Fresh Michael Jackson child molestation accusations: Dancer Wade Robson claims the singer abused him

 

A choreographer and television personality who was a key witness in Michael Jackson's successful defence against child molestation charges is seeking permission to file a claim against the singer's estate alleging the pop superstar sexually abused him as a child, court records and an attorney said.

Wade Robson was abused by Jackson during a seven-year period, the choreographer's lawyer, Henry Gradstein, wrote in a statement yesterday. He said Robson, 30, suffered a breakdown last year but has not stated how much his client is seeking to recoup from Jackson's estate if a judge permits him to pursue his abuse allegations.

Details on Robson's accusations were filed under seal.

The molestation allegations have been fiercely denied by a lawyer for Jackson's estate and the singer's criminal defence attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr.

"Mr. Robson was one of my strongest witnesses in Michael Jackson's criminal trial," Mesereau said. "I called him to the stand at the beginning of the defence case and he was adamant that he had never been improperly touched or molested. This makes no sense."

Robson was the first defence witness during the 2005 trial that ended with Jackson's acquittal on molestation charges. He also spoke favourably about Jackson after the singer's death in June 2009.

"Last year, on a career trajectory that was off the charts, (Robson) collapsed under the stress and sexual trauma of what had happened to him for seven years as a child," Gradstein wrote in a statement that referred to Jackson as a sexual predator.

"There are significant legal issues involved in this case that have the potential to impact lives beyond just our client," he wrote.

Gradstein said he could not discuss specifics of the case, but he cited Robson's recent breakdown as the choreographer's reason for reversing his previous statements about Jackson. "As a result, he started intensive treatment which ultimately led to his ability to come forward," Gradstein said.

Robson, an Australian-born choreographer, has appeared on the Fox television series So You Think You Can Dance and worked with Britney Spears and other stars.

"Mr. Robson's claim is outrageous and pathetic," Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman wrote in a statement. "This is a young man who has testified at least twice under oath over the past 20 years and said in numerous interviews that Michael Jackson never did anything inappropriate to him or with him. Now, nearly four years after Michael has passed this sad and less than credible claim has been made. We are confident that the court will see this for what it is."

Gradstein filed a motion seeking permission to file a late creditor's claim against Jackson's estate on 1 May, nearly four years after the singer's death, court records show. Most of the documents are sealed pending a June court hearing, but a summary of the documents states the choreographer includes a declaration from a psychiatrist and an "Unfiled Complaint for Childhood Sexual Abuse."

The period for filing claims against Jackson's estate has long since passed, but a California civil statute allows victims of abuse to file a lawsuit within three years of discovering "that psychological injury or illness ... was caused by the sexual abuse."

The judge overseeing Jackson's massive probate case will have to determine whether Robson's claim can go forward.

Gradstein's statement did not address any specifics about when or where Jackson's alleged molestation occurred, but the choreographer testified extensively in 2005 about the time he spent with Jackson.

"Wade Robson, in addition to being one of the most talented people on the planet, is one of the kindest, most gentle, decent and introspective human beings one will ever meet. He is the loving father of a young son and happily married," Gradstein wrote in a statement first obtained by celebrity website TMZ.

His claim was filed nearly eight years to the day after Robson testified Jackson never inappropriately touched him. He was 22 at the time he testified, telling jurors in Jackson's criminal case that he met Jackson when he was 5 years old and had spent the night at Jackson's Neverland Ranch more than 20 times, sleeping in the singer's bedroom on most visits.

During the trial, Robson bristled at testimony by other witnesses that they had seen Jackson molest him. "I'm very mad about it," he told jurors. "It's not true and they put my name through the dirt. I'm really not happy about it."

The claims come as Jackson's mother, who supported her son throughout the molestation trial in Santa Maria, California, is in a Los Angeles courtroom pursuing a negligent hiring case against the promoter of Jackson's planned series of comeback concerts.

Katherine Jackson has not addressed Robson's allegations, and her lawyer, Perry Sander Jr., said Mesereau was the appropriate person to comment on the molestation claims.

Marvin S. Putnam, an attorney for concert promoter AEG Live LLC, said he wasn't familiar with the specifics of Robson's claims but doubted it would come up in the civil trial filed by Jackson's mother. "I don't see how it has anything to do with our case," he said.

AP

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn