An Australian choreographer, Wade Robson, will be told this week by a Los Angeles court if he can pursue punitive damages from Michael Jackson‘s $2 billion estate, over claims that Jackson repeatedly sexually abused him as a child.
Reports Fairfax Media, Los Angeles Superior Court will rule on Tuesday whether Wade Robson and another of Jackson’s alleged child victims, James Safechuck, will be allowed to pursue the claims against Jackson in civil court with his estate.
Robson, once a defender of Jackson who testified during his trial in 2005, claims that Jackson repeatedly molested him as a child. He alleges he was seven years old when Jackson first molested him and says he decided to come forward now, claiming he “lived in silence and denial for 22 years”.
Safechuck reportedly claims in court filings that he met Jackson when he was eight and was molested a year later. He also alleges that Jackson held a secret wedding ceremony with him and wrote a check for more than $1 million to Safechuck’s father.
According to the New York Post, lawyers for Robson and Safechuck say Jackson paid nearly $200 million to as many as 20 victims. If the court allows the proceedings to continue in civil court it is expected new evidence against Jackson will be revealed in court.
The alleged victims however reportedly missed a statutory deadline when they filed their claims against Jackson’s estate more than a year after Jackson’s death in 2009, meaning the court may rule against letting them proceed with their pursuit of punitive damages.
Michael Jackson denied the molestation allegations made against him, and in 2005 was acquitted on all counts.