Michael Jackson's Estate Is Suing HBO For $100 Million Over New Doco
The singer's estate is seeking damages over the network's plan to air the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary.
The film -- directed by Dan Reed -- premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, but is scheduled to air on HBO on March 3.
The Jackson Estate has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming that the TV network has breached a decades-old deal not to disparage the pop icon, Deadline reports.
“The Jackson Estate will seek all damages proximately caused by HBO’s reprehensible disparagement of Michael Jackson, which could exceed $100 million should HBO succeed in the damage it is intending to cause to the legacy of Michael Jackson,” the complaint reads.
Finding Neverland interviews two men -- Wade Robson and James Safechuck -- who allege that Jackson groomed and sexually assaulted them when they were minors.
An attorney for The Jackson Estate -- Howard Weitzman -- told Deadline that HBO breached an agreement by selling the public a "one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself".
“HBO could have and should have ensured that Leaving Neverland was properly sourced, fact checked and a fair and balanced representation,” he added
AP reports that HBO has not immediately responded to the lawsuit, but has previously stood behind its decision to air Reed's documentary.
“Dan Reed is an award-winning filmmaker who has carefully documented these survivors’ accounts,” the network’s statement on February 9 said. “People should reserve judgment until they see the film.”
Leaving Neverland premieres Friday, March 8 at 9pm, and Saturday March 9, at 9:30pm On 10 and WIN Network.
Main Image: Getty Images.