Michael Jackson is hoping a doctor's note can get him out of his latest lawsuit.
An attorney for the pop star, currently embroiled in a $7 million breach-of-contract trial in London after a Bahrain sheik accused him of failing to make good on the terms of an exclusive recording contract, told the court today Jackson would likely be unable to make it across the pond to offer testimony due to an undisclosed illness.
"On a best-case prognosis, it would be unwise for him to travel, given what he's got now," attorney Robert Englehart said in London's High Court. He refused to elaborate further "for the obvious reasons," but said the singer was waiting on test results.
While Englehart offered that Jackson instead testify via video link from the U.S., attorneys for Sheik Abdulla Bin Hamad Isa Al-Khalifa had another suggestion: Get the star "bandaged up" and get him on a plane.
An attorney for the Bahrain royal, apparently in the loop on the nature of Jackson's illness, said "if the diagnosis is positive" on the test results, it could be taken care of easily and with little more than a bandage—fixes which, when previous appearances are taken into account, seem to hint at an ailment of the nasal variety.
Al-Khalifa's legal team also claimed the medical evidence Jackson's hired hands were giving for the client was "pretty unsubstantial" and "very unsatisfactory," not to mention utterly familiar.
"It's not the first time a sick note has been presented by Mr. Jackson," Al-Khalifa's lawyer, Bankim Thanki, said. "My client isn't being hard-hearted or difficult, he is being rightly skeptical."
Time will tell if the judge feels the same.
A decision on whether Jackson will testify via video link or in person is expected to be made Thursday, after the pop star's pathology report yields results. Should he be allowed to testify from the U.S., he will take the stand on Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Jackson has a history of coming down with all kinds of ailments just when he's supposed to appear before a judge. During his molestation trial, everything from a spider bite to a flu bug delayed his court time.