Lawsuits by Michael Jackson accusers likely to be restored

Full Screen
1 / 2

AP2005

FILE - In this March 2, 2005, file photo, pop icon Michael Jackson waves to his supporters as he arrives for his child molestation trial at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, Calif. A California appeals court is strongly inclined to give new life to lawsuits filed by two men who accuse Michael Jackson of molesting them when they were boys. In a tentative ruling Monday, the 2nd District Court of Appeal said lawsuits from James Safechuck and Wade Robson should be reconsidered by the trial court that dismissed them in 2017. The decision is based on a new California law that gives sex abuse victims far longer to sue. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)

LOS ANGELES, CA – A California appeals court appeared strongly inclined Monday to give new life to lawsuits filed by two men who accuse Michael Jackson of repeatedly molesting them when they were boys.

Three judges from the 2nd District Court of Appeal said in a tentative ruling that lawsuits from James Safechuck and Wade Robson against two corporate entities that Jackson owned should be reconsidered by the trial court that dismissed them in 2017.

Robson, 37, and Safechuck, 41, who became known to a broad audience when they aired their accusations earlier this year in the Emmy-winning HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland," sat together in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom during Monday’s brief hearing.

Outside, their attorney Vince Finaldi said the decision was the right one, and they are pleased.

“All they’ve ever wanted is their day in court,” Finaldi said.

The suits filed in 2013 that were dismissed because statutes of limitations had expired can be revived because of new state law signed last month by Gov. Gavin Newsom that gives those who say they were sexually abused until age 40, up from age 26, to file lawsuits. It also gives victims of all ages a three-year window to sue, starting Jan. 1.

The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sexual abuse, but Robson and Safechuck have repeatedly come forward and approved of the use of their names and faces.

The tentative decision does not revive the actual Jackson estate as a defendant. A 2015 decision throwing out that part of the lawsuit will stand. The remaining defendants are the two corporate entities, MJJ Productions, Inc., and MJJ Ventures, Inc.