Michael Jackson, who arrived fours hours late to testify in a $21 million lawsuit against him, has asked the judge to delay next week’s scheduled testimony so he can travel to Germany to accept an award.
“The award is of deep importance to me, it’s philanthropic,” he told Superior Court Judge Zel Canter. “I’ve done a lot of work for children.”
The postponement isn’t the first that Jackson has requested. On Thursday, his second day of testimony, Jackson was granted permission to delay that day’s court appearance by several hours.
He arrived Thursday without the surgical mask he had worn a day earlier, but carrying a black umbrella to provide shade from the sun. Sporting a blue suit and bright red shirt, Jackson took several minutes to sign autographs. He threw kisses as he moved past the barricaded crowd and flashed a thumbs-up sign when he went inside.
The reclusive pop star is being sued for $21 million by his longtime promoter, Marcel Avram, for allegedly backing out of two millennium concerts scheduled for New Year’s Eve 1999. The singer maintains that it was Avram, not he, who canceled the shows over concerns they would not be profitable.
Jackson exhibited a showman’s flair Thursday under questioning from Avram’s attorney, Louis R. “Skip” Miller. At one point, Miller questioned Jackson’s contention that he had worked toward the concerts by practicing dance moves and making plans to include magic in the act.
“Magic?” Miller said.
“Yes, magic, as in abracadabra,” Jackson answered, drawing appreciative laughs from spectators.
Jackson was expected to resume testimony Friday.