"No matter who wins or loses it's going to be taken up on appeal. It does't matter what I do," said Judge George H. Wu on Thursday.
A federal judge in Los Angeles on Thursday (Sept. 19) indicated he was leaning towards granting a request by Michael Jackson's estate requiring HBO be bound by a 1992 arbitration agreement rather than allowing a lawsuit over Leaving Neverland to continue in the federal court system. While arbitration proceedings are usually private, Jackson's attorneys have make the unusual request of wanting to hold public arbitration.
The lawsuit filed March 3 by Michael Jackson Estate against HBO over Leaving Neverland has taken some unusual turns and might actually end up before the Supreme Court, according to U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu, who is currently overseeing the case. Jackson's estate initially filed its lawsuit against HBO in March, arguing the documentary violated a 1992 contract agreement that was signed in a licensing deal for HBO to televise Jackson's Dangerous World Tour concert in Bucharest, Romania.
The 1992 agreement stated that "HBO shall not make any disparaging remarks concerning [Michael Jackson] ... or do any act that may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation of [Jackson.]" In addition, the agreement contained a clause that all disputes regarding this agreement would be handled in arbitration.