Newstalk
Newstalk

10.11 4 Jan 2020


Share this article


Two men who made allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson in a 2019 documentary have been given the go-ahead to pursue claims against two of the late singer's companies.

Wade Robson and James Safechuck described in graphic detail - in 'Leaving Neverland' - how they were befriended by Jackson and allegedly abused from the ages of seven and 10 in the early 1990s.

The pop star died in 2009, and his family has denied the accusations made in the documentary.

His estate has also criticised the documentary - describing it as a "tabloid character assassination" that the star had "endured in life and now in death".

On Friday, an appeals court in California ruled the pair could pursue their claims - against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures - because of a change in state law.

A lower court had dismissed lawsuits brought by the two, because under California law claims of childhood sexual assault had to be filed before an accuser's 26th birthday.

A change in the law, which came into effect on January 1st 2020, now extends the period until an accuser's 40th birthday.

Michael Jackson The picture shows the train station of the Neverland Ranch near Santa Barbara, California in 2003 | Image: C3396/DPA/PA Images

"We are pleased that the court has recognised the strong protections California has put into place for sexual abuse victims under the state's new law extending the statute of limitations," said the men's lawyer Vince Finaldi in a statement after the ruling.

"We look forward to sharing the facts of the terrible abuse of James Safechuck and Wade Robson with a jury."

A lawyer representing Jackson's estate said he was confident both lawsuits would be dismissed.

"The Court of Appeal's ruling merely revived lawsuits against Michael Jackson's companies, which absurdly claim that Michael's employees are somehow responsible for sexual abuse that never happened," lawyer Howard Weitzman said in a statement.

The appeal court said it was not ruling on the truth of the allegations, which it said involved accusations of "a disturbing years-long pattern of child sexual abuse by international superstar Michael Jackson".

In 2005, Jackson was acquitted on charges of molesting a different boy, a 13-year-old, at a trial in California.

He had always denied any allegations he was involved in abusing underage boys.


Share this article


Read more about

California Documentary James Safechuck Law Change Leaving Neverland MJJ Productions MJJ Ventures Michael Jackson Sexual Abuse Vince Finaldi Wade Robson

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Tom Dunne Show

The Tom Dunne Show

22:00-00:00

Share

Up next

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on