The judge said Michael Jackson’s company cannot be held responsible for the late pop star’s alleged wrongdoing.
A California judge has dismissed the lawsuit of one of two men who claim to have been sexually assaulted by the late “King of Pop” Michael Jackson.
According to The Associated Press, Los Angeles Supreme Court Justice Mark A. Young ruled that 42-year-old James Safechuck could not sue the two defendants named MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc.
In his decision on Tuesday, Young noted that Safechuck was not demonstrating the kind of relationship with either company that would have compelled them to protect Safechuck – or anyone else – from Jackson’s alleged robbery.
Howard Weitzman and Jonathon Steinsapir, both attorneys on Jackson’s estate, said they were pleased with Young’s discovery.
“We are pleased that the court dismissed Mr Safechuck’s case, ruling that he had no reason to pursue such a lawsuit,” the lawyers said in a statement.
The Associated Press notes that this was the second time Safechuck’s lawsuit has been dismissed by a California court.
Safechuck first tried to sue the Jackson property in 2013, but his lawsuit was dismissed four years later. Safechuck was given a second chance, however – an appeals court reinstated its lawsuit earlier this year after California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed a proposal to allow adult child sexual abuse survivors to become predators and enablers long after the law suing for restrictions on their claims would have expired.
Michael Jackson at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. Image via Wikimedia Commons / User: Georges Biard. (CCA-BY-3.0).
Safechuck, the BBC adds, was one of two men publicly accusing Jackson of sexual abuse in the 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland”.
In the documentary and in his lawsuit, Safechuck claims he was abused by Jackson “hundreds of times” in the singer’s house and during music tours. He specifically accused MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc. of directly assisting Jackson in bringing up children for abuse.
“The barely disguised, covert second purpose of these companies was to act as a sexual abuse operation specifically designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce victims of child sexual abuse,” explained Safechuck’s lawsuit.
A Safechuck attorney, Vince Finaldi, told the BBC that Safechuck once appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Jackson and often accompanied him to concerts.
“Because he was a minor and an employee who worked for them, they had a duty to protect him,” said Finaldi. “That is our argument.”
However, Young denied this argument by stating that neither company was directly responsible for the alleged abuse of Safechuck. In addition, neither company could “control” Jackson since Jackson himself controlled both companies and all of the companies they employed.
Safechuck’s lawyers have announced that they will appeal the decision.
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