LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson's former attorney is seeking at least $2 million in damages for being secretly videotaped aboard a private jet with the singer, a lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Mark Geragos, who was taped with Jackson on a November 2003 flight from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara, where Jackson surrendered on child molestation charges, is suing the now defunct jet company XtraJet.
Jackson, who was initially a plaintiff in the civil lawsuit against the company, later dropped out of the case. He was acquitted of the molestation charges in 2005.
In court Wednesday, Geragos' lawyer said $2 million in compensatory damages was fair given that XtraJet's owner offered to sell the tape for up to that amount. The lawyer, Brian J. Kabateck, also urged the judge to assess $18 million in punitive damages.
However, an attorney for Jeffrey Borer, who owned XtraJet, argued for far less.
The attorney, Lloyd Kirschbaum, contended that the attorney-client relationship was never breached because there wasn't proof of an audio recording.
"From the very first day of this case they have known there was no sound involved," Kirschbaum said.
The judge declined to issue a ruling and took the case under submission.
Borer and co-defendant Arvel Jett Reeves pleaded guilty in 2005 to installing two digital video recorders to record "a professional entertainer" and his lawyer as the pair traveled by private jet.
Borer was sentenced in October to six months of home detention and three years' probation, and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
Reeves was sentenced in July to eight months in prison, six additional months in a halfway house and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.