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HBO's 'Leaving Neverland': Film on Michael Jackson's Child Molestation Cases Lands in Lawsuits

Neverland Ranch is Michael Jackson's house in Santa Barbara County, California, where police had seized videotapes when the singer-dancer was accused of molesting young boys in 1993.

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Updated:March 4, 2019, 2:52 PM IST
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HBO's 'Leaving Neverland': Film on Michael Jackson's Child Molestation Cases Lands in Lawsuits
Neverland Ranch is Michael Jackson's house in Santa Barbara County, California, where police had seized videotapes when the singer-dancer was accused of molesting young boys in 1993.
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Michael Jackson is fondly remembered as the King of Pop and the man who invented the legendary moonwalk. However, he had also been involved in two allegations pertaining to molesting young boys, while he lived. While one case was settled in monetary terms and no charges were filed, he was acquitted in the second one, after he faced trial in 2005.

In 2013 and 2014, after his death, fresh lawsuits were filed against him by two separate men in which they levied accusations of abuse against Jackson. Both cases were later dismissed in court. This dark side of Jackson's life is the subject of HBO's latest two-part, four-hour film by Dan Reed -- Leaving Neverland -- and it has landed the entertainment network in two separate lawsuits, one filed by Michael Jackson estate and another by a person named Brett Barnes.

As reported by New York Times, Jackson’s estate sued HBO and its parent company, Time Warner, last month for $100 million for breach of contract, saying that by airing the documentary, HBO violated a nondisparagement clause in a 1992 contract it signed before airing a Jackson concert in Romania. Another lawsuit has been filed against HBO by Barnes, who contends that the documentary footage insinuates that he was sexually abused by Jackson, reports complex.com.

Neverland Ranch is Jackson's house in Santa Barbara County, California, where police had seized videotapes when the singer-dancer was accused of molesting young boys in 1993. However, no incriminating evidence was found then. Leaving Neverland was first premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January and prior to the screening, the festival director had informed the audience that health care providers were promptly available to help anyone disturbed by the content showed in the film.

The Jackson estate condemned the film as “yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson.”

Leaving Neverland explores allegations of sexual abuse of two underage boys, now men, against Jackson and is currently streaming on HBO, HBO Go and HBO Now.

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