Jackson faces new court challenge

Iran Materials 28 June 2006 15:38 (UTC +04:00)

(BBC Russian) - A US court is to begin hearing a case against Michael Jackson, who is being sued by a former business associate.

Marc Schaffel claims the star owes him $3.8m (Р€2.1m). Jackson has filed a counter claim against Mr Schaffel, reports Trend.

The singer is not expected to appear in person in Santa Monica, California, but his video depositions will be played. Jury selection begins on Wednesday.

His spokeswoman has also announced that the 47-year-old is planning to restart his pop career with a move to Europe.

He has been visiting Ireland and France and holding meetings "charting out his musical future and career", Raymone Bain said.

She added he would maintain a home in Bahrain and had no plans to sell his Neverland ranch in California.

The musician has formed a new company and severed ties with his long-standing financial and business managers.

'Fuzzy' memory

Marc Schaffel claims Jackson owes him money for work on a charity record

that was never released and two television documentaries as well as expenses and loans that were not repaid.

Jackson has filed a counter claim that Marc Schaffel failed to pay costs from a song production and kept artwork belonging to the star.

Jackson's counter claim says Mr Schaffel failed to pay costs from the record production and kept sculptures and paintings worth $250,000 (Р€138,000) belonging to the singer.

The singer also alleges that Mr Schaffel continued to represent himself as affiliated with the star after their business arrangement ended.

Transcripts of Jackson's depositions "suggest his memory of key events is fuzzy", according to the BBC's Peter Bowes in Los Angeles.

Jackson was acquitted of child molestation last June after a four-month trial.