On April 27, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Young dismissed a lawsuit brought by one of two men alleging that the late music legend Michael Jackson sexually abused them. The man, Wade Robson, was featured in the contested and controversial documentary Leaving Neverland.
Michale Jackson’s nephew, Taj Jackson, 47, has led the family against the allegations regarding his late uncle. Judge Young’s decision held that MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, Michael Jackson’s estate, cannot be held financially liable and have “no legal ability” in the regarding allegations made by accuser Wade Robson. Michael Jackson died in 2009 at 51.
“Both Wade Robson and James Safecuck’s cases have been separately thrown out of court again and again. Facts and Evidence actually matter in court. When will the media finally look into these two men and all their provable lies? ‘Lies Run Sprints But The Truth Runs Marathons,’ Taj Jackson wrote on social media after news of the latest dismissal broke on April 26.
Robeson sued in 2013 and Michael Jackson’s estate requested a motion to dismiss, which has now been granted. Family members of Michael Jackson have long fought against the allegations which were featured in the controversial and widely contested documentary Leaving Neverland.
The suit was brought in 2013 by Wade Robson and alleged abuse by Michael Jackson in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In October 2020, the judge dismissed a suit by James Safechuck, the second accuser featured in HBO’s Leaving Neverland. In 2005, Michael Jackson was acquitted in Santa Barbara County Superior Court of various allegations against him. The Jackson estate sued HBO over the documentary and the parties are now in private arbitration to resolve the matter.
In 2017, the Robson and Safechuck suits had been previously dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired. But a new law in California extended the time accusers could bring legal action. In 1993, Michael Jackson was accused of abusing 13-year-old Jordan Chandler, which Jackson denied. Chandler’s case was settled out of court for $23 million with no charges were filed after a criminal investigation displayed a lack of evidence or testimony from Chandler.
In 1996, Michael Jackson paid an out-of-court settlement to the mother of Jason Francia for over $2 million though in 1993, Francia told police that Michael Jackson never molested him. Several actors who knew Michael Jackson as children defended him against the allegations including Aaron Carter, Macaulay Culkin, Corey Feldman and Joey Fatone of NSYNC.
Jonathan Steinsapir, the attorney for the Jackson estate, reacted saying: “Wade Robson has spent the last eight years pursuing frivolous claims in different lawsuits against Michael Jackson’s estate and companies associated with it. Yet a judge has once again ruled that Robson’s claims have no merit whatsoever.”
Leaving Neverland debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 to widespread controversy. Michael Jackson’s brothers Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, along with thousands of fans, defined the production as one-sided that ignored any evidence or truth verifying that Michael Jackson was innocent.
“Let’s cut the BS,” wrote Tito Jackson’s son Taj Jackson on twitter on February 28. “Over 30 years to present one single piece of real evidence or fact against Michael Jackson. The FBI, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles County Law enforcement, wiretaps, raids, a demoralizing trial, a biased media, a four-hour hit piece, a one-hour special. Nothing!”
Fans online reacted with the hashtag #MichaelJacksonWasFramed as news of the latest dismissal against Jackson’s accusers spread.
(Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at <LBurke007@gmail.com> and on twitter at @LVBurke.)