Michael Jackson Announces "Curtain Call" Concerts

King of Pop claims he never gave permission to sell certain items

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Michael Jackson flashes a peace sign after announcing his "final" concert series to a screaming crowd of fans in London.

    Michael Jackson and his minions choreographed a bizarre "news conference" in London today announcing that he would perform again for the first time in years.

    As screaming fans gushed over the former King of Pop, he came on stage for only a few minutes, at most, to make his announcement. Of course, he was dressed in a bedazzled military-style uniform.

    He told the a crowd of screaming fans that he would play a series of London concerts before retiring from public performance.

    Wearing his trademark sunglasses, he said the series of shows in July will be his "final curtain call."

    Jackson appeared at the 02 Arena -- where the concerts will be staged -- to announce the gigs.

    "This is it. This is it," Jackson said, as the fans screamed. "These will be my final shows, performances, in London. This is it. And when I say this is it, I mean this is it.

    "This is really it. This is the final curtain call, OK? See you in July."

    Jackson didn't specify how many shows he'll play, though posters have shown he's booked for 10 dates.

    The 50-year-old has been plagued by financial, legal, and medical woes for years and has not performed a major concert since 2001. His last studio album was released the same year.

    A previous attempt to relaunch Jackson's career collapsed amid reports of ill health and court action.

    Meanwhile, Jackson has filed a lawsuit to try to stop the scheduled auction of thousands of his personal possessions that include a pair of rhinestone-trimmed socks.

    The King of Pop's company, MJJ Productions, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday against Julien's Auction House. It claims founder Darren Julien promised to send Jackson an inventory of sale items, but that the singer hasn't given permission to move them all.

    The suit claims many of the items are "priceless and irreplaceable" and describes the attempt to sell them as "malicious, fraudulent, extreme, outrageous and without any legal justification whatsoever."

    Julien was out of the country Wednesday and did not immediately respond to an e-mail and phone call seeking comment.

    In December, Julien's company announced it would administer a five-day auction in April featuring more than 2,000 of Jackson's personal items, including his American Music Award for "Thriller," a velvet cape given to him by his children for Father's Day in 1998, a pair of rhinestone-trimmed socks from 1981 and a basketball signed by Michael Jordan.

    Platinum and gold records, a customized Harley Davidson, a Rolls Royce limousine and his own original artwork were also set for sale, according to the original announcement.

    MJJ Productions authorized the auction house to remove the items from Jackson's Neverland Ranch, according to court documents, but not to sell them without Jackson's permission.