Lawsuits by Jackson accusers likely to be restored
LOS ANGELES — 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.
'Jeopardy!' legends to compete in prime-time
LOS ANGELES — The three top money winners in “Jeopardy!” history will vie for a share of $1.5 million in January.
ABC and the quiz show’s producer said Monday that Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer will compete in prime-time episodes on the network.
The first contestant to win three matches will receive $1 million. Each runner-up will take home $250,000.
Alex Trebek will host the contest, titled “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” and debuting 7 p.m. Central on Jan. 7.
Rutter is the top all-time money winner with $4.7 million, followed by Jennings with $3.4 million and Holzhauer with $2.7 million.
In a statement, Trebek said the three have proved they qualify as the “greatest,” and now will compete to be “the best of the best.”