LOS ANGELES – A judge Thursday agreed to postpone the trial date for a lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson (search) and his former lawyer over the alleged secret recording of them on a charter jet as the singer flew to be booked on child molestation charges.
Jackson and attorney Mark Geragos sued XtraJet Inc. (search) in November, alleging they were videotaped without their knowledge on a flight to Santa Barbara so Jackson could surrender on the charges.
Superior Court Judge Soussan G. Bruguera moved the trial date from November to May 23 over the protests of XtraJet.
The trial date was postponed due to the singer's criminal case, which is scheduled for trial in January, and because Geragos is representing Scott Peterson (search), the murder defendant accused of killing his wife and their unborn son.
Geragos is no longer representing Jackson, but was his lawyer in November when Jackson flew from Las Vegas to surrender.
The lawsuit alleges that XtraJet "intentionally and surreptitiously videotaped and recorded" Jackson and Geragos, including the recording of "privileged attorney-client communications."
XtraJet's attorney, Lloyd Kirschbaum called the lawsuit a "publicity stunt."
The videotaping surfaced when representatives of XtraJet showed the video to several news organizations, claiming they found the tapes aboard one of their jets. They wanted to know whether it was legal to distribute or sell them.
Jackson's attorney's won a temporary restraining order against XtraJet that barred any release of the tapes.
The judge also granted Jackson's request to remove his claims of emotional distress. The change prevents attorneys from asking Jackson any questions about his mental state, said Geragos' attorney, Brian Kabateck.
Jackson also wanted to avoid giving a deposition for the trial, but the judge denied that request, Kabateck said.