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Jacko Case Goes to Jury

Los Angeles- A jury of his…peers.

Hustler publisher and unlikely First Amendment activist Larry Flynt pointed out that if the U.S. legal system will protect society’s most bizarre or even unpopular characters, it can be counted on to protect the rest of us.

The masses can rest assured that democracy is alive for them, then, as the Michael Jackson financial dispute went to the jury Thursday.

The so-called King of Pop–who in April agreed to sell to Sony half of his 50% stake in rich music publishing catalog Sony/ATV Music Publishing–has been locked in legal struggle with one F. Marc Schaffel. The latter, Jackson’s one-time producer, claims the Thriller warbler owes him $1.4 million in loans and expenses.

In turn, the pallid celebrity has countersued, claiming that Schaffel actually owes him $660,000.

Jackson lawyer Thomas Mundell argued that Schaffel can’t back up his claims. Further, the jurist declared that the ex-promoter actually kept $400,000 paid by a Japanese company for rights to a record Jackson cut specifically to benefit those hurt by for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

As to the supposedly non-existent paper trail, Schaffel’s attorney Howard King depicted an extra-dimensional paperless working environment, calling it, “Michael world, not our world.”

King was quoted by various reports as further describing “a world where a superstar professes love for Marc Schaffel and entrusts him… Michael world–a world without receipts.”

King talked up a $300,000 expenditure his client made for an unexplained trip to South America. Schaffel’s lawyer pointed out that Jackson’s representatives never asked the purpose of the intercontinental trip. “They either know precisely why this money was delivered, or they don’t want to know and they don’t want you to know,” he said.

In turn, Mundell recited to the court a poignant voice mail message left by the triple-threat singer-dancer-actor to Schaffel. In it, Jackson allegedly pleaded, “Marc, please, please, never let me down. I have been betrayed so much by people. I want us to be friends and I want us to conquer the business world. Be my loyal, loyal, loyal friend.”

Bizarre is in the eye of the beholder. But compensation, and to whom, is up to the jury.

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