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Judge tosses suit against Michael Jackson
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A lawsuit brought against Michael Jackson by a 22-year-old man whose testimony was characterized as "the ravings of an unbalanced celebrity stalker" by the singer's lawyers, was dismissed Monday after the plaintiff failed to show up for the start of his trial.

"I think the judge realized how crazy the lawsuit was," Jackson attorney Thomas C. Mundell told reporters outside the courtroom after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rold Treu granted his motion to toss the case.

In his original lawsuit filed in January 2006 in Orange County, and then refiled in Los Angeles that March, Daniel Kapon accused Jackson of a litany of sins, including child molestation, assault, battery, false imprisonment, plagiarism and fraud.

Kapon stated in his complaint that, starting in 1987, when he was 2, Jackson started molesting him, and over the next 12 years sexually assaulted him, forced him to take drugs and drink alcohol, subjected him to unnecessary cosmetic surgery, burned, tortured and beat him. To add insult to injury, Jackson then stole song ideas from him between 1987 and 1997, Kapon claimed.

Treu tossed out a handful of allegations in December 2006, including everything related to musical thievery, but let accusations of assault, battery, false imprisonment and a sexual battery cause of action stand.

On Thursday, the judge granted a motion filed by Kapon's most recent attorney, Barry Fischer, to be relieved as counsel. Fischer said that he hadn't heard from Kapon since November and didn't know whether he is "ill, dead or simply refusing to respond."

The lawyer filed a missing persons report with the L.A. Police Department on Jan. 3 and attached it to his request to step down.

According to court documents filed Dec. 17 by Jackson's camp, Kapon killed what was left of his credibility when he was deposed last month.

At the time, he testified that he fathered Jackson's two oldest children, Prince and Paris, by artificial insemination, and that his mother swapped vows with the entertainer multiple times. Elizabeth Taylor, Celine Dion, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Beyoncé Knowles and Diana Ross were among the guests at their various weddings, Kapon said.

(Xinhua/Agencies January 15, 2008) 

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