It's a Good Day for Michael Jackson Accusers

Appeals court tentatively says lawsuits by Wade Robson, James Safechuck can proceed
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2019 3:30 PM CST
Updated Nov 19, 2019 4:00 PM CST
Michael Jackson Accusers May Be Able to Sue After All
This combination photo shows Wade Robson, left, and James Safechuck who appear in the Michael Jackson documentary "Leaving Neverland" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.   (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

Looks like two of Michael Jackson's best-known accusers may have another day in court. A California appeals court has tentatively ruled that lawsuits by Wade Robson and James Safechuck—who accused Jackson in the HBO documentary Finding Neverland of molesting them as boys—should get fresh consideration by a court that rejected them in 2017, the Guardian reports. "All they've ever wanted is their day in court," their lawyer says. If the tentative ruling stands, Robson and Safechuck will get to sue two corporate entities owned by Jackson, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. A 2015 legal decision that still stands means the accusers won't get to sue the actual Jackson estate.

Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman predicts another win for his side: "The appellate court’s tentative ruling is not on the merits of Robson and Safechuck’s allegations and the court in no way said that these cases will go to trial," he says. The ruling brings attention to a new California law that allows sexual-abuse victims to file suit until age 40—a 14-year increase over the previous law. The 2013 suits filed by Robson, 37, and Safechuck, 41, were in fact dismissed because the statutes of limitations had run out, the AP recalls. Experts say the new law, inspired by the Larry Nassar scandal, could unleash a fresh wave of suits against the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, school districts, hospitals, and others. (Jackson apparently cried when telling Marlon Brando about his sex life.)

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