Michael Jackson's estate executors are demanding the dismissal of another child molestation accusation, insisting the alleged victim has no grounds to sue. James Safechuck's accusations were added to a 2013 lawsuit filed by dancer Wade Robson, who claims he was repeatedly molested as a kid by the King of Pop.
Lawyers for Safechuck insist their client also had an inappropriate relationship with the Thriller hitmaker when he was a pre-teen, after appearing with Jackson in a 1987 Pepsi commercial.
In court papers, they write, "(Jackson) engaged in a calculated course of conduct to lure both (Safechuck) and his parents into a false sense of security and normalcy that was far from reality.
"And (Jackson) was successful in his efforts to the point that (Safechuck) endured repeated acts of sexual abuse of a heinous nature and was brainwashed by the decedent into believing they were acts of love and instigated by James himself rather than the decedent."
Safechuck's representatives are seeking permission from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to file the late claim, reports the Los Angeles Times.
A hearing on the petition has been set for 4 September (14), but Howard Weitzman, Jackson's estate attorney, is adamant the case should be dismissed as the statute of limitations has long expired.
He has also called Safechuck's account into question, telling TMZ.com that he had previously "given sworn testimony that Michael never did anything inappropriate to him".
Jackson was acquitted of child molestation following a lengthy trial that began in 2004. The singer passed away in June, 2009.
Filmmakers behind a new Michael Jackson documentary have stepped up their legal battle against the King of Pop's estate executors in a bid to clear the way for the movie's release. Director Craig Williams was recently slapped with a cease-and-desist notice over the rights to footage in Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot, which features clips he shot of the superstar at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City for Ebony magazine in 2007, two years before his death.
His film also includes interviews with Jackson's friends, photographers and stylists as the superstar prepared for the photo session.
Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Michael Jackson estate, claims the singer never agreed to have his "private moments... publicly and commercially exploited", but Williams hit back with his own lawsuit, insisting he and producers at Noval Williams Films legally obtained the rights after the Jackson family passed on the opportunity in 2011.
Williams and his fellow producers have now filed an injunction against estate bosses in New York's Manhattan Supreme Court, compelling them to respond to the suit within 21 days to speed up the process, according to the New York Post.
Williams is seeking declaratory relief that his film isn't infringing copyrights so they can press ahead with the film's sale and release.
The director of a new Michael Jackson documentary is suing the King of Pop's estate executors amid a dispute over footage rights. Craig Williams' Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot features clips he shot of the late superstar at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City for Ebony magazine in 2007.
His film also includes interviews with Jackson's friends, photographers and stylists as the superstar prepared for the photo session.
However, Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Michael Jackson estate, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the images of the King of Pop are private.
He says, "The makers of the documentary are attempting to exploit footage and photographs of Michael Jackson, which we believe are owned by his Estate. The documentary contains footage of Michael during private moments that he never agreed could be publicly and commercially exploited without his consent and/or involvement. Michael never authorised or approved the use of this material in the film."
Williams and producers at Noval Williams Films insist they have obtained the rights, and in a complaint filed in New York federal court, they claim the Jackson family was offered the opportunity to purchase the rights to the images in 2011, but passed.
Williams is seeking declaratory relief that his film isn't infringing copyrights.
Michael Jackson's estate executors have been slapped with legal action aimed at halting their plans to bring the King of Pop back to life as a hologram onstage at Sunday's (18May14) Billboard Music Awards.
Organisers of the 2014 prizegiving had hoped to mark the fifth anniversary of the Thriller hitmaker's death by resurrecting him in virtual form in conjunction with Jackson estate officials and bosses at the singer's production company as part of a tribute surrounding the release of his new posthumous album Xscape. However, they may have to rethink their plans after Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit in a U.S. court on Thursday (15May14) in a bid to put a stop to the spectacle, which was expected to be similar to the eerie Tupac Shakur stunt at the 2012 Coachella music festival in California, where the dead rapper appeared onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in hologram form.
In legal papers obtained by TMZ.com, David insists that if the virtual performance is allowed to go ahead at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, it will ruin his own plans to stage a Jackson hologram performance at a later date. A judge has yet to rule on the suit, but Jackson estate lawyer Howard Weitzman is adamant David has no legal standing to stop the Billboard plans.
He tells TMZ.com, "This is another Alki David stunt... It is ludicrous... and the show goes on." Coincidentally, billionaire entrepreneur David is the same man who went public with DNA information suggesting singer Brandon Howard was a 99.9 per cent match as an illegitimate son of the late King of Pop back in March (14). Those allegations were also dismissed by the Jackson estate. The superstar died in June, 2009.
The writer/director of jazz and blues legend Nina Simone's biopic is suing the film's producers for allegedly cutting her out of the decision-making process. Cynthia Mort spent years developing the project, but claims she was ignored when it came to decision making, and she no longer wants to be associated with a project she doesn't like.
She filed suit in Los Angeles on Wednesday (14May14), alleging executives at Ealing Studios Enterprises Limited had breached the terms of her director deal. She claims she was given approval rights over the final shooting script, the cast and crew and other major players behind the film, and consulting rights on advertising and distribution, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In her lawsuit, obtained by the publication, her lawyer Howard Weitzman writes, "She worked tirelessly to prepare the Film for a wide and successful commercial release. Yet, throughout the course of the Film's production and post-production, Defendants consistently acted to frustrate Mort's involvement in the Film, thereby breaching the Director Agreement."
