Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed faces legal battle while shooting sequel to Michael Jackson documentary

Follow-up to 2019 documentary will show fallout of film’s release on Jackson’s accusers

Trailer for new HBO documentary about Michael Jackson abuse victims Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed has found himself facing another legal battle with Michael Jackson’s legacy companies while attempting to shoot the sequel to his documentary.

As reported by Deadline, Reed has been filming in the Los Angeles Superior Court for a follow up to the award-winning 2019 documentary.

The sequel will show the fallout of the original film’s release and the effect it had on Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege in Leaving Neverland that they were sexually assaulted by Jackson when they were minors. Jackson’s estate strongly denies these claims.

Robson and Safechuck are currentluy pursuing separate claims against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, but Jackson’s companies are reportedly attempting to remove Reed’s access to the legal proceedings. 

Last month, the companies served Reed and his production company, Amos Pictures, a subpoena demanding that the director hand over any documents and materials related to Leaving Neverland and the sequel. They are also attempting to ban him from filming inside the courtroom.

Jackson’s legacy companies want to stop Reed (pictured) from filming in court

Jackson’s attorney’s claimed to the court that Reed was not a legitimate journalist and that Leaving Neverland was a one-sided film.

In response, Reed stated that he had no personal affiliation with Robson and Safechuck and had not paid them to appear in his sequel. He also attached emails showing that he had asked MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures counsel Howard Weitzman to appear in the second documentary, but was refused.

In response to the “various false accusations” about his credibility, Reed said: “The follow-up documentary for which I am currently filming in these cases is about current events taking place partly in public view and will be an unfolding narrative with multiple points of view.”

Reed was backed by Channel 4’s head of news and current affairs Louisa Compton, who said that the Jackson companies were trying to “suppress” reporting on the Robson and Safechuck cases.

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“Understandably, the MJJ companies are not happy with Leaving Neverland or the making of the follow-up documentary,” she said. “It is easy to see why they do not want the subject matter of these films to be reported to the public.

“However, as much as they may dislike the messages that are being conveyed by these documentaries, we strenuously oppose their efforts to ‘shoot the messenger’.”

The Independent has contacted Sony Music for comment.

Leaving Neverland won an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, while it was also awarded a BAFTA TV award for Factual Series.

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