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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Jackson sued over millennium shows
Michael Jackson in June 1999
Michael Jackson performing at the Seoul concert
A German concert promoter is suing pop superstar Michael Jackson for over $20m for allegedly pulling out of two concerts to mark the new millennium.

Marcel Avram, who has promoted Jackson since 1972, filed a suit in the California Superior Court in Los Angeles seeking damages of $21.2m (14.1m) plus interest.

Avram claims Jackson pulled out of a deal signed in the spring of 1999 for him to perform at the millennium events which were to take place in Sydney, Australia, and Honolulu.


Saying 'I love you' is not enough

Marcel Avram

A statement issued by Avram's company, Mama Concerts & Rau, said he had tried for six months to reach an amicable agreement with Jackson - who is said to have received a 1m (667,000) advance on the deal - but without success, even though there was no get-out clause in the contract.

Avram said: "There is nothing else we can do but remind Michael Jackson of his responsibilities as an artist and businessman.

"Saying 'I love you' is not enough."

Costs are estimated at $11.2m (7.4m) for production and a further $10m (6.6m) for lost profits and income from broadcasting rights.

Jackson performed two earlier charity shows covered by the contract in Seoul, South Korea, and in Munich, Germany, in June.


Michael Jackson in Seoul, June 1999
Jackson is said to have been paid $1m in advance for the show

Billed as Michael Jackson and Friends, they featured other performers including Ringo Starr and Mariah Carey.

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitiung newspaper claims that the cost of Jackson's performance ate into the profits of the shows, which were to go to charities including the Red Cross and Unicef.

Avram's company took on the costs of the shows, donating money to the charities in the belief it would be recouped by the millennium concerts.

Jackson's representatives were unavailable to comment on the writ.

Avram last hit the headlines in December 1997, when he was jailed for three and a half years in Germany on 12 counts of tax evasion.

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See also:

31 May 00 | Entertainment
Jackson's online venture
13 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Jackson cancels Polish visit
07 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Jackson might quit pop
29 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Jackson treated for burns
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