It's a good thing [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] has booked those 50 concerts in London,
because the King of Pop's former publicist has just sued him for $44 million. According to a Reuters report,
the singer's ex-spokesperson, Raymone Bain, filed suit on Wednesday against Jackson over claims he failed to pay for her services.
The breach of contract civil suit was filed in Washington, D.C., by Bain, who represented Jackson during his 2005 trial on child sex abuse charges — he was ultimately acquitted — and then later managed his business affairs. Bain said in a statement that the suit was filed with "deep regret," as Jackson is someone whom she has "greatly admired and respected."
But Bain, who has legal training, explained, "Unfortunately, Mr. Jackson has elected not to honor the financial obligations of our contractual relationship, despite my numerous attempts to amicably resolve this matter. I am sincerely disappointed in Mr. Jackson's failure to honor his obligations."
After seeing him through the molestation trial — by most accounts one of the most difficult periods in the troubled singer's recent history — Bain was appointed general manager of the Michael Jackson Company, which handles his business affairs.
Bain claims in the lawsuit that she was first hired to be Jackson's spokeswoman in 2003, and by 2006, she helped manage every aspect of his life, from travel and security to scheduling meetings with record producers and arranging his housing and emergency refinancing of the huge loans required to sustain his lavish lifestyle.
Jackson has been a virtual recluse since the end of the 2005 trial and has struggled to kick-start his stalled music career. He announced earlier this year that he would begin a 50-date run of sold-out comeback concerts at the O2 Arena in London in July, which Bain said she helped to negotiate and which could be worth a reported $400 million for Jackson.
The suit claims that Jackson agreed to pay Bain 10 percent of any deals he entered into that she helped negotiate, but that he has not done so, which is why she's seeking $44 million in damages, plus attorneys' fees.
At press time, a spokesperson for Jackson could not be reached for comment.