Michael Jackson cancels plan to appear in UK court

Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:21pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Michael Jackson will not appear in a London court on Monday after the U.S. pop star reached a settlement "in principle" with a Bahraini prince suing him for reneging on a recording contract.

The reclusive 50-year-old had agreed last week to testify at the High Court.

"As Mr. Jackson was about to board his plane to London, he was advised by his legal team to postpone his travels since the parties had concluded a settlement in principle," a London spokeswoman for Jackson said on Sunday.

"Therefore, he will not be attending court on Monday," said the spokeswoman from PR company Outside Organization.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa, second son of the king of Bahrain, said Jackson failed to honor a contract to record a new album, write an autobiography and produce a stage play.

He also told the court last week that Jackson owed him $7 million after the prince paid for legal costs, travel and other expenses in 2005 and 2006.

Jackson and his children spent time in Bahrain as a guest of the royal family following a 2005 trial on child molestation charges, but he backed down from plans to work with Sheikh Abdullah in 2006.

He was acquitted of the charges in 2005, but the trial left Jackson's career, reputation and financial status in tatters and he has been a virtual recluse since.   Continued...

<p>Michael Jackson waves to fans at a U.S. military facility in Tokyo, as he walks to board a helicopter bound for Camp Zama, a U.S. military base west of Tokyo, to join a fan appreciation event March 10, 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon</p>