A California appeals court has breathed new life into the legal battles of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who have accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them during their childhood.
Temporary Expansion of Sexual Abuse Case Parameters
The California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal, composed of a three-judge panel, determined that a lower court should not have dismissed the lawsuits filed by Robson and Safechuck.
The men assert that the Jackson-owned corporations implicated in the cases had a duty to safeguard them.
This revival was enabled by a temporary expansion of sexual abuse case parameters through a new California law.
This marks the second instance where these lawsuits, initiated by Robson in 2013 and Safechuck in the subsequent year, have been reinstated after initial dismissal.
Their narratives gained widespread recognition when they shared their experiences in the 2019 HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland.”
In 2021, a judge had previously dismissed the suits, arguing that the corporations in question, MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc., shouldn’t be held to the same standards of care as organizations like the Boy Scouts or a church, which assume responsibility for children in their care.
These corporations were solely owned by Jackson, who passed away in 2009.
The appellate judges held a differing viewpoint, asserting that a corporation facilitating the sexual abuse of children by one of its employees cannot be absolved of its obligation to protect those children, regardless of the sole ownership status held by the perpetrator of abuse.
The Boys Had Been Left Defenseless in a Challenging Situation
They reasoned that it would be inappropriate to forgo the imposition of duty solely based on the corporate defendant having a single shareholder.
In July, Jackson’s estate attorney, Jonathan Steinsapir, expressed skepticism about the credibility of the men’s allegations.
He raised a point of contention, highlighting that expecting employees to intervene against their boss’s behavior seems unreasonable.
Holly Boyer, an attorney representing Robson and Safechuck, countered that the boys had been left defenseless in a challenging situation, indicating a legitimate obligation to ensure their protection and provide warnings.
Jackson Molested Him Over a Span of Seven Years
Steinsapir presented evidence gathered in the ongoing cases, suggesting that the parents had not anticipated Jackson’s employees to function as monitors.
He cited a deposition from Robson’s mother, revealing that she did not know of the existence of these corporations when she initially introduced her 7-year-old son to the pop star.
Robson, now a 40-year-old choreographer, first crossed paths with Jackson at the tender age of 5 and featured in three of Jackson’s music videos.
His lawsuit alleges that Jackson molested him over a span of seven years.
… And Showering Him With Gifts
Safechuck, currently aged 45, asserted in his lawsuit that he was just 9 when he met Jackson while filming a Pepsi commercial.
He claimed that Jackson frequently contacted him, showering him with gifts before the relationship took a sinister turn toward sexual abuse.
While The Associated Press typically refrains from naming individuals who identify as victims of sexual abuse, Robson and Safechuck have chosen to disclose their identities and have given consent for their names to be used.
These lawsuits had already seen a revival in 2017 after being initially dismissed due to exceeding the statute of limitations. Jackson’s personal estate was excluded as a defendant in 2015.
An Ongoing Legal Battle Surrounding Michael Jackson’s Legacy
The Jackson estate has consistently refuted the allegations, underscoring that both Robson and Safechuck previously testified, denying abuse allegations, at Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial, where he was ultimately acquitted.
The two men’s cases have been combined for oral arguments. They may eventually be tried together, marking a significant chapter in the ongoing legal battle surrounding Michael Jackson’s legacy.
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The post Is Michael Jackson in Jeopardy Again? The Appeals Court Resurrects His Historic Abuse Allegations! first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
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