Jackson fans SUE men who alleged child abuse in Leaving Neverland

Michael Jackson fan clubs SUE two men who claimed the star abused them as children in Leaving Neverland documentary – accusing them of tarnishing the singer’s image

  • Jackson fans are suing two alleged victims of the pop-star at a court in Orleans
  • The HBO documentary focused on James Safechuck, 41, and Wade Robson, 36
  • Both claimed they were abused as young boys in the film released in January
  • Michael Jackson Community, MJ Street and On The Line groups are taking action

Michael Jackson fan clubs in France are suing two men featured in the Leaving Neverland documentary saying their child abuse allegations amounted to a ‘lynching.’

Three different Jackson organisations have hired a lawyer to put forward a case against sullying the pop-star’s image at a court in Orleans on Thursday.

Emmanuel Ludot, acting on behalf of the Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street and On The Line groups, said the claims had been ‘extremely serious’ and ‘a genuine lynching’ of Jackson, who died in 2009.

Under French law, sullying the image of a dead person is a criminal offence, unlike in Britain or America where libel and defamation laws do not offer this protection. 

The four-hour HBO feature focuses on testimony by James Safechuck, 41, and Wade Robson, 36, who recount separate but consistent accounts of how their idol molested them as boys at his Neverland Ranch in California.

Michael Jackson addresses a press conference at the O2 arena in London in 2009 – he died that year. In France it is illegal to sully the name of a dead person

Wade Robson (left), director Dan Reed (centre) and James Safechuck pose for a portrait to promote the film ‘Leaving Neverland’ at the Sundance Film Festival – Safechuck and Robson were the focus of the film

The two-part film, which was released in January, broke streaming records and prompted the Jackson family to sue for $100 million (£79 million). 

The fan clubs are seeking symbolic damages of one euro each.

Ludot had previously successfully sued Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray for causing distress to his fans by giving the US pop legend the drugs that killed him.

Five Jackson fans won symbolic damages of one euro each in 2014 after the court in Orleans agreed they had suffered ’emotional damage’ from the pop star’s death, but the ruling was seen as legally dubious by experts.


James ‘Jimmy’ Safechuck (left) alleged abuse when he was aged ten and Wade Robson (right) alleged abuse at age seven

A number of radio stations, from Australia to Canada have stopped playing Jackson’s music after the HBO documentary was aired, and the creators of ‘The Simpsons’ also shelved one of the animated series’ classic episodes because it featured Jackson’s voice. 

Jackson died in 2009 aged 50 from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol while under Murray’s care, as the ‘King of Pop’ rehearsed in Los Angeles for a series of comeback concerts in London.

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