A judge on Monday gave Michael Jackson’s estate the dismissal of Wade Robson’s lawsuit on the late artist, who claimed that Jackson sexually abused him as a boy.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young gave the Jackson estate’s appeal to dismiss the suit brought in 2013 by Robson. The judge said two Jackson entertainment corporations, MJJ Ventures, and MJJ Productions, targeted by the lawsuit, had no contractual duty to defend Robson from Jackson.
“There is no evidence establishing plaintiff’s contention that defendants exercised control over Jackson,” the judge wrote. “The evidence further demonstrates that defendants had no legal ability to control Jackson because Jackson had complete and total ownership of the corporate defendants.”
Monday’s decision came after the judge dismissed a similar lawsuit in October by James Safechuck. Both men made their allegations in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland.”
Vince Finaldi, attorney for Robson and Safechuck, said the ruling has “fatal flaws” and appealed.
“If allowed to stand, the decision would set a dangerous precedent that would leave thousands of children working in the entertainment industry vulnerable to sexual abuse by persons in places of power,” Finaldi said in a statement.
Robson, now a 38-year-old choreographer, met Jackson when he was five years old. He went on to appear in Jackson music videos and record music on his label.
His lawsuit alleged that Jackson molested him for over seven years. As Jackson’s employee, the two corporations Jackson had started had a duty to protect him the same way the Boy Scouts or a school would need to protect children from their leaders. But the judge found the corporations were merely legal entities controlled by Jackson, not organizations that could hold him.