UPDATE11:27 AM PT — In a joint statement, Wade Robson and James Safechuck tell us, “A sexual abuser’s passing does not deprive his victims of their day in court and, in turn, justice and healing. Michael Jackson is not sued personally in this case-his company is, and his company will have every opportunity to defend itself in the trial.”
They continue, “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has taken its time and considered all of the facts and applicable law in these cases. We look forward to oral arguments next month and the eventual decision of the Court of Appeal.”
Michael Jackson will effectively be tried for allegedly molesting choreographer Wade Robson when he was a child … TMZ has learned.
The California Court of Appeal just cleared the way for Robson to make his case — alleging MJ molested him at the Neverland Ranch when Robson was between the ages of 7 and 14.
The issue — Robson is suing Michael Jackson’s corporation — MJJ Productions, Inc. Jackson’s company lawyers argued the company had no legal duty to protect Robson or anyone else from MJ because it had no ability to control him.
The trial court bought the Estate’s argument, but the Court of Appeal begged to differ, and according to a tentative ruling — which almost always becomes final — the case will be sent back down for trial.
Robson claims when he came to the U.S. from Australia as a young boy, Jackson befriended him and sexually abused him.
In 2005, when Jackson was on trial for molesting another boy, Robson testified that he slept in MJ’s bed with the singer but nothing happened. He changed his story in 2013, filing a lawsuit against the company. He said he had testified falsely on behalf of Jackson due to “complete manipulation and brainwashing.”
Another man, James Safechuck, filed a similar lawsuit against MJJ Productions and it too is before the Court of Appeal. Given today’s tentative ruling, it appears Safechuck will also have his day in court.
Sources close to the MJJ Productions legal team tell TMZ … the ruling has nothing to do with the merits of the case and they fully expect to prevail at trial.