Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa is Bahraini royalty and was, at one time, a close pal of pop megastar turned lagoon creature Michael Jackson. But now, sigh, one old friend is suing the other. Jackson spent six months living on the small desert island in the Persian Gulf three years ago. See, he'd just been acquitted on child molestation charges and needed some time to decompress. He and the Sheik were friends, and supposedly they cooked up some big plans for a Jackson comeback. The Sheik gave Jackson lots of money and equipment, and even wrote some songs himself! And they actually recorded one of the Sheik compositions. But then Jackson decided that he didn't want to make a record with the Sheik after all, even though he'd spent the money and used the equipment:

Prior to his stay in the country, Sheik Abdulla set up Mr Jackson with a recording studio on his Neverland ranch and sent him his own musical compositions. A recording of a finished song will be played in court, Mr Thanki said. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Sheik Abdulla helped Jackson settle his bills, the court heard Mr Jackson has contested the claim, saying there was no valid agreement, adding the Sheik's case is based on "mistake, misrepresentation and undue influence". He has also said no project was ever finalised and payments were "gifts". The court heard that under the agreement, an album, autobiography and stage play were to be produced.

All kind of sad and weird. Sad and weird for the obvious reasons, yes. And because Jackson just lost his crazy, crazy Neverland ranch because he's kinda going broke. But also sad because I guess that means we're never going to see the "stage play" that they were going to dream up?? That's a disaster! It could have been so weird and good, who cares if we had to fly to Bahrain to see it. The lucky people in the London courtroom get to hear the song this week. I hope someone leaks it. And really, can't you two please work it out and get this play going? After that you can retreat back into the strange shadows, Michael, and do whatever you want (well, you can't do that). But first we need the musical. Sheik 'Planned Jackson Revival' [BBC]