On Monday, an appeals court handed a victory to the estate of Michael Jackson in its battle over the 2019 HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accused the late singer of sexually abusing two young boys.
The Jackson estate sued HBO for $100 million, arguing that the documentary violated a 27-year-old non-disparagement clause from a 1992 concert film from the “Dangerous” tour. HBO has argued that the clause is irrelevant to the present dispute and accuses the Jackson estate of seeking to silence victims of sexual abuse. Last year, a lower court granted the estate’s motion to take the dispute to arbitration. However a thee-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the lower court ruling. The judges conceded that the suit may be “frivolous,” as HBO has claimed, but said it will be up to an arbitrator to make that call.
Jackson’s attorneys, Howard Weitzman and Jonathan Steinsapir, issued a statement praising the ruling.
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