Attorneys for the estate of Michael Jackson want a judge to dismiss the King of Pop, who died five years ago today, as an unnamed defendant in a lawsuit by a choreographer who alleges the late singer sexually abused him as a child.
Wade Robson, who has worked with such luminaries as Britney Spears and Usher, has filed both civil and probate court actions. The civil suit was filed in June 2013 and names as defendants two Jackson companies as well as “Doe 1.”
In court papers filed Friday, lawyers for the estate say it is clear that the unspecified person is Jackson himself.
“No court has jurisdiction to entertain an action against a deceased person,” the estate’s attorneys state in their court papers. “An action initiated against a party after that party has died is void … for lack of jurisdiction.”
In an email to Jackson estate attorney Jonathan Steinsapir, a copy of which is attached to the estate’s court papers, Robson attorney Maryann Marzano states that Jackson is being left as Doe 1 in the civil case for tactical reasons.
“We are well aware that any claims against Michael Jackson need to be made against the estate,” Marzano wrote. “Having said that, we are reluctant to dismiss the Doe 1 defendant given the possible adverse effect a dismissal may have on our pleadings in discovery.”
A hearing on the estate’s motion regarding the civil suit is scheduled Oct. 1.
Robson, 31, still needs a judge’s permission to file the probate court claim because it was brought in May 2013, nearly four years after the entertainer’s death at age 50 on June 25, 2009.
Robson alleges Jackson molested him between 1990-97, even though he testified in the singer’s 2005 child molestation trial that the pop star did not sexually molest him. Jackson was acquitted on all charges in his 2005 trial. He settled out of court in 1994 another claim in which he was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.