The estate of Michael Jackson isn’t letting their foot off of HBO. Following the release of Leaving Neverland, MJ’s estate took legal action against them. They claimed that HBO violated contract agreements stemming from Jackson’s 1994 live concert special that aired on the network. Despite this, HBO’s denied any wrongdoing and attempted to have the case thrown but it appears as if the judge isn’t siding with them.
According to Variety, Judge George Wu handed over a temporary win to Jackson’s estate in their suit against HBO. The judge dismissed HBO’s motion to have the case thrown out. The estate has been fighting to get a public arbitration. The judge later told HBO to file an anti-SLAPP motion. However, since he denied their motion, the statute wouldn’t apply to public arbitration.
“It was filed to chill speech,” HBO’s lawyer argued over the judge’s decision. “It was filed to tell the world, ‘Don’t talk about child sex abuse.’… A company like HBO may be able to fight back and move forward. Others might not be able to do that.”
The judge essentially called the legal battle a “clash of the titans” between a wealthy estate and a massive media company. However, the co-executor of Jackson’s estate that HBO is simply trying to fight against having “all the facts” out in the open.
“I’ve never seen a media organization fight so hard to keep a secret,” he said. “We’re saying let’s get all the facts out there, not just two stories from two accusers with a financial interest.”
Following the suit filed by Michael Jackson’s estate over violating their contract agreement, the company argued that the contract is invalid.