Appeals court sends 'Leaving Neverland' fight to arbitration
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)PASADENA, Calif. – A federal appeals court ruled Monday that a lawsuit filed by the Michael Jackson estate over an HBO documentary about two of the late pop star's sex abuse accusers can go forward in private arbitration. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with two lower courts and ruled in favor of the Jackson estate in its decision on “Leaving Neverland." Unless there are further appeals, the case will go to a private arbitrator, which the Jackson estate argued was required by the 1992 contract at the center of the lawsuit. HBO has also more generally defended “Leaving Neverland” as a valid and important piece of documentary journalism. “Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed has been filming the hearings in those cases for a follow-up documentary.
Lawsuit of Michael Jackson sexual abuse accuser dismissed
LOS ANGELES – A judge has dismissed the lawsuit of one of two men who alleged that Michael Jackson abused them as boys in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland." Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark A. “We are pleased that the court dismissed Mr. Safechuck’s case by ruling that he had no grounds to pursue such a lawsuit,” Jackson estate attorneys Howard Weitzman and Jonathan Steinsapir said in a statement. A judge dismissed it in 2017, but an appeals court revived it early this year after California Gov. The similar lawsuit of Safechuck's fellow accuser and “Leaving Neverland” subject Wade Robson, which was also revived by the appeals court, remains alive.
Michael Jackson fans sue singer's alleged abuse victims
"It is not about money, it is an affair of the heart," said Emmanuel Ludot, the lawyer representing the fans. Walter, president of one of the groups, MJ Community, which has 600 members, attended the first court hearing. In 2013, Jackson was acquitted of abusing another child, also 13, who had cancer at the time of the alleged offense. Ludot said the legal battle has the full support of the Jackson family, who have previously called the film a "public lynching." Ludot says he has been approached by Jackson fan groups from Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and elsewhere, to clear the pop legend's name via the French legal system.