After Michael Jackson’s death, the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland spotlighted the accusations of sexual assault against the late pop star by 37-year-old Wade Robson and 41-year-old James Safechuck. Some supporters suggest the film and the accusations are nothing more than a cash grab that earns profits by denigrating Jackson’s legacy. Others believe that the allegations confirm Jackson’s rumored affinity for children.
Yahoo News reports that Robson and Safechuck are using a newly signed California law known as Assembly Bill 218 to pursue a financial windfall from Jackson’s estate.
The new law will take effect on January 1, 2020, and provides victims of childhood sexual assault with more time to sue direct perpetrators of the crimes. Five years will be allowed either due to discovering the psychological injury or by before the victims 40th birthday.
Although Robson can easily file under the new law, Safechuck doesn’t meet the law’s standard requirements. But there is an exception in the law that allows a lawsuit if the company or its officer “knew or had reason to know, or was otherwise on notice” about misconduct that “creates a risk of childhood sexual assault” for volunteers, employees, representatives, or agents, or the person or entity did not take or implement “reasonable steps” or implement “reasonable safeguards” to prevent acts of childhood sexual assault.
Safechuck claims that his assault was enabled by those around Jackson. As The Inquisitr reported, musician Sheryl Crow echoed Safechuck’s claims that the King of Pop was enabled by a “huge network of people” — although Crow later said she regretted the comments.
“I wish there were more people in the world like Michael Jackson. He’s truly one amazing human being.” – Russ Ragsdale, assistant engineer on 'Bad' pic.twitter.com/iVkvreThlw— Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) October 18, 2019
Jackson’s former bodyguard, Matt Fiddes, has been one of Jackson’s most vocal defenders in the wake of the accusations against him. According to Fiddes, the allegations by Robson, Safechuck, and others are motivated by money.
“There’s no evidence. It’s always money, it’s always financial,” he said in the documentary Michael Jackson: Chase the Truth.
Writer Mike Smallcombe, who wrote a biography on Jackson, echoed Fiddes, stating that “it’s always been about money”
“While it can’t completely be ruled out that Michael Jackson abused Safechuck and Robson.. you never know. I can’t sit here and say Michael Jackson is innocent and this definitely didn’t happen but what I can say is that at least half a dozen things are inconsistent,” he added, per The Sun.
Smallcombe also highlighted that Robson and Safechuck previously denied being abused by Jackson under oath multiple times in the past.
“When money is involved you need to be wary. Jimmy and Wade are perjurers,” he said.