Jackson 'pays dollars 10m' to settle sex case

A MULTI-million-dollar civil lawsuit brought by a 14-year-old boy against Michael Jackson over child sex abuse allegations came to a sudden end last night when both sides in the dispute confirmed they had reached an out-of-court settlement.

The deal substantially reduced the likelihood that prosecutors would continue a five-month criminal investigation into the molestation claims, although the child's lawyer, Larry Feldman, said the boy was still able to testify against the singer.

Announcing what he described as 'a mutual resolution', Mr Feldman said that the 'emotional trauma and strain' of the case had persuaded both parties to 'reflect on the wisdom of continuing with the litigation'.

Both he and Jackson's legal team refused to say how much money was involved in the deal, although it is believed to be more than dollars 10m (pounds 6.7m). Some of this will be paid at once, while part of the money will be deposited in a trust fund for the child, Jordan Chandler, the son of a wealthy Beverly Hills dentist.

The settlement, which follows several days of tense negotiations, was announced outside a courtroom in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, where the lawyers had assembled for the latest hearing in the civil case. Johnnie Cochran, one of Jackson's attorneys, read what was clearly a well-thumbed statement, which said that the deal was 'in no way an admission of guilt by Mr Jackson. He is an innocent man who does not intend his career and his life to be destroyed by rumours and innuendos . . . he intends to move his career forward to even greater heights.'

Under intense questioning about the details of the settlement, Mr Feldman insisted that he was acting in the boy's 'best interest'. He was, he said, 'very happy with the resolution of the matter'.

Although the settlement rids Jackson of a big headache it is likely to be heavily criticised by those who feel that the multi-millionaire superstar has paid off a potential witness in a case that ought to have been resolved by the legal system.

The deal does not bar Jordan Chandler from co-operating with the criminal investigation into Jackson's alleged activities; it is illegal to do so. But if the boy and his family are determined it is in his best interests to drop the issue, California law says he cannot be forced to testify or be punished for refusing to co-operate with prosecutors.

'No prosecutor is going to prosecute if the victim doesn't want to testify,' said Peter Arenella, of the law school at the University of California in Los Angeles. 'Criminal prosecution after a civil settlement would be extremely unlikely.'

The deal also comes at a time when the US judicial system is already under fire from the public. Many have been unimpressed by a jury's inability to reach a verdict in the case of Erik Menendez, 23, who admitted shooting his parents, or the acquittal of Lorena Bobbit, who cut off her husband's penis.

Leading article, page 15

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Turner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral