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Former producer sues Michael Jackson for $3 million

November 17, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former producer and business associate of Michael Jackson is suing the pop star, claiming he hasn't been paid more than $3 million in loans and producing fees.

The breach-of-contract lawsuit filed Tuesday by J. Marc Schaffel details numerous loans and payments made on Jackson's behalf, and claims the singer failed to fully pay Schaffel for his role in producing two television specials.

The specials aired on Fox early last year were intended to counter a damaging portrayal in televised interviews with British journalist Martin Bashir.

Schaffel claims in the Superior Court lawsuit that he is still owed $800,000 of the $3 million he was entitled to for producing the specials, and $2.3 million for payments and loans for Jackson over the past three years.

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Schaffel said that since 2001 he made loans or payments for Jackson totaling $8.6 million, but has been repaid only $6.3 million.

The lawsuit lists Jackson's requests for money, including $600,000 to buy a piece of jewelry for Elizabeth Taylor and $1 million to pay Marlon Brando for appearing in a Jackson concert and music video.

Schaffel said he gave Jackson at least $100,000 several times for shopping sprees, and pitched in on payments for cars, including a Rolls Royce Phantom and Bentley Arnage.

Jackson also asked for and received a half-million dollars in "emergency cash" after the Sept. 11 terror attacks "in case he needed to take shelter underground somewhere with his family," according to the lawsuit.

Jackson stopped repaying Schaffel in June 2004 when his brother Randy Jackson became the star's financial adviser, the suit claims.

The suit seeks general, special and compensatory damages totaling at least $3.1 million.

A message left with Jackson's spokeswoman after business hours Tuesday was not immediately returned.

In a separate case, Jackson has pleaded not guilty to child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to a boy. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 31.

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