The King of Pop isn’t someone to mess with! The Michael Jackson Estate has hit HBO with a hefty $100m lawsuit over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” The controversial documentary paints Jackson as a notorious sexual abuser of children.
“The Jackson Estate will seek all damages proximately caused by HBO’s reprehensible disparagement of Michael Jackson, which could exceed $100 million should HBO succeed in the damage it is intending to cause to the legacy of Michael Jackson,” said an injunction and arbitration seeking breach of contract complaint filed today by lawyers from Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LL and Freedman + Tailtelman LLP in L.A. Superior Court. “Petitioners further pray that the arbitrator award punitive damages in the maximum amount permissible if and when Petitioners show their entitlement to such damages,” the 53-page filing adds.
“HBO breached its agreement not to disparage Michael Jackson by producing and selling to the public a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself,” Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman told Deadline Thursday with a far reaching lunge for a 1992 deal between the singer and the channel over a concert special as his legal lynchpin. “HBO could have and should have ensured that Leaving Neverland was properly sourced, fact checked and a fair and balanced representation,” he added in language similar to a letter sent to HBO CEO Richard Plepler over a week ago. “Instead they chose to fund and produce a film where they knew the two subjects had for many years testified under oath and told family, friends and law enforcement that Mr. Jackson did nothing inappropriate to either of them.”
Jackson’s past has always been a touchy subject amongst fans. There is no denying that something happened. What and the severity of it are still up to debate.
Judge for yourself when “Leaving Neverland” arrives on HBO this March.