The Prince in the Press
Unless you’ve been living a long way from the radar, you’ve undoubtedly heard Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s name mentioned a fair bit of late.
The music-loving Prince of Bahrain was first long-time friend and eventually sworn enemy of the late, great Michael Jackson.
In November 2008, after trying to recover £4.7 million costs from Jackson, which the singer claimed was a series of gifts; Prince Abdullah sued his famous friend for what he felt was a “personal betrayal.”
Abdullah claims that despite having shelled out $2.2m for Jackson to record a song that the Bahraini royal had wanted to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the singer failed to attend the studio for the final recording and the song was never released.
So who is this philanthropist pop-loving Bahraini prince?
Madly in Love with Music
Prince Abdullah has a personal love of music, and has fitted his palace in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a deluxe personal recording studio. His musical icons include Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley, and he’s a cool kinda royal – he collects instruments – owning a vintage Gibson electric guitar, and rides a Harley Davidson.
A Friend in Need…
A long time friend of American pop legend Michael Jackson, Abdullah lent the star $2.2million for legal fees after “those allegations” made against him in 2005. The cash undoubtedly helped Jackson pay for a top-notch defence attorney and once the charges had been dropped, the Prince invited the pop icon, his children and personal staff to stay in Bahrain at the end of June ’05.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa also offered to help revive Jackson’s career and reputation, which had been severely punctured by the allegations made against him. After Hurricane Katrina, the Sheikh proposed that Jackson record a charity single called “I Have This Dream”, which the prince himself had written. Although the star apparently made it to and through the recording session in London, the song was never released.
At the November 2008 hearing, the attorney representing Bahraini prince, told the High Court that the day after Jackson’s criminal trial ended in California, the star did in fact record one of the songs that Abdullah wanted released as a charity single to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
I obviously don’t know the Sheikh personally, but he seems the sort who likes to help his friends and to help those in need, through his passion for music. It’s no secret that some fingers have been pointed in his general direction since Michael Jackson’s mysterious and untimely end.
What a tragic end to what was once such a beautiful friendship.