Michael Jackson's estate files $100M lawsuit against HBO to stop release of 'Leaving Neverland' claiming it was breaching a 1992 contract
Michael Jackson's estate is doing everything they can to prevent the release of HBO's 'Leaving Neverland' which is due to be aired on March 3 and 4
Michael Jackson's estate is doing all they can to stop and prevent HBO from releasing its upcoming documentary titled 'Leaving Neverland' and has slammed the network with a $100 million lawsuit.
Daily Mail obtained the lawsuit which accused HBO of breaching a 1992 contract which had been signed by the late pop icon when his 'Dangerous World' tour had aired on the channel. The suit claims that 'Leaving Neverland' breaches the contract by suggesting that MJ had sexually abused and molested children when he was on his 'Dangerous World' tour. The suit states, "It is hard to imagine a more direct violation of the non-disparagement clause."
The lawsuit also refers to the two men at the center of the documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck as "admitted perjurers". It also mocks the present president of HBO Richard Pepler and calls him a "failure". The documentary 'Leaving Neverland' is set to air on HBO on March 3 and 4.
The lawsuit states, "Michael may not have lived his life according to society’s norms, but genius and eccentricity are not crimes. Nothing and no one can rewrite the facts which show that Michael Jackson is indeed innocent of the charges being levied on him by HBO in its "documentary" 'Leaving Neverland'. No one-sided "documentary" can substitute for a real documentary, or for a trial where both sides are heard, competent evidence is presented, and witnesses are cross-examined."
The suit then goes directly after HBO and states that the network is "so desperate for eyeballs that its growing irrelevance to the cord-cutting generation was crystallized when its chief rival bluntly stated in its January earnings report that it considers a popular online game to be a more serious competitor than HBO." It also talks of the two men at the center of the documentary and says that one of them is a self-described "master of deception" whose litigations have come across as failed melodrama.
It then states, "With more holes in their stories than anyone can count, both view Michael Jackson, the man who they previously swore was an inspiration and did nothing to them, as a lottery ticket through accusations never brought during Michael’s life."
It adds, "They never brought these claims during Michael’s life, because they knew Michael would have held them both legally accountable for their defamation, just as Michael had held the 'reporter' Victor Gutierrez — who seems to be the true author of these two men’s fictional tales — liable before a jury for millions of dollars when he falsely made similar claims about Jackson."
"[Producer] Dan Reed made no attempt to review the legal records from Robson’s and Safechuck’s litigations with the Estate, where the judge found that Robson had lied under oath during the litigations on key issues; and where Robson was caught red-handed hiding crucial evidence from the court, from the Jackson Estate, and even from his own lawyers."
"Reed even ignored the fact that these men are still pursuing claims against the Jackson Estate for hundreds of millions of dollars so they have hundreds of millions of reasons to lie," states the suit.
The suit then named Jackson's children as the true victims in the case which read, "The real victims here are the primary beneficiaries of the Estate, Michael’s three children, who are forced to endure this attack on their father, ten years after they buried him, and when he has no chance to respond. Michael Jackson can never be silenced. His music and artistry live, as does his innocence. They will long outlast false claims, gossip, and allegations spread by those who seek to make money off him. In the end, this "documentary" will say much more about HBO than it ever could about Michael Jackson."
"He was arguably the most famous person on the planet but possibly also one of the loneliest," the suit stated before saying that it is Pepler who is the target. "Content has been a real problem during Richard Plepler’s tenure as CEO of HBO. With the one exception of 'Game of Thrones', all of the cutting-edge, and now classic, original content that is associated with HBO — 'The Sopranos', 'The Wire', 'Deadwood', 'Six Feet Under', 'Entourage', 'Sex and the City', 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', etc. — was from the era when Chris Albrecht ran HBO."
"With Albrecht’s departure in 2007, Richard Plepler took over. And Plepler has almost entirely failed where Albrecht succeeded: original content. With Netflix and others in the industry now, HBO picked the wrong time to fail in original content," the suit concluded.