SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Michael Jackson is the key figure in a lawsuit going to trial this week, but the pop superstar won't be in the courtroom while lawyers and witnesses thrash out the question of whether he owes $3.8 million to a former business associate.
Jury selection was set to begin Tuesday but was rescheduled Monday, without explanation, for Wednesday. The trial is expected to last 12 days, according to court officials.
Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, said the singer has no plans to appear in the case. Lawyers, anticipating his absence, have taken videotaped depositions from him during two sessions in London.
Jackson is being sued by F. Marc Schaffel for $3.8 million for what Schaffel says are unrepaid loans and expenses, and unpaid salary for work on a charity record called "What More Can I Give."
Schaffel also is seeking what he says is his share of the proceeds from two TV specials produced to bolster Jackson's reputation after he was hit with child molestation allegations.
Among the expenses Schaffel is seeking are legal fees of $74,000 incurred when he was named an unindicted co-conspirator in Jackson's 2005 child molestation trial. Jackson was acquitted.
Jackson has countersued, claiming among other things that Schaffel misappropriated art work belonging to the singer and mishandled financial records.
The trial is expected to examine Jackson's peculiar spending habits, including paying the late actor Marlon Brando $1 million to attend a Jackson concert at Madison Square Garden.