Michael Jackson Fans Sue Leaving Neverland Accusers in French Court

SANTA MARIA, CA - JUNE 13: Michael Jackson prepares to enter the Santa Barbara County Superior Court to hear the verdict read in his child molestation case June 13, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. After seven days of deliberation the jury has reached a not guilty verdict on all 10 counts in the trial against Michael Jackson. Jackson was charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. He pleaded innocent. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian-Pool/Getty Images)

A group of Michael Jackson fan clubs are suing Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two subjects of the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. As Reuters reports, the three organizations—the Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street, and On The Line—allege that the documentary is “sullying [Jackson’s] image” and are seeking symbolic damages of 1 Euro ($1.13) each.

The three fan clubs are suing in France due to the country’s more strict defamation laws, which extend beyond a person’s lifetime. As Stereogum points out, the group’s lawyer Emmanuel Ludot won a similar case in 2014 against Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray, who had supplied the pop star with drugs in the days before his death. Regarding the fan clubs’ case, Ludot compared Robson and Safechuck’s allegations to a “genuine lynching” of Jackson.

“In France you cannot sully the images of the dead,” Ludot said about his decision to take on the case. “There’s moral and emotional suffering. And when there’s suffering, there’s compensation. It’s very simple.” A court judgement will be delivered on October 4.

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