Michael Jackson sued by sheikh
Singer Michael Jackson is being sued after taking £4.7 million from Sheikh Abdulla Al-Khalifa and failing to record two albums in return
Michael Jackson is being sued after taking £4.7 million from a sheikh.
The fallen pop star was said to be so short of money he was forced to ask for financial help from Sheikh Abdulla Al-Khalifa - the son of the King of Bahrain - to pay off spiralling debts.
But the prince claims Michael pulled out of a signed agreement to make two new albums under his record label 2 Seas and is demanding he repay the money.
Bankim Thanki QC, the sheikh's lawyer, said at London's High Court: "The idea was to create a new recording label to kick start his musical career.
"He displayed a distinct lack of gratitude for all the things that were done for him."
Michael, 50, insists the money was given to him as a "gift" and claims he did not read the terms and conditions or seek legal advice before signing the contract - which also required him to write an autobiography and pen a stage show.
The £4.7 million included £23,500 in utility bills for his Neverland estate, a 10-day Paris hotel bill of £105,000, bank funds of £655,000, court costs during his child abuse case in 2005 totalling £1.5 million, £335,000 living expenses during six months in the Middle East as well as Italian and UK holidays coming to £234,000.
The sheikh is also believed to have paid for a new recording studio at Michael's Neverland ranch - which the 'Thriller' singer was recently forced to sell after struggling to pay maintenance costs.
The cash-strapped star - who is due to give evidence at the 12-day hearing via a video link - was introduced to Sheikh Abdulla by his brother Jermaine in 2004.
The billionaire royal had also written a charity song for Michael to sing to raise funds for victims of Asia's 2004 December tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in the US.
The hearing continues today (18.11.08).