Michael Jackson’s Estate Suing HBO Over Upcoming Documentary
Lawyers for Michael Jackson's estate have filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against HBO for their documentary about the sexual molestation accusations against the late singer.
HBO premiered 'Leaving Neverland' at Sundance this year, a four-hour documentary that centers on two adult men who accused Michael Jackson of molestation in their youth. After viewing the documentary, Uproxx stated that it "leaves little doubt that Michael Jackson was a sexual predator", and that other viewers left the screening in disgust, saying they would never listen to Jackson's music again.
According to The Blast, Jackson Estate attorney Howard Weitzman states that HBO is in breach of a long standing contract they had with Jackson, reportedly dating back to the early 90s when the network aired one of his concert specials. Weitzman argues that HBO is violation of the non-disparagement agreement, and could be seeking damages in excess of $100 million,
HBO breached its agreement not to disparage Michael Jackson by producing and selling to the public a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself.
HBO could have and should have ensured that Leaving Neverland was properly sourced, fact-checked and a fair and balanced representation. Instead they chose to fund and produce a film where they knew the two subjects had for many years testified under oath and told family, friends and law enforcement that Mr. Jackson did nothing inappropriate to either of them.
HBO issued a statement in response to the legal action, saying they intend to move forward with the two-part documentary, airing March 3rd and 4th, hoping that it will allow viewers to make up their own mind about what happened.
Weitzman also said that he believes the subjects of the documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, are only participating because they failed in their litigation against Jackson's estate.