Michael Jackson has been ordered by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant to pay $175K in overdue lawyers' fees to Ayscough & Marar, a law firm that sued Jackson in February 2006.
Jackson now owes more than $430K to Ayscough & Marar for work that they performed on his behalf not paid for. The work included obtaining court orders to delay discovery in civil cases, and keeping information from being publicly released while Jackson was being tried for child molestation.
In July Chalfant awarded Ayscough & Marar's $256K in unpaid fees. The additional $175K represents the costs incurred by Ayscough & Marar in hiring a lawyer to sue Jackson.
Ayscough & Marar have stated that, as yet, Jackson hasn't paid any of the money that he owes them. There is a 10% per annum interest charge on the overdues, therefore the longer Jackson leaves the bill unpaid the worse it will get.
Jackson attempted to countersue Ayscough & Marar in August 2006, alleging that one of the firm's lawyers threatened to expose confidential information about him to the media. The case was dismissed as it lacked merit.
Quite how long Jackson can continue to "function" without honouring his debts and commitments is difficult to predict. However, it is clear that these problems will not go away and that there will be a reckoning.