Michael Jackson wanted to be stopping something—namely a $48 million federal lawsuit against him.
The erstwhile King of Pop on Monday put the kibosh on a case brought by a New Jersey company that claimed to have helped shore up Jackson's tenuous money situation, reaching a settlement just before jury selection was to begin.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed; however, Fox News reports Jackson agreed to make a $5 million payment by the end of the year.
The breach-of-contract suit was filed in 2005 in U.S. District Court by Darien Dash and his company, Prescient Acquisition Group. Per the suit, Jackson hired Prescient in November 2004 to refinance a $273 million bank loan and to secure an additional $537 million loan to pay off outstanding debts and buy out the remaining stake in the Beatles catalog. In return, Jackson was to pay a 9 percent finder's fee, or $48 million.
Up until Monday, Jackson, 48, had claimed he never heard of Dash (a cousin of rap impresario Damon Dash) and said he didn't recall signing any contract with Prescient.
Jackson made headlines in New York's Daily News on Sunday after the newpaper printed remarks he made during a seven-hour deposition in the Prescient case. At one point, Jackson lashed out at the entertainment industry, saying "it's full of sharks, charlatans and impostors."
"Because there's a lot of money involved, there's a bunch of schmucks in there," Jackson said. "It's the entertainment world, full of thieves and crooks. That's not new. Everybody knows that."
Jackson also said that he received financial advice from billionaire Ron Burkle and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Michael credits the two with keeping him from being swindled by a friend of his brother Randy. (Randy's friend is the one supposedly worked out the arrangement with Prescient.)
The "Thriller" singer's money struggles have been well documented. Aside from a pile of legal bills from his successful defense in the molestation case and various lawsuits, Jackson has shuttered his Neverland Ranch and has been looking for possible comeback projects, including a long-rumored residency in Las Vegas.