Michael Jackson: Michael A. Mariant/ AP
Gary Susman
February 15, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Participants in the Michael Jackson trial who expected jury selection to continue on Tuesday were surprised to learn, 15 minutes after the singer was due in court, that he’d been rushed to the emergency room instead. According to the Associated Press, Judge Rodney Melville made the announcement at 8:45 a.m. that Jackson had taken ill with flu on the way to the trial. He later told prospective jurors that Jackson had been admitted to the hospital, which AP identified as Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif., about 2 miles from the courthouse.

Jackson hadn’t appeared to be ill during his court appearance on Monday. Nonetheless, Judge Melville deemed the ailment serious enough to delay jury selection for another week, to resume on Feb. 22. A statement posted Tuesday at Jackson’s website says: ”Due to a very serious case of the flu, Michael Jackson has been taken to the hospital in Santa Maria. Judge Melville has just announced that court will adjourn until next Tuesday, when jury selection will resume.”

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