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Michael Jackson’s children may be planning to take two of his most famous accusers to court.
James Safechuck and Wade Robson’s stories were detailed during HBO’s documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Both men claim that the late King of Pop molested them as children, oftentimes at his famous Neverland Ranch. Jackson was acquitted on child molestation charges in 2005.
The film has been met with both support and criticism, with some distancing themselves from Jackson’s legacy and others steadfastly defending it. Jackson’s family has repeatedly defended him, and his children are reportedly considering taking things a step further with legal action against Safechuck and Robson, Page Six reports.
Jackson’s three children — 22-year-old Prince, 21-year-old Paris, and 17-year-old Blanket — are investigating Safechuck and Robson as they prepare to file a lawsuit for fraud, emotional distress, slander, and misrepresentation, Page Six reports, citing an anonymous source close to the family. Jackson’s children want his accusers to apologize and accept “responsibility,” and plan to donate any money they may win as a result of the suit to charity, the outlet states.
Jackson’s children believe that “Leaving Neverland” “[took] away their privacy” because they were referenced in the film without their consent, Page Six reports. They are also searching for any inconsistencies in the stories Safechuck and Robson detailed during the HBO film.
“The three children say that all they want is to preserve their father’s musical legacy. They feel that the ‘documentary’ was one-sided and the two men have made numerous claims that aren’t true,” a representative for Jackson’s children told Page Six.
“Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed has previously stated that neither Robson nor Safechuck were paid for their participation in the film, but Jackson’s children are reportedly investigating if that is true. The group is also specifically looking into a charity that Robson launched earlier this year, according to Page Six. The Robson Family Fund was created through the Hawaii Community Foundation; the name was later changed to the Robson Child Abuse Healing and Prevention Fund amid backlash that the function of the fund was unclear, The Blast reported last month.
“As for the allegations, they believe that per their own investigation and other news sources, money raised by the two men and maybe others has not gone to a charity or to promote anything positive,” the Jackson children's rep told Page Six. “They want formal answers on the ‘charity’ issue of Mr. Robson and his ‘donation’ and more. They certainly haven’t used their new platform and that is the point. The Jacksons use theirs to help others. It’s the principle, but it’s also possibly illegal and they want answers.”
A source close to the Jackson family told the outlet that Robson’s charity has caught the attention of investigators in Hawaii, but that has not been confirmed, with the office of Hawaii’s attorney general failing to respond to Page Six's request for comment. However, the Hawaii Community Foundation told the outlet that they do not know of any investigation regarding Robson’s charity.
Before his death in 2009, Jackson always maintained his innocence. His family continues to do so following his death; his family’s most recent rebuttal came in the form of a 30-minute “mini documentary” last month, during which they challenged Safechuck and Robson’s claims.
Jackson’s estate also filed a lawsuit against HBO earlier this year, accusing the network of disparaging Jackson by airing the documentary in the first place and, in their view, violating a 90s-era contract HBO previously signed agreeing not to do so.
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