Jury Awards Michael Jackson, Adviser Money in Split Civil Decision

In a split decision Friday, a civil court jury awarded a former Michael Jackson adviser $900,000 — far less than he claimed in the money dispute — and awarded the pop star $200,000 in his cross-complaint.

F. Marc Schaffel originally sued for $3.8 million, but his claims were later reduced to $1.6 million, and his attorney ultimately asked the jury for $1.4 million in unpaid loans and expenses before deliberations began Thursday.

Jackson's attorney had said Schaffel owed the pop star $660,000.

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Earlier in the day, the jury asked several questions and sought read back of testimony.

In the civil suit, in which only nine of the 12 jurors have to agree on a verdict, one question from the panel was, "Do all 12 have to be accounted for, or can some abstain?"

Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor sent the jurors a message that some could abstain from voting.

The jurors also asked if they could award damages significantly different than claimed by the parties in the legal action. They were told they could do so but had to follow jury instructions on the law.

The panel also asked to hear the court reporter read back testimony from Schaffel on how much he claimed was due to him from his business relationship with Jackson.