Michael Jackson is a no-show in court. His lawyer says he needs medical attention for his spider-bite-afflicted foot
Michael Jackson
Credit: Michael Jackson: Ed Souza/Santa Maria Times/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Michael Jackson missed what would have been his sixth day of testimony in the lawsuit against him Thursday, pleading that he needed to seek treatment for the swollen left foot he’s displayed in court the last two days, saying he’d been bitten by a spider. Santa Maria, Calif., judge Zel Canter met with attorneys in chambers, then ordered Jackson to undergo a medical examination, Reuters reports.

Jackson is being sued for $21 million by promoter Marcel Avram, who claims that the King of Pop ducked out of performing in two scheduled Y2K concerts in 1999. The singer has insisted that it was Avram who scrapped the shows. Testifying this week in response to questions from his own lawyer, Zia Modabber, Jackson has said he has little recall of the details of his agreement with Avram, comparing himself to Walt Disney as both a visionary of family entertainment and a creative artist who leaves business details to others.

Avram’s lawyer, Louis ”Skip” Miller, accused the no-show defendant of malingering, saying that this was the third time Jackson’s absense had delayed the trial (earlier, the singer had balked at what he called the intrusiveness of the court photographer who took the notorious shots of Jackson’s peeling nose, and he had also taken a two-week recess to pick up an award in Berlin, where he made headlines by dangling infant son Prince Michael II out a hotel window.) Miller also noted that Jackson’s spider bite didn’t keep him from taking the stand while his own lawyer was questioning him. But Modabber said, ”Mr. Jackson is injured and needs medical attention. Today would have been his sixth day on the stand. He’s not afraid of this courtroom.” The trial is scheduled to resume on Friday, but it’s not clear if Jackson will still be on medical leave.