Lawyers for a dancer-choreographer who alleges he was molested by Michael Jackson told a judge Tuesday that their client should be able to file a late creditor’s claim against the singer’s estate, but attorneys for the estate’s executors said the case should be dismissed because the petitioner waited too long to bring the action.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff did not immediately rule on the future of Wade Robson‘s petition, but said he would have a decision within a few days.
Robson, 32, alleges Jackson molested him between 1990-97, though he testified in the singer’s 2005 child molestation trial — which involved another boy and ended with Jackson’s acquittal — that the entertainer did not abuse him.
Robson needs a judge’s permission to bring a late probate court claim because his court papers were filed in May 2013, nearly four years after the entertainer’s June 25, 2009, overdose death at age 50.
Maryann Marzano, one of Robson’s lawyers, said the facts of her client’s case “cry out” for equity to be applied so that he is not deprived to his right to have a full hearing rather than see his case disposed of in a single motion.
Attorney Jonathan Steinsapir, on behalf of the estate, countered that limits must be placed on when claims can be filed, irrespective of how serious their nature, so that others cannot keep bringing similar cases against the Jackson executors and other estates for years to come.
Marzano argued Robson’s case illustrates that there was no “ah, ha” moment for her client and that until he received therapy and realized he was molested by Jackson, he could not do anything sooner because he had been “brainwashed into believing it was consensual.”
In his most recent sworn statement filed in connection with his attempt to file a late probate claim against the singer’s estate, Robson says May 8, 2012, was a key date for him.
“I began to recognize for myself that Jackson had molested me,” Robson alleges. “It was on that date in my therapy session … that I first spoke about the sexual activity I had with Jackson. This revelation initiated an enormous emotional, psychological and physiological upheaval in my life that continues until this day.”
Robson says his first of two nervous breakdowns occurred in April 2011, causing him to withdraw from a film project and begin seeking psychological help. “But I did not mention the sexual abuse because at that time I still did not see it as such,” Robson states in his court papers.
A second breakdown in March 2012 was a turning point, he says.
“As with my first breakdown, I experienced stress, anxiety, fear and depression,” Robson says. “I also began to imagine my son being subjected to the same sort of sexual acts I had been forced to commit with Jackson, and for the first time in my life I thought I might need to talk to someone about what Jackson and I had done together.”
Robson says waiting until 2012 to talk about his allegations reveals his state of mind.
“It speaks to the fear and paranoia I was dealing with in relation to who my abuser was and his massive celebrity status,” Robson says. “Jackson had made me think in terms of what would happen if I told anyone about the sexual conduct and then that person told someone else who then told the press.”
Beckloff said the only example he could find of Jackson intimidating Robson was when the singer allegedly told the petitioner that they could both go to jail if their relationship became public.
Attorney Henry Gradstein, who also represents Robson, said that even if the estate’s dismissal motion is granted, his client can proceed against the corporate arm Jackson established before his death.
Steinsapir said that if the dismissal motion is denied, the estate may seek relief from the 2nd District Court of Appeal.
— City News Service
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