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Michael Jackson's estate sues HBO for $100 million over 'Leaving Neverland' documentary

Terry Carter

 // Feb 22, 2019

Google // Free Use

HBO's "Leaving Neverland" documentary is already causing controversy before it even airs.

According to TMZ, Michael Jackson's estate has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the network claiming it has violated a contract made with the King of Pop before his death.

In 1992, Jackson approved of HBO to air a special of his "Michael Jackson Live in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour." According to reports, the terms of that contract have now been breached over a non-disparagement agreement. In the upcoming documentary, "Leaving Neverland," Jackson is accused of molesting two men — James Safechuck and choreographer Wade Robson — when they were children.

Although the men maintain their allegations are true, Jackson's estate has repeatedly refuted their accusations. The Estate now argues the claims made by Robson and Safechuck in the documentary are damaging and violates the 1992 non-disparagement provision HBO agreed upon which states "HBO shall not make any disparaging remarks concerning Performer or any of his representatives, agents, or business practices or do any act that may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation or public image of performer."

Earlier this month, Jackson's estate called out Dan Reed, the director of "Leaving Neverland," in an open letter. The Estate claimed Reed never made any attempts to reach out to anyone to "discredit" Robson or Safechuck. The Estate also cited Robson and Safechuck's previous lawsuits (which were both dismissed in court) and pointed out Robson's kind words of Jackson after his death in 2009 as proof that the two men have no credibility.

HBO responded to the Estate's lawsuit on Friday (Feb. 22), telling TMZ, "Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of LEAVING NEVERLAND, the two-part documentary, on March 3rd and 4th." The network also added, "This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves."

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