Trial over canceled Rod Stewart concert in Vegas

Singer Rod Stewart has appeared at a court in Las Vegas accused of taking more than Ј1m in fees for a concert that was cancelled in 2000.

The 60-year-old said he would "defend his honor" against entertainment company Harrah's, who claim that he breached their contract.

Mr Stewart called off the show while recovering from thyroid cancer surgery.

Harrah's said they had been willing to reschedule the concert if the money was returned, but this offer was declined, reports BBC.

"The man had cancer," said Skip Miller, his lawyer. "He had to have surgery. His voice didn't recover in time. He's now fully recovered and he's willing and able to perform the concert. They won't let him."

Both Stewart and Gary Loveman, the chairman of the gambling giant, are expected to be called as witnesses in the civil trial. Jury selection began yesterday with evidence not expected to start until next week.

In court documents, the Harrah's owned Rio Hotel and casino in Las Vegas claims that it hired Stewart to perform as part of a New Year's Eve weekend in 2000 and that "the parties agreed to reschedule only in narrow, specified circumstances not present here".

Stewart announced he was pulling out of the show at the Rio following surgery for thyroid cancer in May of that year.

His four-decade career hit a crisis point after he was diagnosed with cancer early in 2000 after a routine scan at Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Hospital. He had surgery the next day.

"They found a sort of lump on the thyroid gland but it was a very small lump and I was in and out of hospital in 24 hours. But it - you know they cut me from here to here, so it really wrecked my voice for nine months. And there was a period when I didn't think I was going to sing again," Stewart said in November 2004, reminds News Telegraph.

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