A sexual abuse lawsuit against Michael Jackson‘s entertainment company has been dismissed by a judge in California.
Celebrity choreographer Wade Robson originally filed the lawsuit in 2013, after claiming that Jackson sexually abused him over a seven-year period before he hit puberty.
Robson later amended the claims in his lawsuit, stating that Jackson’s entertainment company MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures were operations “specifically designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce child sexual abuse victims.” In 2015, a probate court rejected the claim against the estate itself.
On Tuesday (Dec 19), Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff dismissed the lawsuit, stating that MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures were not liable for Robson’s exposure to Jackson.
“No one other than Michael Jackson had the legal ability or authority to control Michael Jackson,” the Judge said. “As demonstrated by the defendants, Neverland Valley Ranch, where some of the abuse is alleged to have occurred, was owned by Michael Jackson, not either of the corporate defendants. Similarly, Michael Jackson in his individual capacity owned the apartments where other abuse is alleged to have occurred.”
“There is no dispute plaintiff brought this action well after his 26th birthday,” said Beckloff. “Today plaintiff is 35 years old, he was 30 years old when he filed this action four years too late, and his action is barred by the statute of limitations.”
The defense attorney for MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, Howard Weitzman, said: “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 20 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.”
There is yet to be a ruling on the sexual abuse allegations themselves.
Robson reportedly first met Jackson at 5-years-old after he won a competition organised by MJJ Productions. He and his family were later invited to stay at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, which is where Robson claims the alleged abuse occurred.