Michael Jack­son’s es­tate as­sails HBO

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - NEWSMAKERS -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Michael Jack­son’s es­tate is call­ing HBO’s de­ci­sion to air a doc­u­men­tary that in­cludes al­le­ga­tions from two men that the su­per­star mo­lested them “dis­grace­ful” and is urg­ing the cable net­work to fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate their back­grounds.

The 10-page let­ter re­leased Fri­day of­fers a meet­ing with HBO ex­ec­u­tives to try to dis­credit the sto­ries of the two men fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary “Leav­ing Nev­er­land.” The es­tate con­tends that the men are ly­ing and that court fil­ings and story in­con­sis­ten­cies prove it.

The let­ter, writ­ten by es­tate at­tor­ney Howard Weitz­man, as­sails the doc­u­men­tary for fo­cus­ing solely on the sto­ries of the two men and not in­ter­view­ing any­one from Jack­son’s fam­ily, his es­tate or oth­ers who knew him. It says one of the men had sought work on a Jack­son­themed Cirque du Soleil show and raised the mo­lesta­tion al­le­ga­tions only af­ter he wasn’t hired.

The first in­stall­ment of the four-hour doc­u­men­tary will first air on HBO on March 3, with the sec­ond half air­ing the fol­low­ing night. HBO said in a state­ment af­ter the let­ter’s re­lease: “Our plans re­main un­changed. … Dan Reed is an award-win­ning film­maker who has care­fully doc­u­mented these sur­vivors’ ac­counts. People should re­serve judg­ment un­til they see the film.”

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