NEW YORK – Sotheby's auction house sued Michael Jackson's production company Friday, saying the pop singer bid $1.3 million for two paintings and then changed his mind and refused to pay.
In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Sotheby's asked the court to award at least $1.68 million in damages, saying Jackson had caused it to lose substantial amounts of money on various costs, including lawyers.
The auction house said in its five-page lawsuit that the singer through MJJ Productions Inc., which handles Jackson's business affairs, agreed on Oct. 29 to purchase two paintings by William Adolphe Bougereau.
Sotheby's said it repeatedly demanded payment of $1.32 million. Jackson promised the money would come only to change his mind and say the paintings no longer fit into his collection, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit said Evvy Tavasci, executive administrator of the production company, acted on Jackson's behalf in the purchase.
A message left with a spokesman for Jackson was not immediately returned.