The good news is Michael Jackson appears to be taking his meds, if not actually paying for them. On time, that is.
A Beverly Hills pharmacy filed suit against the reclusive pop star Wednesday, claiming that Jackson was $101,926.66 behind on payments for prescriptions filled. On Friday, Jackson's rep, Raymone Bain, issued a statement saying the pharmacy "has been paid" and that the lawsuit was due to trouble the singer had with his former business managers, whom he's now suing.
Mickey Fine Pharmacy sued Jackson for breach of oral contract and common count, meaning simply that the business' proprietors were after the money they were owed. According to the complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, they sought the remainder of Jackson's bill as well as court costs and any other relief the court decided to award them.
Jackson made his last payment to Mickey Fine in mid-2005 for prescriptions filled over the last two years, the lawsuit stated. Moreover, per court documents, the Thriller artist had not responded to monthly bills requesting payment.
Sadly, the notion that Jackson hadn't made good on a pharmacy bill isn't exactly shocking. The legally beleaguered performer has been plagued with financial issues for years, coming close to bankruptcy at least several times and becoming the target of multiple lawsuits demanding payment for services rendered.
In an April 2003 article on Jackson's finances in Vanity Fair, it was reported that, from October to December 2000, Jackson owed $62,645 to Mickey Fine, as well as $250,000 to his music attorney, $15,000 to his dermatologist, $99,831 to some place called Celebrity Costumes, $114,847 to the Hôtel d'Angleterre in Switzerland and $850,000 for "payroll."
Another article about Jackson by Fox News in 2002 that focused on that same time period reported that Jackson also owed more than $500,000 to his litigation firms, more than $78,000 to two PR firms, $214,000 to two different limo companies and $200,000 to Santa Monica Video & Audio Center (which, on Jackson's behalf, is an authorized Sony dealer, after all).
And that was before Jackson's 2005 trial on child molestation charges.
Since being acquitted of all charges, the erstwhile King of Pop has mainly been living abroad, shuttling between the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain and Europe and promising, then reneging on, plans for a comeback. He finally touched down in the U.S. last month, appearing to speak at the public memorial for James Brown in Augusta, Georgia, last month.
The independently owned and operated Mickey Fine—which came under fire in Los Angeles magazine a few years ago for touting its celebrity clientele as a marketing ploy ("Stop in to fill a prescription and you may rub elbows with Jennifer Lopez or Nicole Richie," the slogan read)—is run by third-generation owner Jeff Gross.
The upscale shop, which stocks all sorts of luxurious and hard-to-find items along with your run-of-the-mill Colgate and Oil of Olay, also boasts an old-fashioned lunch counter and soda fountain and is known for its motorcycle-riding delivery people.