By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 03, 2002 01:00 PM

Michael Jackson, accused of acting stranger than usual lately, is due back in a Southern California courtroom Tuesday to face the music in a $21 million lawsuit against him over canceled millennium concerts.

Last month, Jackson’s three days of initial testimony produced little drama on the stand, though his courtroom arrivals were newsworthy. The first day he showed up with a scruffy beard and sporting a surgical mask, which he removed to reveal some surgical tape on his nose. The second day he arrived hours late.

Then, as noted by Reuters, the pop star, 44, cut short his testimony for a trip to Germany, where he dangled his infant son, Prince Michael II, precariously from a hotel balcony as he showed off the child — a towel covering his face — to fans below.

After the incident sparked condemnation of Jackson on both sides of the Atlantic, the star apologized, saying that he had been “caught up in the moment.” German authorities declined to investigate.

Tuesday’s courtroom appearance will revolve around Jackson as the defendant in a suit brought by German concert promoter Marcel Avram, who claims Jackson agreed to and then reneged on 1999 concerts in South Korea and Germany, which were to be followed by New Year’s Eve concerts in Australia and Hawaii.

From his earlier testimony, it appeared that Jackson was unfamiliar with the terms of the deal.