The Michael Jackson Estate is suing HBO over the upcoming documentary “Finding Neverland” alleging the network signed a 1992 contract with Jackson that included a non-disparagement agreement when they aired Michael Jackson Live in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour.
In the contract, there was a non-disparagement provision, which includes this … “HBO shall not make any disparaging remarks concerning Performer or any of his representatives, agents, or business practices or do any act that may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation or public image of performer.”
Of course that was 27 years ago, when Michael Jackson was still very much alive, and many of the allegations had yet to come to light.
But that’s not how the Jackson estate sees things.
via Page Six:
The suit alleges that the documentary is based on false accusations, and that Jackson’s accusers have a financial motive to lie.
“HBO and the director were well aware of their financial motives and that ample opposing facts are available from numerous sources, but made the unconscionable decision to bury any evidence casting doubt on their chosen narrative,” said Howard Weitzman, attorney for the estate. “Had they made an objective film it would have allowed viewers to make up their own minds about these allegations, instead of having a television network dictate to them that they must accept these false claims about Michael Jackson.”
The suit claims damages could exceed $100 million.
HBO has responded to the lawsuit, telling TMZ they refuse to back down:
“Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of LEAVING NEVERLAND, the two-part documentary, on March 3rd and 4th.”
They continue, “This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”