Jackson Estate Sues HBO Over ‘Leaving Neverland’ Documentary

Michael Jackson’s family has condemned HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which alleges the famous singer molested young boys, calling it a “public lynching.” His estate is now taking legal action against the cable giant, filing a $100 million lawsuit against HBO.

The Jasmine Brand reports that the lawsuit claims the doc is based on false accusations, and that its accusers have been financially motivated to lie. More importantly, HBO reportedly entered into a non-disparagement agreement with Jackson in 1992 when they aired his Michael Jackson in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour concert.  The agreement restricts individuals from taking any action that negatively impacts an organization, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.

“HBO and the director were well aware of their financial
motives and that ample opposing facts are available from numerous sources, but
made the unconscionable decision to bury any evidence casting doubt on their
chosen narrative,” said Howard Weitzman, the Jackson estate attorney. “Had they
made an objective film it would have allowed viewers to make up their own minds
about these allegations, instead of having a television network dictate to them
that they must accept these false claims about Michael Jackson.”

HBO has responded, saying they will move forward with airing
the doc.

“Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland, the two-part documentary, on March 3 and 4. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”

Check out the official trailer for the doc below.

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