Mort is asking for unspecified monetary damages as well as a declaration that the defendants can't make decisions without her. Nina, which features Zoe Saldana as Simone, is one of the films being offered to potential buyers at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Mort's movie was screened at Cannes on Thursday (15May14).
Michael Jackson's latest child molestation accuser has alleged the late King of Pop used to keep him from attending school so he would be "available" for him on tour.
James Safechuck's lawyer, Maryann Marzano, claims Jackson and her client became close when he was a pre-teen - but she alleges the friendship masked the fact that the pop star was molesting the child in private. And she tells TMZ.com the late singer would prevent the youngster, who appeared alongside Jackson in a 1987 Pepsi commercial, from attending school so he would always be with him.
She says, "If there is still any question about the predatory nature of Michael Jackson’s so-called friendships with young boys, it should be laid to rest by the indisputable facts of what Michael did to James Safechuck." The specific accusations are sealed, but Michael Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman insists the allegations are "false and scurrilous." Safechuck's allegation has been added to a lawsuit filed by dancer Wade Robson last year (13).
Robson, now 31, claims he was repeatedly molested as a child by Jackson. In February (14), he demanded administrators of Jackson's estate release the names of any others who have alleged sexual misconduct against Jackson, as well as details of any settlements involving molestation that have not yet been made public. Jackson was acquitted of child molestation following a lengthy trial that began in 2004. The singer passed away in June, 2009.
Singer Justin Bieber has dodged a legal bullet by resolving an assault and battery lawsuit. Last month (Jan14), the singer's former minder Moshe Benabou filed a lawsuit claiming the Baby hitmaker repeatedly struck him in the chest during an altercation in October (12), and failed to hand over more than $400,000 (£250,000) in overtime and vacation payments.
He was seeking unspecified damages for assault and battery and a total of $421,261 (£263,288) in extra wages.
The parties were scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom on 18 February (14), but they have reportedly reached an undisclosed settlement agreement.
Last week (ends02Feb14), papers were filed to dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice.
Bieber's lawyer, Howard Weitzman, tells The Hollywood Reporter, "The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties."
Bieber's legal troubles are far from over - he is due back in court on St. Valentine's Day to face charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired licence related to an arrest in Miami, Florida last month (Jan14).
Meanwhile, the singer turned himself in to police in Toronto, Canada last week (ends02Feb14) and was officially charged in connection to an alleged assault on a limousine driver in the city last year (Dec13). He is scheduled to appear in court to face that count on 10 March (14).
The battle between Michael Jackson's estate and his former doctor is rumbling on - Conrad Murray has been threatened with legal action after he gave an interview about the late King of Pop to a U.K. newspaper. The physician was freed from prison in October (13) after serving half of a four year sentence for the involuntary manslaughter of the Thriller hitmaker, who died in 2009 after being injected with a fatal dose of anaesthetic Propofol.
In an interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday last week (ends24Nov13), Murray claimed that Jackson had given himself a second shot of Propofol as well as revealing he was a "decrepit" and "frail" man who would beg for drugs to help him sleep.
Murray also made the bizarre claim that he "held (Jackson's) penis every night to fit a catheter because he was incontinent at night".
Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for Jackson's estate, has now fired off a cease and desist letter, ordering him to stop talking or face a lawsuit, according to TMZ.com.
The letter warns, "Your recent comments to the media about Mr. Jackson's medical treatment and ultimate death shamefully violate the physician-patient privilege under California law."
Legendary producer Quincy Jones is suing bosses at Sony and Michael Jackson Productions, accusing them of cutting him out of profits from the late King of Pop's music. The music mogul claims he is owed a royalties fortune from the use the reworked tracks from the albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad, which he produced for Jackson.
Jones alleges songs he recorded have been edited and remixed for new ventures such as the This Is It movie and the Jackson Cirque du Soleil stage show, so that music bosses don't have to pay him royalties.
Howard Weitzman, lawyer for the Michael Jackson Estate, tells TMZ.com, "The estate of Michael Jackson was saddened to learn that Quincy Jones has filed a lawsuit seeking money from Michael's estate. To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael."
Jones is requesting at least $10 million (£6.7 million).
A lawyer for Michael Jackson's estate has asked a California judge to reject choreographer Wade Robson's request to file a late creditor's claim amid allegations he was sexually abused by the King of Pop as a child. Robson, who has worked with stars including Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, filed suit against the estate in May (13) and requested court permission to lodge a notice for financial compensation long after the estate deadline.
The dancer alleged he was unaware there was a cut-off point for creditor's claims, but estate attorney Howard Weitzman insists Robson is well connected enough in the music industry to have known about the deadline, especially because it was such a high-profile case.
Weitzman wants the judge to dismiss Robson's claim because of its late filing, reports TMZ.com.
The choreographer, now 30, maintains he was abused by the singer between the ages of seven and 14 at the superstar's California and Las Vegas homes, despite taking the stand at the singer's 2005 child molestation trial to deny he had ever been abused by the pop idol.
Jackson died from an accidental overdose in 2009.