Jackson estate says HBO film violates non-disparagement contract: lawsuit

Michael Jackson Estate Hits HBO With $100M ‘Leaving Neverland’ Lawsuit

Michael Jackson Estate Hits HBO With $100M ‘Leaving Neverland’ Lawsuit

The hard-hitting documentary, titled Leaving Neverland, centres on two men who claim the King of Pop abused them when they were children.

Pop star Michael Jackson's estate is suing HBO for United States dollars 100 million over the network's plans to air Leaving Neverland documentary, which alleges the singer sexually abused two young boys.

Finding Neverland was commissioned by HBO and was helmed by British director Dan Reed, who has previously produced docos including Terror In Mumbai, The Paedophile Hunter and The Valley.

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"Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged", the statement reads. In their statement, the lawyers claim that HBO and the Jackson family had entered into an agreement that prohibits the networks to defame the honor and dignity of the singer after his death.

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It asks the court to order arbitration and says damages could exceed US$100 million.

The estate has filed suit against HBO, but HBO has not backed down from airing the documentary.

Both men say they met Jackson as children when the "Thriller" singer was at the height of his fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s. "Period", and goes on to recount the criminal investigation and 2005 trial in which Jackson was acquitted, highlighting the conflicting statements through the years of Robson and Safechuck, who are described as "admitted perjurers" in the suit. Safechuck filed a similar civil suit against the estate in 2014. The allegedly false claims should not be allowed to distribute HBO through the documentary for a reason: The stations have to be insured in a contract of 1992, to disparage the musicians, neither now nor in the future.

Howard Weitzman, an attorney for the Jackson estate, said in a statement on Thursday that HBO "could have and should have ensured that "Leaving Neverland" was properly sourced, fact checked and a fair and balanced representation".

Meanwhile, HBO has responded to the lawsuit and said that this will not affect their support of the documentary.

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