Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who claimed they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson as children, could soon have their day in court.
The two have accused Jackson of grooming and sexually abusing them, and they claim that staff at his company MJJ Productions Inc. helped the superstar singer abuse and cover up, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeals issued an interim ruling Monday, June 26, saying Robson and Safechuck had a lawsuit against MJJ Productions Inc. and the case could go to trial.
Related story: ‘Horrifying’ Michael Jackson Doc ‘Leaving Neverland’ shocks Sundance
Robson filed a lawsuit against MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc. in May 2013. Safechuck filed suit a year later.
Both cases were dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired. But changes in state laws have allowed the lawsuits to be reinstated.
Under this week’s ruling, the cases would be combined at trial, according to the Time.
Lawyers for MJJ Productions, Inc. previously argued that the company had no liability because it could not control Jackson.
Jackson died in 2009 at age 50 from cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of propofol.
Robson and Safechuck shared their stories in the 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland.
The two alleged in the film that the abuse began when they were 7 and 10 years old. At the time, both boys were huge Jackson fans and wanted to pursue careers in the entertainment industry.
Robson met Jackson after winning a dance competition during the singer’s 1987 tour Bad tour in Australia. Robson became a sought-after choreographer and worked with Britney Spears and NSYNC.
Related story: Michael Jackson’s Estate Blasts ‘Leaving Neverland’ Emmy Win
Safechuck, who later became a computer programmer, was a child actor who appeared with Jackson in a Pepsi commercial.
The two were accompanied to the singer’s Neverland Ranch by their mothers.
The HBO documentary showed Safechuck and Robson, and their mothers discussing the Neverland fantasy – carnival rides, a private movie theater and shelves full of candy.
“The days were filled with magical experiences of childhood adventures,” Robson said in the film.
“It’s like hanging out with a friend who is older than your age,” Safechuck added.
But they claimed they were abused in Jackson’s bedroom and the singer made them promise not to tell anyone.
“He told me if they found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives,” Robson said.
Robson testified on Jackson’s behalf in 2005 after the singer was accused of assaulting a 13-year-old boy. Jackson was acquitted of all charges related to the allegations.
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