A concert promoter claims the star pull out of a deal to perform Millennium concerts in Sydney and Honolulu...

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Michael Jackson has appeared in court in the US in a £14 million lawsuit brought by a concert promoter who is suing him for pulling out of a deal to perform in SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA and HONOLULU at the Millennium.

The lawsuit is being brought by German publicist Marcel Avram, who has worked with the singer since 1972, according to BBC news.

Michael Jackson, whose lawyer told Santa Barbara County Superior Court that he should have been paid £9 million for the shows, claims the shows were cancelled in the October prior to the Millennium by the promoter, after he realised they would not be as profitable as he hoped.

Avram's lawyers say that his client had no motive to cancel the events, and claims that he paid Michael Jackson £600,000 advance and covered £750,000 debts for the singer. He said he had agreed to cover the costs of benefit shows Michael Jackson had staged, on the understanding that he would recoup the costs from the New Year Millennium concerts, which were also to feature Ringo Starr and Mariah Carey.

Michael Jackson's solicitor Zia Modabber said the promoter could not live up to the "huge promises" he made to the singer.

Thirty members of the public won a lottery to sit in the gallery to watch the court proceedings, which lasted three hours.

[a][/a], who waved to fans outside the court house before being driven off in a black car with an escort of five policemen on motorcycles, is expected to return to court today for further questioning.

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