Michael Jackson Ordered To Pay $256,000 In Unpaid Legal Fees

Tuesday, July 17th 2007, 4:55 pm
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Michael Jackson has been told to pay more than $256,000 in legal fees to a firm that handled some side issues during his 2005 child molestation trial.

A Superior Court judge signed a judgment Friday that awarded $216,837 along with $39,177 in interest to the Torrance firm of Ayscough & Marar, according to court records.

Jackson's attorney, Marshall Brubacher, agreed in principle to the judgment June 26, when he told the judge that going to trial would be costlier and ``we want to stop the hemorrhaging.''

The law firm sued the 48-year-old pop star for failing to pay legal fees for preventing the release of some information to the public and to lawyers in civil cases during his 2005 criminal trial in Santa Barbara County. Jackson was eventually acquitted of child molestation charges.

Jackson countersued the law firm but that case was dismissed.

Ayscough & Marar also helped defend Jackson against a lawsuit that claimed the singer owed $1.4 million to former business associate Marc Schaffel.

Last year, a jury awarded Schaffel $900,000 and awarded Jackson $200,000 in a countersuit against Schaffel.

Meanwhile, a Santa Monica charter jet company owner convicted of arranging the secret videotaping of Jackson and his lawyer in 2003 will let a judge decide how much he should pay if he loses a civil lawsuit.

Jeffrey Borer agreed Tuesday to allow the judge to set punitive damages without hearing witnesses who would have testified about his financial worth.

A Superior Court judge heard a $2 million invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by former Jackson attorney Mark Geragos, but has not yet ruled in the case. The judge took the case under submission earlier this year to decide both liability and damages.

Borer and a co-defendant pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy for installing digital cameras aboard an XtraJet plane that flew Jackson from Las Vegas to face molestation charges in Santa Barbara.

In that criminal case, Borer was sentenced to six months of home detention and fined $10,000. Arvel Jett Reeves was sentenced to eight months in prison, six months in a halfway house and a $1,000 fine.