Three Michael Jackson fan clubs in France have filed a lawsuit against Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two men who accused the late pop star of sexual abuse in the HBO documentary ‘Leaving Neverland.’
The three organizations – Michael Jackson Community, MJ Street and On the Line – accused Robson and Safechuck of posthumously damaging Jackson’s reputation. According to the Associated Press, libel laws in the United States and the United Kingdom do not extend to deceased people, but there are laws in France against publicly denouncing a dead person.
Surprisingly, the fan clubs are only seeking a symbolic judgment of one euro each. But co-executor of Jackson’s estate, John Branca, suggested the decision to sue in France as a larger effort to change libel laws at home.
“The Estate is in full support of [lawyer Emmanuel] Ludot’s efforts on behalf of Michael and his beloved fans in France and across the globe that the truth shall ultimately prevail,” Branca said. “We remain hopeful that a victory in France will soon fuel a movement in the United States to finally explore changes in the law to afford defamation protection for the deceased.”
‘Leaving Neverland’ director Dan Reed has not backed down from the claims in his four-hour documentary, which chronicles the alleged sexual relationships Safechuck and Robson had with Jackson. Safechuck claims the abuse started in the late 1980s when he was 10; Robson says Jackson initiated their sexual relationship in 1990 when he was seven.