Judge dismisses sexual abuse case against Michael Jackson

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • Judge Mark Young dismissed Wade Robson’s sexual abuse suit against Michael Jackson’s estates on Monday.
  • Young argued that the companies had nothing to do with the late pop superstar’s case.
  • Robson’s attorney expressed their intent to appeal the ruling.

On Monday, a judge ruled in favor of Michael Jackson’s companies — stating that it would not be compelled to protect boys from sexual abuse — and junked a long-lasting lawsuit against the late music icon.

In 2013, Wade Robson, one of the main subjects of ‘Leaving Neverland’ (an HBO documentary about alleged Jackson’s sexual harassment), filed a lawsuit. He accused Jackson of sexually abusing him when he was still seven, which persisted until he became 14.

Initially, the complaint was dismissed due to statute of limitations. Last year, though, the suit was revived when California reformed its state law that gives complainants more time to pursue a case.

Robson claimed that Jackson’s loan-out estates, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, played their roles in assisting the pop legend’s sexual misconduct against him and other people.

Per Judge Mark A. Young, the companies were just owned by Jackson, hence it cannot just simply control the pop legend since he was the boss, as stated in his ruling.

The legal team of Jackson strongly refuted the claims, as they alleged that since HBO aired the documentary, it violated a non-disparagement agreement. The case is currently in arbitration, with objections from HBO that claims that Jackson’s companies were moving to repress the sexual wrongdoings.

Jackson’s estates attorney Jonathan Steinsapir argued that Robson previously said that Jackson did not abuse him during an early trial. He also asked the court to rule against Robson’s suit, claiming that the estates were not in any way involved in the accusation.

“There was no way for the corporations to supervise or exert control over Jackson, their sole shareholder. The Corporations therefore had no ability — and thus no duty — to protect Plaintiff from Jackson’s alleged criminal conduct as a matter of law,”  he said in a motion for summary judgment.

On Monday, Steinsapir lauded Young’s ruling in a statement.

“Robson has taken nearly three dozen depositions and inspected and presented hundreds of thousands of documents trying to prove his claims, yet a Judge has once again ruled that Robson’s claims have no merit whatsoever, that no trial is necessary and that his latest case is dismissed,” he wrote.

Robson’s legal counsel Vince Finaldi said that he would make an appeal.

“If allowed to stand, the decision would set a dangerous precedent that would leave thousands of children working in the entertainment industry vulnerable to sexual abuse by persons in places of power,” Finaldi said in a statement. “The children of our state deserve protection, and we will not stop fighting until we [ensure] that every child is safe.”

In another but similar complaint, Young also dismissed James Safechuck’s suit in October last year. Safechuck was the other subject of the ‘Leaving Neverland.’ He already appealed the case.

Source: NBC News

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