'Leaving Neverland' is alleged in a new suit to constitute a breach of a deal the pop singer had in 1992.
The Michael Jackson Estate is hardly letting go of Leaving Neverland, the documentary about the late pop star's alleged sexual abuse that will be airing on HBO next month. On Thursday (Feb. 21), Optimum Productions and the two co-executors of the Jackson Estate sued HBO and parent company Time Warner claiming the documentary constitutes a breach of a non-disparagement clause in an old contract.
"Michael Jackson is innocent. Period," begins the 53-page complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. "In 2005, Michael Jackson was subjected to a trial — where rules of evidence and law were applied before a neutral judge and jury and where both sides were heard — and he was exonerated by a sophisticated jury. Ten years after his passing, there are still those out to profit from his enormous worldwide success and take advantage of his eccentricities. Michael is an easy target because he is not here to defend himself, and the law does not protect the deceased from defamation, no matter how extreme the lies are."
The law may give no recourse to dead individuals when it comes to reputation, but those managing the Jackson business have found a way to nevertheless haul HBO into court over Leaving Neverland.