- TICKET NEWS
Choreographer Wade Robson's bid to take his alleged childhood sexual abuse case against the late Michael Jackson to court has been tossed by a California judge.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson's estate officials have persuaded Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young to dismiss the suit against the star's businesses, which Robson filed in 2013, before going public with his claims against the King of Pop in the damning documentary Leaving Neverland.
The former dancer claimed Jackson sexually abused him for nearly a decade and officials at his companies MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures facilitated the conduct. The estate bosses who control the entities insisted the companies owed Robson no legal duty and could not control Jackson's behaviour.
"There is no evidence supporting Plaintiff's contention that Defendants exercised control over Jackson," the judge ruled.
"The evidence further demonstrates that Defendants had no legal ability to control Jackson, because Jackson had complete and total ownership of the corporate defendants. Without control, there is no special relationship or duty that exists between Defendants and Plaintiff. In addition, there is no evidence of misfeasance by Defendants," he said.
After the judge tossed the case on Monday, the choreographer's lawyer made it clear he would be appealing the decision.
Another judge previously dismissed Robson's suit in December 2017, finding that it was filed outside the statute of limitations. It was revived by an appeals court in early 2020 after California enacted a law that extended the age by which people must file sexual assault claims against third parties from 26 to 40.
A statement from the legal team representing Jackson's estate officials to The Hollywood Reporter reads: "As of today, a summary judgment AGAINST Wade Robson has been granted three different times by two different judges of the Superior Court. Wade Robson has spent the last 8 years pursuing frivolous claims in different lawsuits against Michael Jackson's estate and companies associated with it. Robson has taken nearly three dozen depositions and inspected and presented hundreds of thousands of documents trying to prove his claims, yet a Judge has once again ruled that Robson's claims have no merit whatsoever, that no trial is necessary and that his latest case is dismissed."
Robson's attorney Vince Finaldi has also released a statement, which says: "This decision of Judge Mark A. Young suffers from the same fatal flaws as the prior decision of prior Judge Mitchell Beckloff, which we were able to overturn on appeal."
He added: "For this reason, we will be appealing it to the Court of Appeal, and to the Supreme Court if necessary. 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."