Michael Jackson: sexual abuse lawsuits revived in appeals court

39;Leaving Neverland' accusers can pursue lawsuits against Michael Jackson's companies- appeals court

39;Leaving Neverland' accusers can pursue lawsuits against Michael Jackson's companies- appeals court

"We're glad the appellate court recognised the very strong protection that California has for kids, and we look forward to litigating these cases to trial", said Vince Finaldi, attorney for the plaintiffs.

The appeals court heard argument on the case in November, and the court issued a tentative ruling indicating that it would revive the suits in light of the new law. The revised law, which came into effect on January 1, extends the period until an accuser's 40th birthday.

Both Mr Robson and Mr Safechuck claim they were abused by Jackson from the ages of seven and 10. At the time they filed, they were 30 and 36, respectively, and California's statute of limitations required them to file before they turned 26. Jackson's estate has issued heated denials about the accusations made in the film.

However, TMZ claims the men can not pursue a lawsuit against the estate of the late singer as different rules apply, and they are both still barred by the statute of limitations. "Both men admitted in those cases that they committed perjury".

Howard Weitzman, a lawyer for Jackson's estate, said: "The Court of Appeal's ruling merely revived lawsuits against Michael Jackson's companies, which absurdly claim that Michael's employees are somehow responsible for sexual abuse that never happened". Jackson was acquitted at a 2005 trial in California on charges of molesting a different, 13-year-old, boy.

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An attorney for Jackson's estate said he was confident that both lawsuits, against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, would be dismissed. The trial judge granted the estate's motion to take the dispute to arbitration, but HBO has appealed that ruling, arguing that the estate is seeking to thwart its First Amendment right to air claims of child sexual abuse. The statue of limitations has previously kept the cases from moving forward against the corporations, cited in the suit for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

Safechuck, meanwhile, met Jackson in late 1986 or early 1987. Safechuck alleged the same claims against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures as Robson.

According to the Court of Appeal ruling, Safechuck claims Jackson "kissed Safechuck's genitals" in addition to other forms of abuse.

Robson and Safechuck will be allowed to sue Jackson's companies, and they will attempt to prove that the people in Jackson's circle and those who were involved in his businesses knew what was going on, yet allowed Jackson to continue his alleged abusive behavior towards minors.

Jackson died in 2009 but the singer's family has denied the claims and described "Leaving Neverland" as a "public lynching".

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