Bahrain Shaikh sues Jackson
Manama, November 18, 2008
Pop star Michael Jackson is reportedly being sued for $7 million for allegedly breaking a contract with a Bahrain-based record company.
He allegedly failed to deliver a new album under a deal with the 2 Seas label, a joint venture between Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Jackson's brother Jermaine, said a report in Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.
UK-based public relations firm, the Bell Pottinger Group, said yesterday that the breach-of-contract case had been filed at London's Royal Courts of Justice.
It was not clear whether the suit relates to a song Jackson was due to record with 2 Seas to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005.
The case is set to open on Monday and comes only a week after the music icon gave up the title to his Neverland ranch in California.
Jackson's career fell apart following his arrest in 2003 on charges that he molested a 13-year-old boy at Neverland.
He was cleared of all charges in June 2005 and later that month arrived in Bahrain as a private guest of Shaikh Abdulla, staying well into the following year.
Jermaine Jackson already had strong links with Bahrain and was a regular visitor.
Lawyers for Shaikh Abdulla say the money was given to Jackson as an advance on the album and joint recording project with the Shaikh, who is an amateur songwriter.
Jackson claims the money was a gift. Jackson's lawyers said he would seek permission to testify by video link from the US.
Jackson's US spokesman Ramon Bain could not be reached for comment yesterday. Neither could 2 Seas chief executive officer Guy Holmes, the former chairman of the London-based independent record label Gut Records.
He was expected to oversee the production of the album but earlier told the BBC the deal had never been formalised with Jackson.
When the GDN attempted to contact Holmes, it emerged Gut Records had gone into administration several months ago and its assets had been bought by Phoenix Music International. However, officials said the 2 Seas label had nothing to do with the company. -TradeArabia News Service