Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO Over Sexual Abuse Documentary

Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO Over Sexual Abuse Documentary

Executors for Michael Jackson's estate have filed a US$100 million (C$132 million) lawsuit against bosses at USA network HBO over a controversial new documentary detailing sexual abuse allegations against the late singer.

Jackson's estate reiterates its claim in the lawsuit that it was irresponsible for the film not to include any defense of Jackson from those who knew him, or further fact checks of the men.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, said HBO could owe more than $100 million in damages for what the estate called the network's "reprehensible disparagement" of the "Thriller" singer in the documentary.

Having premiered under a heavy police presence at the Sundance Film Festival last month, the Dan Reed directed Leaving Neverland is set to debut on HBO on March 3 and 4.

The estate had then too slammed the film and condemned the director for not speaking with anyone from the late singer's family before making it. "Leaving Neverland isn't a documentary, it is the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death".

Brisbane-born Wade Robson, and James Safechuck - who are now in their 30s - allege that they were sexually abused by Jackson at his Neverland ranch.

"Michael is not an easy target, because he is not here to defend themselves, and the law does not protect the deceased from slander, no matter how extreme the lie", is to be read in the suit.

A claim for $100 million filed in court in Los Angeles. "Both lawsuits were dismissed".

The documentary will air exclusively in Australia on 10 and WIN over two nights - on Friday, March 8 at 9.00pm and Saturday, March 9 at 9.30pm. With the constant whiff of legal action in the air, representatives for the estate of Jackson - who died in 2009, four years after being acquitted of seven counts of child molestation and two counts of giving a drug to a 13-year-old boy - previously tainted Neverland as "just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations".

"It's baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project".

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