Jacko is hospitalized, misses court appearance -- He felt ''ill and weak'' as he was scheduled to be deposed in a copyright infringement case

By Gary Susman
Updated May 22, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Michael Jackson: Toby Canham/Splash News/NewsCom

Michael Jackson was apparently so distressed over having to testify in a copyright infringement suit Wednesday that he worried himself sick. He was briefly hospitalized in Indianapolis, then flew back to Los Angeles, missing his deposition entirely, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The 44-year-old singer was ”feeling ill and weak,” his publicist told the paper. ”What it comes down to is, Michael does not like depositions,” said his attorney, Brian Oxman. “He doesn’t like lawsuits. He doesn’t eat and he doesn’t take care of himself because he’s so worried.” Jackson not only canceled his deposition but also a planned trip to his hometown of Gary, Ind.

Jackson didn’t seem too upset when he arrived in Indianapolis on Tuesday, went shopping at a downtown mall, and signed autographs for fans, the Associated Press reports. On Wednesday, he was to be deposed in a suit filed by Gordon Keith, who had signed a pre-Motown Jackson 5 to his Gary-based label, Steeltown Records, in 1967. Keith claims that he received no credit on a 1996 album of early Jackson 5 material called ”Pre-History: The Lost Steeltown Recordings.” He also claims that the quintet infringed the copyright of Ripples & Waves, another Gary band that was also a Keith client. Jackson’s legal team has not commented on the suit.