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Jackson loses $5.3 million lawsuit


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SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- A jury Thursday awarded a concert promoter $5.3 million for two concerts canceled by Michael Jackson in 1999.

Jackson had agreed to perform in two "millennium concerts" on New Year's Eve, 1999. The first concert was to have celebrated the new year in Sydney, Australia. Then Jackson was to jump aboard a jet and perform a second concert in Hawaii later the same day.

European concert promoter Marcel Avram had sought $25 million in damages for the canceled concerts. Jackson had claimed it was the promoter who pulled out of the deal.

Attorneys for Avram say they will seek an additional $6 million from Jackson for other expenses the promoter claims the performer was responsible for.

During the trial, Jackson caused quite a stir at the Santa Maria Courthouse where he testified. While his testimony itself drew little media attention, Jackson's appearance and sometimes eccentric behavior was widely reported. The singer often giggled on the witness stand, and mugged for fans in the courtroom.


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