Jacksons's Lawyers Working Overtime

03/03/2003 10:00AM

Forget those shopping sprees -- Michael Jackson is spending plenty of money on lawyers.

The Gloved One is tending to two separate legal battles this week. First, there's the $21 million breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against Jackson by German promoter Marcel Avram -- who claims Jackson reneged on a deal to star in some millennium concerts. That trial wrapped up in California's Santa Barbara County courthouse Friday and deliberations will begin this week, the Associated Press reports.

Then, across a continent and an ocean, lawyers for Britain's Granada Television, which produced journalist Martin Bashir's controversial documentary "Living with Michael Jackson," promised the judge in the case on Friday that the company would lock away unseen film footage until its legal dispute with Jackson is resolved.

Jackson's lawyers had planned to seek an injunction barring Granada from airing outtakes from its interviews with Jackson, 44, until his claim about journalist Martin Bashir's program is settled.

Jackson's legal team is arguing that Bashir "breached the terms on which he was permitted to film Jackson." Granada's stand is that the company did nothing wrong. Furthermore, Granada's lawyers said, Friday's promise to secure the footage implied no admission of improper behavior.

As for the California case, promoter Avram claims that Jackson backed out of proposed New Year's performances in Sydney, Australia, and Honolulu over concerns they would not be profitable.

Jackson claimed on the stand that he doesn't really follow his cash flow -- though much of what was said on the stand took a backseat to the attention drawn by Jackson's odd physical appearance and behavior in the courtroom.

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