Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, recently settled a case in which Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the second son of the king of Bahrain, had sued him for breach of contract. Al Khalifa alleged he advanced millions to Jackson in a joint venture that Jackson failed to complete. According to Billboard magazine, the suit was settled literally as Jackson was boarding a flight to London to give a deposition. Jackson’s request to answer deposition questions by video from Los Angeles had previously been denied.
By aggressively preparing for trial and insisting on an in-person deposition to Jackson’s significant inconvenience – thus making Jackson’s Plan B to settling substantially worse – Al Kahlifa’s lawyers strengthened their leverage and most likely obtained a more favorable settlement.
Billboard also reported that the Revelations perfume company has sued Prince (who is back to using his original moniker and is no longer “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince”) for allegedly failing to make himself available for required marketing opportunities to sell a perfume named after his 3121 album. By attempting to create a strong Plan B (going to trial and likely winning), Revelations is hoping to strengthen its leverage in its attempt to get a better negotiated deal.
Of course, juries are notoriously fickle, especially when celebrities are involved. But, assuming Revelations has a strong case, Revelations will strengthen its negotiation leverage by aggressively pursuing the matter in court.
This may also make Prince sweat – which would create a mutual interest for Prince to actually use the perfume.