LOS ANGELES The owner of a Beverly Hills jewelry store is suing Michael Jackson for allegedly refusing to pay for a $1.45 million diamond watch given to him in October.
As is the custom with wealthy and famous clients, the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" was allowed to take the one-of-a-kind Vacheron Constantine diamond watch home as he considered whether he wanted to purchase it. The reclusive pop star had already bought $400,000 worth of items that day, said Ali Soltani, spokesman for jewelry retailer David Orgell, who routinely loans jewelry to stars for events such as the Academy Awards.
A few days later, Soltani said he contacted Jackson's representatives, who told him their client wanted to keep the watch, originally priced at $1.9 million (Jackson had talked them down). The store sent multiple invoices, Soltani said, before the piece was returned.
"It was not returned in the condition it was given to him," he said.
Before filing the suit, Jackson's accountant was contacted about the watch's condition and the need for reimbursement. Soltani said Orgell received "a small payment" in February. "It was a very tiny, insignificant amount," Soltani said.
The suit, filed Monday, seeks payment for the watch. Jackson's representatives could not be reached for comment.