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The Case of the Missing Michael Jackson Music

Michael Jackson ODuran/Fame Pictures

On the down side, Michael Jackson has been sued yet again. On the plus side, the suit has absolutely nothing to do with underage children.

The son of the king of Bahrain, or as his closest friends refer to him, Sheik Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, has filed a $7 million breach-of-contract suit against the pop star, claiming Jackson reneged on an exclusive recording contract.

In his lawsuit, which will be heard in London court later today, the sheik claims he paid Jackson more than $7 million as an advance on two albums, a stage show and a planned autobiography, built him a recording studio and gave him a Rolls-Royce worth roughly $275,000.

However, while Jackson was more than willing to accept the funds, the royal said that when the time came to actually record the promised music, Jackson, well, beat it.

Te erstwhile King of Pop has claimed all payments he received were "gifts" and that no project or contract was ever finalized. He voiced similar sentiments back in September 2006, when he announced he had split from Two Seas Records, the Bahrain-based record label he cofounded with Al-Khalifa, after just five months (and, for those keeping count, zero records).

Meanwhile, the sheik says the money was simply an advance that was to be repaid out of the proceeds of their planned entertainment endeavors and that he was simply doing his buddy a solid to help him out of his financial funk.

The unlikely business partners were onetime close friends: Back in 2005, Jackson, along with his children and entourage of advisers, stayed at the sheik's Bahrain residence for roughly six months during the singer's self-imposed exile in the wake of his acquittal on child-molestation charges.

Though the case is expected to go to trial at London's Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon, and indeed the British press was gathering en masse to await Jackson's possible arrival in court, it's believed the high-profile duo will likely settle the matter outside of court.

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