Wade Robson and James Safechuck may accomplish what countless prosecutors could not: prove in court that Michael Jackson was a serial child molester.
The purported victims must first overcome a major hurdle — both their legal claims were filed more than a year after the King of Pop’s 2009 death, missing the statutory deadline.
Robson, choreographer to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, and Safechuck, who once appeared with Jacko in a Pepsi commercial, filed respective claims in 2013 and 2014 against Jackson’s estate for unspecified amounts in punitive damages.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, when he could decide whether they may proceed.
If they’re successful, Robson, 32, and Safechuck, 36, would have an advantage over previous cases. Thanks to discovery rules in civil cases, the duo would be able to introduce a wealth of evidence excluded from criminal proceedings — including, for the first time, how much Jackson paid alleged victims and their families.
Lawyers claim that Jackson forked out nearly $200 million to as many as 20 victims. Safechuck first met the pop star in 1987 when he was 8 years old. He will testify that Jackson repeatedly molested him a year later during a tour and signed off on a check for more than $1 million to Safechuck’s father.
Safechuck's lawyer alleges in court filings that Jackson held a secret wedding ceremony, with the young boy as his bride and gave him a marriage certificate and wedding band as keepsakes.
Jackson’s mother Katherine allegedly asked Safechuck if anything happened between him and her son.
“Jackson was successful in his efforts to the point that my client endured repeated acts of sexual abuse of a heinous nature and was brainwashed . . . into believing they were acts of love and instigated by James himself,” Safechuck’s attorneys says in filings.
Safechuck’s attorney alleges that Jackson molested Safechuck more than 100 times.
At Jackson’s 2005 trial, Wade Robson testified to sharing a bed with the singer for at least a year but that nothing untoward happened. He claims that he didn’t come forward with the allegations until he started his own family.
“I lived in silence and denial for 22 years,” Robson said.
His claims will be bolstered by former Jackson maid Blanca Francia who has sworn under oath and is expected to testify that she walked in on Jackson showering and groping a then-9-year-old Robson. She says she also found them seminude in bed together.
Jackson always vehemently denied molesting children. In recorded depositions he mostly evaded queries about his relationship with the young boys, insisting that he would never hurt a child.
The depositions which were taken in the 1990s and early 2000s include one video in which Jackson slurred his words and seemingly fell asleep. The video would also be played in court for a civil jury.
Evidence that prosecutors were barred from presenting will be disclosed as it will be a civil case not a criminal one. That means that the duo will be allowed to detail past, undisclosed settlements including the Jordy Chandler lawsuit that allegedly cost Jackson more than $40 million.
“All of this is documented, and it will certainly help to sway a jury, particularly a civil jury who is not considering reasonable doubt but a preponderance of the evidence,” a prosecution source said.