A judge has dismissed the lawsuit brought by James Safechuck, one of the men who has publicly accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing him as a child, saying Safechuck does not have grounds to sue the companies that were once owned by the late pop star.
Safechuck, who was one of two accusers featured in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” filed a lawsuit against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures in 2014, claiming they were negligent in allowing Jackson’s abuse when he was a child.
On Tuesday, Judge Mark A. Young of the Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled that Safechuck failed to demonstrate “that he had a relationship with the corporations that would have required them to protect him from Jackson,” according to the Associated Press.
This is the second time that Safechuck’s lawsuit has been thrown out. Safechuck’s claims against the two companies had previously been deemed untimely due to a requirement in California’s Civil Code of Procedure that victims of childhood sexual abuse must make claims against third party non perpetrators before their 26th birthday.
A change in the law signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom extended the deadline at the top of this year, paving the way for an appeals court to revive the lawsuit in January.
Wade Robson, the other accuser featured in “Leaving Neverland,” also had his lawsuit revived on appeal. His lawsuit has not been dismissed.
In a statement to the AP, lawyers for the Jackson estate said, “We are pleased that the court dismissed Mr. Safechuck’s case by ruling that he had no grounds to pursue such a lawsuit.”
Jackson, who died in 2009 and was acquitted on child molestation charges in 2005, always denied any inappropriate behavior.
In “Leaving Neverland,” Wade Robson and James Safechuck described their accusations in detail, saying Jackson repeatedly molested them and tricked their families into trusting him. Director Dan Reed has reportedly been filming the ongoing legal proceedings as part of a follow-up to “Leaving Neverland,” a project which itself has become tangled in a legal battle with the Jackson estate.