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Associated Press, Published March 26 2010

Prince ordered to pay Irish promoter $3 million

DUBLIN (AP) — A Dublin judge ordered U.S. pop singer Prince to pay $2.95 million to Irish concert promoters Friday for canceling a 2008 concert at the last minute.

High Court Justice Peter Kelly said he was making the total damages public because Prince has yet to pay anything to Dublin promoters MCD Productions Ltd. in their confidential settlement reached Feb. 26.

Kelly ruled that Prince had committed to perform in Dublin's 82,300-seat Croke Park in June 2008, but withdrew without explanation just days beforehand, after 55,000 tickets were sold. The 51-year-old Prince did not testify at last month's hearing.

Kelly said Friday his order was specifically against Prince, not his agents from the William Morris agency, who were absolved of liability. Prince's lawyer Paul Sreenan consented to the order.

MCD lawyer Maurice Collins said he might seek to pursue Prince using a more powerful European Enforcement Order if the performer didn't pay up soon.

MCD, Ireland's biggest concert organizers, said it had paid Prince half of his demanded $3 million fee up front, another $950,000 to book Croke Park for the night, advertised the concert aggressively and refunded all 55,000 tickets.

During last month's court hearing, William Morris agent Marc Geiger testified that he rarely spoke to Prince directly and found him one of his toughest clients to understand or nail down.

Geiger said he told Prince of the fury that the singer was causing MCD owner Denis Desmond during a rare face-to-face meeting in Los Angeles on June 3, 2008. He quoted Prince as replying, "Tell the cat to chill. We will work something out."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.