Michael Jackson isn’t here to defend himself anymore, but his lawyers are working overtime defending him posthumously.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael’s estate has filed a lawsuit against HBO and its parent company Time Warner, claiming the cable channel’s upcoming documentary Leaving Neverland breaches a non-disparagement clause in a decades-old contract.
Variety reports that the suit claims the estate could be due $100 million if it wins the dispute.
Leaving Neverland focuses on two adults, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were sexually abused by the late King of Pop as children.
Back in 1992, HBO made a deal to air one of Michael’s concerts from his Dangerous tour. The estate claims that in the contract HBO signed at the time, the cable channel promised not to “make any disparaging remarks concerning [Jackson]” or “do any act that may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation or public image of [Jackson].'”
The estate also claims that the 1992 contract requires HBO to “notify and consult with Jackson…if it wishes to air additional programming about Jackson.”
The complaint further notes that Leaving Neverland suggests that Michael abused Robson and Safechuck while he was on the Dangerous tour.
It concludes that HBO “profited off the Dangerous World Tour” in 1992 and is now “profiting off” the same tour by “airing a ‘documentary’ that falsely claims Michael Jackson was abusing children on the…tour.”
In response, HBO said, in a statement provided to ABC News, “Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland…on March 3 and 4th. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”
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Source: Mix News