Roommate, Michael Jackson’s estate is in an ongoing battle with HBO after the network released its 2019 documentary about his life in Leaving Neverland and an appeals court simply turned things in his favor.
According to Variety, the Jackson estate sued HBO over $ 100 million, arguing that the documentary violated a 27-year non-degradation clause from a 1992 concert film from the “Dangerous” tour. HBO argued in court that the clause was not relevant to current issues in the case and accused the Jackson estate of silencing victims of sexual abuse.
Last year, a lower court upheld the estate’s motion to arbitrate the dispute, which HBO is appealing. However, as of Monday, the judges ruled the case was worth appealing, despite HBO claiming the lawsuit was “frivolous.”
“The contract contained a full arbitration clause that covered claims that HBO had downgraded Jackson in breach of ongoing confidentiality obligations,” the panel ruled. “We can only determine whether the parties have agreed to arbitrate such claims. It is up to the arbitrator to decide whether these claims are valid. “
HBO’s goal was to avoid arbitration and to state that the network never intended to veto Michael Jackson and his estate over anything the network would say about him. They also alleged that the contract expired after both sides fulfilled their obligations.
Still, Jackson’s attorneys Howard Weitzman and Jonathan Steinsapir were pleased with the verdict.
“The trial judge, and now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, unanimously rejected HBO’s arguments,” they said. “In the court’s own words, HBO agreed that it would not make derogatory remarks about Jackson.” It’s time for HBO to answer for its breach of its obligations to Michael Jackson. “
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