The Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street, and On The Line fan clubs are filing a suit in France against Wade Robson, 26, and James Safechuck, 41, who testify in the Dan Reed-directed film that they were sexually abused by Jackson when they were children.
- Read: “More victims will come out” – ‘Leaving Neverland’ director Dan Reed on Michael Jackson’s toxic legacy
The fans’ lawyer, Emmanuel Ludot, told AFP today (March 15) that they are suing Jackson’s accusers for “sullying his memory” and for “lynching” the late star. The groups, he added, “want to discredit the accusations of paedophilia”.
Ludot previously successfully sued Jackson’s doctor Dr Conrad Murray for causing distress to his fans by giving him the drugs that killed him in 2009.
Additionally, Ludot said that the “indignity of the extremely grave accusations” made by Wade and Safechuck in the documentary had affected the singer’s reputation as well as “the whole community of his fans”.
Leaving Neverland aired in the UK last week. It prompted a huge backlash from Jackson’s fans, who held a demonstration outside Channel 4’s London HQ on the day of broadcast after the channel refused to pull the film from its schedule.
- READ MORE: ‘Leaving Neverland’: How to watch the documentary
Yesterday, Jackson’s daughter Paris also said that it is “not her role” to defend her late father against the allegations. She instead praised the response of cousin Taj, who plans to defend his uncle in a forthcoming documentary.
Earlier today it was reported that Louis Vuitton will remove items inspired by Jackson from its new collection. Men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh said: “I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.
“My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers.”
Jackson’s family have denied the allegations in Leaving Neverland.
During his lifetime the singer denied all allegations brought against him. He pleaded not guilty to seven felony counts of child molestation in a 2005 trial, for which he was acquitted.