Michael Jackson Avoids Another Courtroom Drama

Michael Jackson, 50, was scheduled to appear in London’s High Court today for a case involving a Bahraini sheik who says the singer owes him $7 million.

However, according to the Associated Press, Jacko’s spokeswoman Celena Aponte announced yesterday that the matter has been settled out-of-court.

Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, 33, alleges that he financed Jackson and planned a series of collaborations following Jackson’s acquittal on child molestation charges in June 2005.

The AP reports, “Al Khalifa said he gave Jackson millions of dollars to help shore up his finances and subsidize Jackson’s lifestyle in Bahrain—including more than $300,000 for a ‘motivational guru.’ Al Khalifa, an amateur songwriter, says the pair even moved into the same palace to work on music together.”

But the heavy-shopping singer pulled out of the deal in 2006. His lawyers maintain the cash was a gift and say that the musician wasn’t bound by the deal because the contract was signed on behalf of 2 Seas Records, “a venture which never got off the ground.”

Whatever small victory this is for the onetime King of Pop, one thing’s for sure: He won’t be celebrating at Neverland Valley Ranch.