UPDATE: The sheik’s not just demanding $7 million, he’s suing for that much. And the amount he wants was reportedly given to Jackson for an advance on an album and autobiography, neither of which he produced.
Ok, now it kind of seems like Michael screwed up—if the sheikh is telling the truth.
AP: Lawyers for Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain say the money was given to Jackson as an advance on the book and joint recording project with the sheikh, who is an amateur songwriter. Jackson claims the money was a gift…
Bankim Thanki, a lawyer for Al Khalifa, said the royal first spoke to Jackson by telephone while the singer was on trial in California on charges of child molestation.
Al Khalifa wanted to work with Jackson on rebuilding his career, Thanki said. To that end, the sheikh spent millions paying Jackson’s legal fees, moving him to Bahrain and supporting Jackson, his family and entourage.
The expenses included $350,000 for a European vacation for Jackson and his associates, Thanki said.
“The cost even included the expenses of bringing out Mr. Jackson’s hairdresser,” Thanki said. “It’s not a conventional commercial dispute,” said .
The lawyer said Jackson and the sheikh became close and at one time both were living in a palace in Abu Dhabi owned by Al Khalifa’s father, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the king of the oil-rich country. The singer stayed nearly a full year in Bahrain as a guest of the son, who serves as the governor of the country’s Southern Province.
EARLIER: The son of the king of Bahrain, who helped Michael Jackson hide out after his child-molestation trial, is now demanding $7 million from Jacko, TMZ reports. Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa claims Michael promised to do an album for his record label but never did.
We think $7 million is a little steep. There’s no way Michael could have made the Sheik that much in album sales.
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