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Michael Jackson Estate Suing HBO Over Controversial Documentary, ‘Leaving Neverland’ [VIDEO]
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Filmmaker Dan Reed premiered his highly-controversial Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, during Sundance Film Festival in late January. Tensions around the film’s debut ran high as its public introduction came shortly after Lifetime’s shocking R. Kelly documentary, Surviving R. Kelly. Now, Michael Jackson’s estate is suing suing HBO as the entertainment network prepares to air the documentary on Sunday Mar. 3 and Monday Mar. 4.
Attorneys for Jackson’s estate have a issued a statement, saying, “A one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself.”
HBO released a trailer for the four-hour documentary, which highlights stories from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who claim they were “shamed” into silence about their sexual abuse, reports CBS News.
Jackson’s estate began its 53-page lawsuit with five simple words: “Michael Jackson is innocent. Period.”
“HBO is profiting…by airing a ‘documentary’ that falsely claims Michaell Jackson was abusing children on the same tour. It is hard to imagine a more direct violation of the non-disparagement clause.”
Jackson’s estate began its 53-page lawsuit with five simple words: “Michael Jackson is innocent. Period.” It goes on to detail how HBO’s decision to air Leaving Neverland is a violation of a 1992 contract, which prohibits the network from disparaging MJ after he allowed to company to air his “Dangerous Tour.”
“HBO is profiting…by airing a ‘documentary’ that falsely claims Michaell Jackson was abusing children on the same tour. It is hard to imagine a more direct violation of the non-disparagement clause," Jacksons attorneys said.
HBO has since responded to the lawsuit, saying, "Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, out plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland, the two-part documentary on March 3rd and 4th. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”