Jackson al­le­ga­tions and fight over them re­turn with new film

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - KICKOFF -

LOS AN­GE­LES — An at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing two Michael Jackson ac­cusers who ap­pear in an up­com­ing doc­u­men­tary says their sex­ual-abuse al­le­ga­tions have not been dis­cred­ited as the Jackson es­tate says, and de­serve to be heard.

Vince Fi­naldi, who rep­re­sents Wade Rob­son and James Safechuck in law­suits al­leg­ing Jackson mo­lested them, said the suits were dis­missed on tech­ni­cal grounds, not the cred­i­bil­ity of the men’s claims, and they are now un­der ap­peal.

“There were never any rul­ings to the court as to their tes­ti­mony,” Fi­naldi told The As­so­ci­ated Press Thurs­day. “We stand by our clients, and we be­lieve them, and we fully ex­pect them to be vin­di­cated.”

The sto­ries of Rob­son and Safechuck, who came for­ward as adults to say Jackson had sex­u­ally abused them for years when they were boys, will be heard again in the two-part, fourhour doc­u­men­tary “Leav­ing Nev­er­land,” which will air on HBO and Bri­tish pub­lic broad­caster Chan­nel 4 in the spring. It pre­mieres Jan. 25 at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val, the chan­nels an­nounced.

The Jackson es­tate re­leased a state­ment say­ing the doc­u­men­tary is “just an­other re­hash of dated and dis­cred­ited al­le­ga­tions.”

“Wade Rob­son and James Safechuck have both tes­ti­fied un­der oath that Michael never did any­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate to­ward them,” the state­ment said, adding that both had filed law­suits that have been dis­missed.

Jackson in 2005 was ac­quit­ted of crim­i­nal mo­lesta­tion charges, which did not in­volve Rob­son or Safechuck.

Rob­son tes­ti­fied at that trial, say­ing he had slept in Jackson’s room many times, but Jackson had never mo­lested him. Safechuck made sim­i­lar state­ments to in­ves­ti­ga­tors as a boy.

Then in 2013 Rob­son filed a law­suit that said stress and trauma had forced him to face the truth that he was sex­u­ally abused by Jackson, who died in 2009. Safechuck filed a sim­i­lar law­suit the fol­low­ing year.

From left, Jose Feli­ciano, Bad Bunny and Ozuna

Jackson

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