As James Safechuck and Wade Robson wait for a Tuesday hearing in Los Angeles for their molestation charges against Michael Jackson, their attorneys dropped more accusations against the King of Pop. Lawyers for the plaintiffs claim that Jackson paid nearly $200 million to around 20 victims to keep them silent over the course of numerous years.
According to Fox News, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff scheduled a hearing to determine if Safechuck and Robson’s cases will continue. Part of the hearing will include accusations that Jackson provided “hush money” to multiple families, including Safechuck, who alleges Jackson paid his father $1 million.
Safechuck, 36, who met Jackson in 1987 while filming a Pepsi commercial, says Jackson repeatedly molested him during the 1988 Bad tour. His attorneys state that Jackson brainwashed him to the point of confusing the abuse for love.
“Jackson was successful in his efforts to the point that my client endured repeated acts of sexual abuse of a heinous nature and was brainwashed. . . into believing they were acts of love and instigated by James himself.”
Meanwhile, Wade Robson, one of the key witnesses for the defense in 2005 molestation trial against Michael Jackson, completely changed his story in 2013, and now claims the pop superstar molested him for years, which reportedly started after a sleepover at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in 1990.
Although he once vehemently denied that Jackson ever wrongfully touched him, Robson now says he’s been living with the secret for many years.
“I lived in silence and denial for 22 years.”
Jackson, on the other hand, defended himself for numerous years against child molestation accusations. He was repeatedly probed, interviewed, and criticized by authorities, yet his story never faltered or changed. He always claimed his love for children was anything but wrong, and that he would never hurt a child.
Although Robson and Safechuck’s attorneys claim that Jackson paid off numerous victims, only Safechuck corroborates the story, yet it took him over 20 years to come forward, and according to Jackson’s estate attorney, Howard Weitzman, it’s simply too late.
“This is a person that made his claim five years after Michael died, more than 20 years after the incidents supposedly happened and has given sworn testimony that Michael never did anything inappropriate to him.”
To most Jackson supporters, the fact that the allegations come after the singer’s death and after his estimated estate worth was announced, the claims seem to be more for money than for true justice of any kind. Weitzman agrees.
“Mr. Safechuck’s request to file a late claim against the Jackson Estate so he can recover money from Michael’s beneficiary will hopefully be rejected.”
So far, there’s no public indication that anyone else, aside from Safechuck, announced they were paid off by Jackson or anyone in Jackson’s team.
Should the new cases proceed, attorneys for Robson and Safechuck plan to use California’s civil case discovery rules, which allows information banned from criminal trials to be introduced for civil litigation.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers suggest that there was a lot of information against Michael Jackson withheld from his 2005 trial, including the amount of money paid to each family, and a fake wedding ceremony in which Safechuck was forced to play the part of the bride as Jackson acted as the groom.
[Photos Courtesy of Frank Micelotta/Stringer/Getty Images & The NY Daily News Archive]