The film, released in March, unleashed a firestorm of questions, outrage, confusion and anger in many people around the world as it describes allegations made by Robson and Safechuck, whose families Jackson had befriended when they were children.
Both men alleged that Jackson molested them in the late 1980s and early 90s while they were still minors. The four-hour documentary graphically detailed the alleged abuse and forced people to grapple with having to reshape their perceptions about the late icon. But three groups of Jackson’s French fans came together to file suit against Robson and Safechuck.
The MJ Community, a 600-member group community of French Jackson fans (which also has legal status as a religion), spearheaded the endeavor.
“I know that it is not possible,” said Myriam Walter, 62, a retired nurse who has never met Jackson and is president of the MJ Community. “It was rotten. It was to make a buzz. It was to make money.
“He had a great heart. It is not right to make these claims against someone who isn’t even alive to defend themselves,” she went on to say.
French Jackson fans have been known for their deep passion for the late star. CNN reported that many of them booked tickets to Jackson’s “This Is It” concert, which was slated for 50 shows. When the concert was cancelled following his 2009 death, many did not ask for a refund despite spending about 800 euros per ticket.
According to Ludot, many were diagnosed with depression and other mental health problems following the release of “Leaving Neverland.”
CNN confirmed that neither Robson or Safechuck, nor anyone representing him, were present when the case was heard in Orleans, France earlier this month. The Jackson family, who has spoken out against the HBO documentary, is in full support of the suit.