m (550,000) so that Mr Jackson could buy a piece of jewellery for Elizabeth Taylor.

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