Michael Jackson, Bahrain prince seal legal deal

Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:03am EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Michael Jackson and a son of the king of Bahrain signed an out-of-court settlement on Monday ending a legal dispute under which the prince sued the pop star saying he reneged on a recording contract and owed him money.

Neither Jackson nor Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa were at London's High Court to hear their lawyers confirm to the judge that a deal had been struck.

Two hours later, both sides agreed on the wording of a short joint statement, which they said formally ended the dispute.

"Sheikh Abdullah and Michael Jackson are pleased to confirm that they have amicably settled their dispute which was in litigation before the High Court in London," said Philip Croall, senior partner at Freshfields law firm.

"They wish each other well in their own, respective endeavors," he told reporters. Both sides said details of the settlement would not be made public.

News of a settlement "in principle" was announced late on Sunday, sparing Jackson the ordeal of having to travel to Britain to testify.

The reclusive 50-year-old originally said he would come to give evidence, sparking frenzied press interest and prompting court administrators to issue passes to media outlets to contain the crush in courtroom 73.

A small handful of die-hard fans came to the court on Monday to hear a lawyer address the judge for around 20 seconds, even though they knew Jackson had canceled plans to appear.   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>