Michael Jackson’s accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck who are responsible for the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, have scored a major legal which will now enable the men to sue the late singer’s companies.
According to Deadline, the California 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has now ruled that Robson and Safechuck can sue Jackson’s entities MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc. for the alleged sexual abuse involving Jackson.
Robson initially filed his lawsuit in 2013 when he was 30, while Safechuck filed his in 2014 at age 36. However, the cases were dismissed because of a California law that stated the lawsuit had to be filed before the plaintiff’s 26th birthday.
According to legal documents, as of Jan. 1, the California law has been altered extending the statue of limitations. The new law will now allow “claims of childhood sexual abuse against third-party nonperpetrators to be filed” until the victim is 40 years old.
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Vince W. Finaldi told Deadline in a statement, “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal recognized the strong protections California has for sexual abuse victims, as well as the extended time for them to file claims.”
He continued, “We look forward to proving these claims before a jury. The time is coming for the Jackson estate and lawyers to ‘face the music’ regarding all of these lies and misrepresentations they have been making about Wade and James, and we welcome that day.”
Robson and Safechuck divulged the details of their alleged abuse in their Leaving Neverland documentary, which has been met with pushback from Jackson’s estate.
The late singer’s estate released a statement to TMZ, which said, “The Court of Appeal did NOT revive the lawsuits by Mr. Robson and Mr. Safechuck against the Estate of Michael Jackson. Both of those lawsuits were dismissed in 2016.... [The plaintiffs] absurdly claim that Michael’s employees are somehow responsible for sexual abuse that never happened.”
The estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO in early 2019 over the documentary.