The truth always shines through for Michael Jackson!
Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling that denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Subsequently, Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the end of September.
The Leaving Neverland documentary features allegations of two men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who say they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson.
In court on Thursday, Boutrous asked the judge to reconsider.
“It was filed to chill speech,” he argued. “It was filed to tell the world, ‘Don’t talk about child sex abuse.’… A company like HBO may be able to fight back and move forward. Others might not be able to do that.”
Wu acknowledged that the legal issues in the case are close calls, and that his ruling will likely be appealed.
“You’re a big company, they’re a wealthy estate,” he told HBO’s lawyers. “It’s a clash of the titans.”
“I’ve never seen a media organization fight so hard to keep a secret,” he said. “We’re saying let’s get all the facts out there, not just two stories from two accusers with a financial interest.”
A spokesperson for HBO said, “We are waiting to see the Judge’s final decision.
Also, Bryan J. Freedman, an attorney for the estate, issued a statement slamming HBO for its “wrongful conduct.”
“HBO has tried everything possible to avoid having a trier of fact adjudicate their wrongdoing,” Freedman said. “If HBO believes its actions were proper then there is no reason for them to try and hide behind procedural technicalities to avoid an arbitration or a trial. Whether in an arbitration, federal court, state court or the court of appeal, the Estate of Michael Jackson will force HBO to be held accountable for its wrongful conduct. The Estate will never stop until justice has been obtained.”
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