A US appeals court judge has ruled that cases alleging sexual assault by Michael Jackson can now pursue additional lawsuits against his enterprises.

A California appeals court determined that two men who claim Michael Jackson abused them as youngsters can file lawsuits against firms owned by the late singer, who died in 2009.

Wade Robson, 40, and James Safechuck, 45, have claimed that Michael Jackson abused them sexually for years and that employees of his two companies, MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc., were complicit and acted as his “co-conspirators, collaborators, facilitators, and alter egos.” According to the claims, the companies’ workers neglected to take efforts to prevent abuse, infringing on their “duty of care” to the boys.

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Michael Jackson’s estate now owns both companies, and the estate has constantly denied any abuse of Robson or Safechuck.

“We remain fully confident that Michael is innocent of these allegations, which are contrary to all credible evidence and independent corroboration, and which were only first made years after Michael’s death by men motivated solely by money,” said Jonathan Steinsapir, an attorney for the Jackson estate.

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The HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” presented both men’s tales, in which they accused Michael Jackson of assaulting them and establishing ties with their families in order to have access to the boys.

“Everybody wanted to meet or be with Michael,” Safechuck says in the film. “He was already much bigger than life. And then he develops feelings for you.”

According to Vince Finaldi, an attorney for Safechuck and Robson, the court overturned “incorrect rulings in these cases, which were against California law and would have set a dangerous precedent that endangered children.”

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Robson and Safechuck filed separate lawsuits against the Jackson firms in 2013 and 2014. Both claims were dropped in 2017 because the statute of limitations in California had expired. Both cases were revived in 2020 after a new state legislation gave plaintiffs in child sex abuse cases an extra year to file complaints.

The lawsuits were rejected again in October 2020 and April 2021, respectively, after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge decided that the two firms and their employees were not legally obligated to safeguard Safechuck and Robson.

However, California’s Second District Court of Appeals ruled on Friday, August 18, that a “corporation that facilitates the sexual abuse of children by one of its employees is not excused from an affirmative duty to protect those children merely because it is solely owned by the perpetrator of the abuse.”

The appeals court consolidated the cases, and they will now be heard in a trial court. Prior to the Robson and Safechuck cases, Michael Jackson was the subject of two separate police investigations into alleged child sexual assault in 1994 and 2003.


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