Gary Susman
June 12, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Michael Jackson’s former financial advisers, who claimed the King of Pop was nearly bankrupt, were going to take him to court next week to get him to cough up the fees they said he owed them, but the singer was not so short on cash that he couldn’t come up with an out-of-court settlement on Wednesday. According to the Associated Press, Jackson averted a trial, a potential $12 million judgment in favor of the Union Finance and Investment Corp., and the public revelation of his financial picture, which Union Finance famously portrayed in court documents as ”a ticking financial time bomb waiting to explode at any moment.”

Jackson, who hired music-biz veteran Charles Koppelman as his new manager last week, wasn’t present for the Los Angeles settlement, whose terms were undisclosed. On Tuesday, he was in Indianapolis, giving a deposition in another lawsuit, this one a complaint filed by producer Gordon Keith, who alleges that the Jackson 5 infringed on his copyrights on a 1996 album of their pre-fame tracks from the mid-1960s. Jackson was supposed to testify last month, but an anxiety attack led to a brief hospitalization on the eve of his court date.

On Wednesday, for the first time in 20 years, Jackson visited his hometown of Gary, Indiana, where, at a City Hall press conference, Mayor Scott King gave him the key to the city, and where the singer announced plans to build a Michael Jackson Performing Arts Center in the city, the Gary Post-Tribune reports. See, he’s not broke.

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