Michael Jackson fan clubs are suing two men featured in the ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary for allegedly tarnishing the late singer’s image.
Three separate organizations for fans of the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker – who passed away in 2009 – in France have hired a lawyer to put forward a case against the men featured in the HBO documentary, in which the alleged Michael had sexually abused them after befriending them as children.
According to MailOnline, the three French fan clubs – the Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street, and On The Line – entered documents accusing the men of sullying the pop star’s image at a court in Orleans last week, with the help of lawyer Emmanuel Ludot.
Under French law, sullying the image of a dead person is a criminal offense, unlike in Britain or America where libel and defamation laws do not offer this protection.
The fan clubs claim the allegations against the ‘Billie Jean’ singer are “extremely serious” and “a genuine lynching” of his character.
Although the report doesn’t name the two men involved in the lawsuit, the four-hour HBO documentary focuses on the testimonies by James Safechuck, 41, and Wade Robson, 36, who recounted separate but consistent accounts of how Michael had allegedly molested them at his Neverland Ranch home when they were children.
The documents state the fan clubs are seeking symbolic damages of one euro each, and their decision to hire Ludot for the case comes after he successfully sued Michael’s doctor Conrad Murray for causing distress to the singer’s fans by giving him the sedatives that he overdosed on.
Five fans of the ‘Beat It’ singer won symbolic damages of one euro each in 2014 after the court in Orleans agreed they had suffered “emotional damage” from the pop star’s death, but the ruling was seen as legally dubious by experts.