Michael Jackson may not need any additional legal hassles, but they seem to have a way of finding him.
The latest litigation came Wednesday when Cynthia Montgomery, a travel agent who has handled Jackson’s arrangements for the past three years, filed a lawsuit against Jackson claiming he never paid for a charter flight that ferried him from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara, Calif., on Nov. 20 — the day of his arrest on child-molestation charges, the Associated Press reports.
An attorney for Montgomery contends the travel agent paid $18,000 for the jet (which was chartered by XtraJet) and expected to be reimbursed by Jackson later. “Michael Jackson is kind of a slow pay and XtraJet would not deliver the jet without payment up front,” said Robert T. Moore II, Montgomery’s lawyer.
Moore said he was trying to arrange payment from Jackson’s attorneys, but that no settlement had been offered. “(Jackson’s attorneys) told us in so many words that we’re not going to get paid,” he said. The suit seeks $50,000 in damages.
There has already been a great deal of controversy surrounding the flight. Lawyers for Jackson previously sued the jet’s owners, claiming that cameras hidden on the plane secretly taped the singer and Mark Geragos, Jackson’s lead attorney.
A temporary restraining order was issued against XtraJet preventing the company from releasing the tapes.
This latest legal trouble comes on the heels of a new P.R. campaign designed to improve Jackson’s image. The New York Times also reported last week that Jackson was facing serious financial trouble, but a spokeswoman for the singer denied the charge.
Jackson is due back in court April 2 for the next hearing in his child-molestation case.