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Michael Jackson

Eric Neitzel / Getty Images

In the end, Michael Jackson once again beat it.

The King of Pop managed to avoid a showdown with a sheik of Bahrain in a London court, reaching a last-minute settlement in a $7 million battle over a music deal gone sour.

"As Mr. Jackson was about to board his plane to London, he was advised by his legal team to postpone his travels since the parties had concluded a settlement in principle," Jackson spokeswoman Celena Aponte said in a statement Sunday. "Therefore, he will not be attending court on Monday."

Terms of the deal, apparently struck just hours before Jackson was set to give testimony, were not announced. There was no immediate comment from the plaintiff, Sheik Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa.

The 33-year-old sheik, a son of the king of Bahrain, claimed he and his "brother" Jackson developed a close relationship after the Gloved One took up residence in the Middle Eastern country after beating his child-molestation rap in 2005.

Al-Khalifa says he underwrote Jackson's lavish lifestyle, including cash for legal fees, travel expenses and "a motivational guru." In exchange, Jackson purportedly agreed to form a joint label, record an album, write a memoir and produce a stage musical.

Jackson, 50, left the country in 2006 with nary a note recorded. His camp had insisted the sheik's funding was a gift.

His no-show Monday will no doubt create a huge news hole in the London tabs—London's High Court had been staked out by reporters and paparazzzi since late last week, when Jackson's lawyer announced the singer was no longer suffering some mystery malady and would head across the pond to make his case.