Michael Jackson was so broke he had no bank account; sheikh paid pop star's bill, nanny testifies
By ELLEN TUMPOSKY
DAILY NEWS CORRESPONDENT
Friday, November 21st 2008, 1:27 PM
Michael Jackson (c.) and Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa (l.), son of the King of Bahrain in 2005. The singer's nanny testified that the sheikh paid the singer's utility bills.
LONDON - Michael Jackson's nanny testified Friday that a Bahrainian prince wired her $1 million - because the singer didn't have a bank account.
The pop star was once one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world, but in 2005 he was so broke he needed a sheikh to pay his utility bills.
The nanny, Grace Rwaramba, said she was "flabbergasted" when Jacko's benefactor, Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Khalifa put $35,000 into her account to cover bills for Neverland Ranch in California.
When he followed up with a transfer of $1 million, "it blew my mind," Rwaramba said.
She was testifying as a defense witness in London High Court, where the sheikh's $7 million breach-of-contract suit against Jackson is being heard.
Al-Khalifa claims he bankrolled the former pop star because he agreed to produce and album, an autobiography and musical for a joint venture.
He charges Jackson reneged on the deal and should pay back the money.
Rwaramba testified that the 33-year-old sheikh, the son of the king of Bahrain, made the initial $35,000 payment before he ever met Jackson.
And she claims he never asked the singer to repay him.
"It was a gift. He'd say, what can I do for my brother, what can I get the children," she testified.
The singer is due to testify Monday.
"He will walk in the door with his head held high," said a source close to Jackson.