Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Andria Richey said Monday that she would consider throwing out a $12 million lawsuit against Michael Jackson by his former financial adviser, Myung-Ho Lee, reports Reuters.
Lee is suing Jackson for breach of contract and fraud, claiming the star failed to pay his bills — instead squandering his fortune on a parade of “charlatans,” “hucksters,” “sycophants” and “swindlers.”
Jackson’s lawyers claim Lee was not a licensed financial adviser in California and so could not have signed a valid contract with their client. Lee’s lawsuit claims that Jackson is nearly bankrupt and a “ticking financial time bomb waiting to explode.”
Jackson has countersued, alleging that Lee stole millions from him.
At the same hearing Monday, the judge said she would consider a request from news organizations to broadcast the bitter court fight should the case move forward. The next hearing is set for June 18.
Jackson’s attorney Zia Modabber pressed the judge to ban cameras from the courtroom, citing the media circus that developed last November during the musician’s testimony in a central California court case, Reuters reports. (A concert promoter sued Jackson, 44, for reneging on a series of millennium concerts.)
“The vast majority of the press in that case had to do with what his face looked like and how he acted when he walked through the door,” Modabber said. “He has to come in here and endure what really no one else does by virtue of who he is.”
But Kelli Sager, an attorney for CourtTV, argued that Jackson (who was not in court Monday) had no right to “veto” public access to a court case simply because he was unhappy with past reporting.