No Jury For Jackson Bodyguard's Trial
A judge has ordered a libel trial involving Michael Jackson's former bodyguard to be heard without a jury present.
Matt Fiddes claims TV series The Jacksons Are Coming, about the famous family's search for a home in Devon, England, contained several staged scenes.
The ex-security guard also alleges the show, which was first aired in the U.K. in 2008, falsely implied he had betrayed Tito Jackson by leaking stories to the press.
He is suing U.K. TV network Channel 4, production company Studio Lambert, and the narrator of the programme, Jane Preston.
But Mr Justice Tugendhat has ruled that there will be no jury when the case heads to London's High Court later this month (Jun10), in a bid to keep costs down as legal fees have already escalated to $4.5 million (£3 million).
Tugendhat said, "It takes longer for 12 people to get to the right page of a bundle than it takes for one judge."
But Fiddes' lawyers have submitted an urgent appeal, which will be heard next week (beg07Jun10), fighting the decision.
In the appeal, his legal team states, "This is a classic case requiring trial by jury".