Michael Jackson is being hit with a $20 million lawsuit for allegedly shopping around for a new promoter for an upcoming world tour. Marcel Avram, of German promotion company Mama Concerts and Rau, claims he was promised the job of promoting Jackson’s next world tour after fulfilling his side of a written contract, drafted in 1998, that required him to pay doctors in Germany “several thousand dollars” on Jackson’s behalf, according to Avram’s attorney Skip Miller. When Avram heard that Jackson was making arrangements with another promoter for an as-yet-unannounced tour, he filed his complaint for anticipatory breach of contract, breach of contract and fraud on January 22 in Superior Court in Santa Barbara, California.
Miller wouldn’t explain the nature of Jackson’s German doctor bills, saying only that the details would come out in the lawsuit.
Details on the upcoming tour, which would presumably support Jackson’s latest album, Invincible, were unavailable at press time. Calls to Jackson’s publicist were not returned.
This is the third suit Avram or Mama Concerts has filed against the pop star. Avram, a longtime friend and associate, according to Miller, promoted Jackson’s 1992-93 tour for Dangerous and the 1996-97 jaunt for the double-disc anthology HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, and still has pending a $25 million suit, filed in June 2000, which claims Jackson bailed on two scheduled millennium concerts in Sydney, Australia, and Honolulu, Hawaii. The cancellations resulted in lost profits for Avram. The price tag also includes interest and expenses incurred from two charity shows at which Jackson did perform in Seoul, South Korea, and Munich, Germany.
In 1994, the promotion firm sued Jackson for more than $40 million, after he canceled a total of 19 dates of the Dangerous tour. At the time, Jackson faced allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor, although the official reason given for the cancellation was that he was addicted to painkillers. The matter was settled out of court.