A man who made allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson in a high-profile documentary has had a lawsuit over his claims dismissed.
Wade Robson’s case is the second to be dismissed by a Los Angeles judge, who ruled against a similar lawsuit by fellow accuser James Safechuck in October.
Both men appeared in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which aired in 2019, claiming in graphic detail that they were abused by Jackson when they were children.
The pop star died in 2009, aged 50, and his family has adamantly and repeatedly denied the men’s allegations.
Robson, who first brought legal proceedings back in 2013, was suing two of the late singer’s businesses, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, saying they had a duty to protect him.
But on Monday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark A Young granted the Jackson estate’s request to dismiss the claims.
“There is no evidence supporting plaintiff’s contention that defendants exercised control over Jackson,” the judge wrote.
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“The evidence further demonstrates that defendants had no legal ability to control Jackson, because Jackson had complete and total ownership of the corporate defendants.”
Vince Finaldi, attorney for Robson and Safechuck, said the ruling has “fatal flaws” and will be 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,” he said in a statement.
Robson, now a 38-year-old choreographer, met Jackson when he was five years old and went on to appear in the star’s music videos.
“Wade Robson has spent the last eight years pursuing frivolous claims in different lawsuits against Michael Jackson’s estate and companies associated with it,” Jackson estate attorney Jonathan Steinsapir said in a statement after Monday’s ruling.
“Yet a judge has once again ruled that Robson’s claims have no merit whatsoever, that no trial is necessary.”
Lawsuits by Robson and Safechuck had previously been dismissed by a different judge in 2017, as the statute of limitations had expired. But an appeals court revived the legal actions in 2019 after California governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law giving those who allege childhood sexual abuse longer to file lawsuits.
The Jackson estate has brought its own lawsuit against HBO that is now in private arbitration.
In 2005, Jackson was acquitted on charges of molesting a different boy, a 13-year-old, at a trial in California.
He had always denied any allegations he was involved in abusing underage boys.
His Neverland Ranch, in California, was sold in December 2020 for $22 million (£16 million).