Los Angeles, April 17 (IANS) Michael Jackson’s estate co-executor John Branca says he is considering to sue “Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed after the documentary showed the late pop icon in a bad light.
Branca on Tuesday spoke publicly for the first time about “Leaving Neverland” and indicated that additional litigation — this time against Reed — may be forthcoming, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
“Leaving Neverland”, a four-hour long, two-part documentary is built around the testimony of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who have alleged that they were abused as children by Jackson.
Branca and two of the other members of Jackson’s estate legal team — Howard Weitzman and Bryan Freedman — were the key participants in a panel discussion titled “Trial by Media: Guilty Until Proven Innocent”, presented at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The attorneys had harsh words for the documentary and Reed, telling the audience that they were determined to defend and rebuild Jackson’s reputation in the wake of “Leaving Neverland”, which contained disturbing and graphic first-person accounts of Jackson’s alleged paedophilia but did not give the estate a chance to respond to these accusations.
With litigation already underway against HBO in February, the estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against the pay cabler alleging it had violated a non-disparagement clause contained in a 1992 agreement to premiere Jackson’s concert film “Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour”.
Branca said he and the estate’s lawyers are now considering legal action directly against Reed, although he was not specific about what grounds he had for litigation.
In response to Branca’s comments, an HBO spokesperson said: “Dan Reed is a proven, award-winning filmmaker and we have full confidence in his film.”