Judge: Michael Jackson Must Pay $175,000 to Lawyers

The bills keep piling up for Michael Jackson at a law firm that handled side work during the pop star's 2005 child molestation trial.

A judge ordered the singer Monday to pay $175,000 to cover the cost to successfully sue him to pay his overdue bill. Superior Court Judge James Chalfant's order means Jackson's legal bill to Ayscough & Marar now totals more than $430,000.

The firm sued Jackson, claiming he didn't pay for its work preventing the release of some information to the public and to lawyers in civil cases during his criminal trial. Jackson was eventually acquitted of child molestation charges.

Monday's award compensates the law firm for having to hire a lawyer to sue Jackson. The firm had asked for nearly $450,000.

"We're very happy with today's outcome," Jackson's attorney Thomas Mundell said.

He would not say whether his client would pay the firm.

Brent Ayscough, a partner at the law firm, said Jackson hasn't paid any of the money due for its work.

Jackson countersued the firm last year, claiming that one of the firm's lawyers threatened to expose confidential information about him to the media.

Chalfant dismissed Jackson's suit, saying it lacked merit.

The law firm also helped defend Jackson against a lawsuit brought by former business associate Marc Schaffel, claiming the singer owed him $1.4 million for past work.

A jury last year awarded Schaffel $900,000, but directed him to pay Jackson $200,000 to satisfy a countersuit alleging Schaffel misappropriated funds.