Jermaine Jackson smiles today, because he’s not living in fear that a lawsuit settlement will cut into his precious monthly spray-on hair stipend.
In 2013, choreographer Wade Robson filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s estate alleging that MJ had molested him as a child at Neverland Ranch for nearly a decade. In 2015, a court rejected his claim against the estate itself, so he was allowed to sue two companies controlled by the estate, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. Four years later, and that lawsuit is done. The Hollywood Reporter says that a judge ruled on Tuesday that the companies controlled by the Michael Jackson Estate aren’t liable for Wade’s alleged childhood sexual abuse.
The Michael Jackson Estate argued that Wade hadn’t filed his lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Under California law, a child abuse victim has until their 26th birthday to file; Wade was 30 when he filed his lawsuit. Wade got to file past his 26th b-day because of an exception stating that he believed the company (Michael Jackson Estate) was guilty of knowing something fishy was going on and did nothing to stop it. Wade argued that Michael Jackson’s companies had control over his affairs, so Wade was allowed to sue.
As it turns out, Michael Jackson was the sole sole shareholder in his companies. A judge ruled that any ability to control what Michael Jackson did (or allegedly did) was out of his company’s hands. So they returned to the original argument that the lawsuit couldn’t proceed because Wade filed years past the statute of limitations.
The attorney for the Michael Jackson Estate, Howard Weitzman, released the following statement to THR regarding the judge’s decision.
“The Estate of Michael Jackson believes the court made the correct decision in dismissing Wade Robson’s claim against it. In my opinion Mr. Robson’s allegations, made twenty plus years after they supposedly occurred and years after Mr. Robson testified twice under oath – including in front of a jury – that Michael Jackson had never done anything wrong to him were always about the money rather than a search for the truth.”
During Michael Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial, Wade testified that MJ never touched him in that way.
Wade Robson also sent THR a statement, saying that he respects the court’s ruling, but disagrees with it, and will be appealing the decision. Wade adds he’s “determined” to see this case be presented in front of a jury.
Michael Jackson died more than eight years ago, and his name is still flying in and out of courtrooms across America. And if Wade’s wish comes true, he’ll get to sue again, which will mean yet another lawsuit dumped onto the Michael Jackson Estate. It won’t be the last either. 80 years into the future, someone is going to discover they’re the long-long-long lost cousin of Michael Jackson, and throw their Ancestry.com papers straight in the trash. Being a Jackson just isn’t worth the lawsuits.