A judge has dismissed choreographer Wade Robson’s sexual abuse lawsuit against the late Michael Jackson.
The professional dancer, who has worked with Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, and NSYNC, launched a negligence lawsuit against executives at Jackson’s companies MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures in September 16, claiming the businesses were illegitimate and set up as a ruse to covertly “operate as a child sexual abuse operation”.
However, Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff tossed the case on Tuesday (December 17), ruling that the two companies were not responsible for Robson’s exposure to Jackson – in the same way a school or an organisation such as the Boy Scouts could not be found liable for bringing together a child victim with an abusive adult.
He did not make any comment or ruling about the credibility of Robson’s accusations themselves.
Robson’s attorney Vince Finaldi said the dancer disagrees with the verdict and plans to appeal. He added that Judge Beckloff’s decision “sets a dangerous precedent”.
“What the judge is saying is that if you own a corporation or a company, you can hire people, use these people to facilitate your sexual abuse, use them to facilitate victims,” he told The Associated Press during a phone interview. “So long as you’re the sole owner of that corporation, the corporation can’t be held liable.”
However, Howard Weitzman, the attorney for the Jackson estate, added in his own statement that he believes the court made the correct decision in dismissing 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 was always about the money rather than a search for the truth,” he added.
Australian Robson, 35, initially launched a claim against Jackson’s estate in 2013, but his legal bid was rejected by the courts with magistrates contending he filed papers too late after the singer’s 2009 death. The choreographer, who testified in the pop star’s defense during his criminal sex abuse trial in 2005, attests Jackson performed sexual acts on him from the ages of seven to 14.
Robson didn’t come forward with his assault claims until after Jackson’s death, because he did not believe he was molested until he entered psychotherapy following a nervous breakdown in 2012.