Before heading off to London early this week, pop music icon Michael Jackson has a new $40 million lawsuit to contend with. According to his attorney Ira Meyerowitz the new breach of contract lawsuit reportedly won’t stop Jackson from going ahead with his plans to perform in the 50-show “This is It” tour in London.
Allgood Entertainment reportedly had a signed contract with Michael’s manager to do a reunion concert with members of the Jackson family and produce it as a pay-per-view spectacular. The contract apparently had stipulations in it forbidding the sometimes Las Vegas resident to perform elsewhere beforehand or for 90 days afterward.
But the London shows violated contract terms even before he’d performed them. Allgood’s managing partner, Patrick Allocco, said, “We’ve given Michael Jackson and his London promoters every opportunity to resolve this, but we have not heard from anyone. … . We want to be compensated for an agreement they entered into or be involved in some way with the London shows.”
The deal called for him not to perform elsewhere for a certain period of time before the event or for at least three months after it. The lawsuit, now in court in New Jersey, says Jackson, manager Frank DiLeo and event promoter AEG Live/Concerts West broke the contract by signing to do the London series of concerts this summer.
So far, representatives for Jackson and AEG have made no comment.
As reported by Vegas Backstage Access a couple of times in the recent past, there was a strong indication that there would soon be a Michael Jackson tour announced. Now it’s official: The self-proclaimed 50-year-old King of Pop announced on Thursday at a London news conference that he will have a series of 10 performances – the ‘This-is- It’ tour – at the 20,000-seat London’s O2 Arena, beginnning July 8.
After taking a 4 ½ hour physical from concert promoters’ doctors, Jackson was declared fit as a fiddle to perform. Then he came out and told his fans that this would be his last concert in England, leaving the door open, perhaps, for concerts elsewhere.
The shows would mark Jackson’s first major performances since 2001 and 2002, when he appeared at a pair of 30th anniversary celebrations and two benefit concerts. His brief appearance at the World Music Awards in 2006 was booed by some audience members. Jackson’s last extended performances were for the HIStory tour in 1996-97 that had 82 performances.
There is still hope for Las Vegas performances, though. While Jackson has expressed little interest in a long-term Las Vegas deal because of the rigorous demands, he has always thought of Vegas as a last stop for fading stars. And remember that the Los Angeles-based AEG, which manages and books The 02 and also sets deals with The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. AEG reportedly has a deal for more than triple the 10 dates that were announced.