Relatives of deceased pop-music legend Michael Jackson have filed a $100 million libel lawsuit against Radar Online, over Radar’s suggestion that the singer might have sexually abused his nephews.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday by Jackson’s nephews Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, accuses Radar Online of wrongfully reporting that Jackson “sexually abused young boys [and] implied that this included his ‘nephews,’ but added that his ‘family’ (which, of course, includes plaintiffs) resisted any inquiry into that criminal conduct.”
“Radar reported that Michael Jackson ‘bought them’ a ‘brand new car’ to ‘shut them up,'” the lawsuit reads, adding that Radar also reported that a relative, which readers would have understood to be one of the nephews, was “‘spirited off to an island’ to buy his silence, after which he refused to tell police anything ‘bad’ about Michael Jackson.”
The suit claims that Radar’s reporting is wholly untrue.
“Radar’s statements were entirely false and defamatory,” the complaint reads. “In fact, although plaintiffs are Michael Jackson’s ‘nephews,’ ‘relatives’ and ‘members of the family,’ none of them was ever sexually abused by Michael Jackson or ever had any sort of sexual contact with him.”
The lawsuit also takes issue with Radar’s report that the late King of Pop “even used sexy photos of his own nephews, who were in the band 3T, in their underwear to excite young boys.”
The suit goes on to state that the plaintiffs demanded a correction from Radar in July, but that Radar “refused to correct any of its libelous assertions about plaintiffs, thereby aggravating its wrongful conduct.”
A spokesperson for Radar Online has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
“In publishing Radar’s libelous stories, Radar was aware that its defamatory assertions, which the public will understand to include and refer to plaintiffs, were, in fact, not true of plaintiffs or any of them,” the suit continues. “Radar’s conduct alleged hereinabove was fraudulent, oppressive and malicious, calling, in addition, for an award of exemplary damages in an amount sufficient to punish Radar and its owners and to deter them from publishing such vicious, false and defamatory ‘reports.'”
The suit seeks a judgment for “$100 million and such other and further sum as shall be found.”