June 11, 2003 01:00 PM

Michael Jackson and his former financial manager, Myung-Ho Lee, settled their $12 million breach-of-contract lawsuit Wednesday — putting the lid on any possibility that Jackson’s current financial state would be exposed in court.

Reuters reports that Jackson, 44, and Lee (and Lee’s Union Finance and Investment Corp.) reached a confidential agreement to settle Lee’s lawsuit and Jackson’s countersuit, and filed notice with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Andria Richey, said Jackson’s attorney, Zia Modabber.

Terms of the settlement are confidential, though Modabber did tell Reuters that Jackson had personally signed off on the deal. The Associated Press quotes Modabber as saying that Jackson was “thrilled” by the outcome.

In his suit, Lee claimed that Jackson hired him in the late 1990s to put the musician’s finances in order, only to turn a deaf ear when it came to taking Lee’s advice by refusing to curb spending. Lee then claimed Jackson never paid him, instead relying on “charlatans” and “hucksters” for advice.

In his court papers, Lee called Jackson a “ticking financial time bomb waiting to explode” who owed banks hundreds of millions of dollars in loans.

Jackson’s countersuit claimed Lee and Union Finance swindled millions from him and destroyed financial records to cover up their misdeeds.

Attorneys for Lee could not be reached for comment.

As the settlement notice was filed in a Los Angles court Wednesday, Jackson was in his hometown of Gary, Ind., for the first time in decades, reports AP. Thousands of fans lined the streets to watch his dozen-vehicle motorcade make its way to City Hall, where the mayor gave him the key to the city.

Jackson also reportedly stopped by his old high school, where he picked up an honorary degree.

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