MICHAEL JACKSON's former associate F MARC SCHAFFEL allegedly tricked a Japanese company into paying for the rights to the superstar's ill-fated charity single WHAT MORE CAN I GIVE, a California court heard yesterday (11JUL06).
Jackson hired Schaffel in 2001 to produce a video for the single, which was supposed to raise money for the victims of September 11th (01), however due to complications with his record label Sony, the track was never released.
Jackson's former lawyer ZIA MODABBER testified in a Santa Monica courtroom in Schaffel's $1.6 million (£889,000) lawsuit against the THRILLER singer. Modabber said he tried to persuade Japanese firm Music Fighters to refrain from negotiations with Schaffel, but the company pressed ahead and believed they had the rights to the song and would host a concert tour with Jackson.
Schaffel's attorney HOWARD KING asked Modabber yesterday, "You informed Music Fighters they had to negotiate with Jackson and whatever they were stupid enough to buy through negotiating with Schaffel it would be worthless?" To which Modabber replied, "I believe I let them know that without Mr Jackson what they were buying was worthless." Modabber admitted Schaffel was never paid for producing the single, but said he had breached his contract with the singer, in which he agreed to pay for the production of the track. Modabber insists Schaffel collected $900,000 (£500,000) from Music Fighters, but they received nothing in return.
The trial continues.
Copyright 2006 WENN