A group of Michael Jackson fans are seeking damages from the alleged abuse victims who came forward in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. Reuters reports that a group of Jackson’s fans are taking a case to French court. The fans claim that James Safechuck and Wade Robson are “sullying [Jackson’s] image” by alleging that the singer molested them repeatedly at his Neverland Ranch home in California.
The fans’ lawyer, Emmanuel Ludot, has compared the men’s allegations to a “genuine lynching” of Jackson, who died in 2009. The three fan communities involved in the suit are seeking symbolic damages of one euro ($1.13) each. They are suing in French court because French defamation laws extends libel protection beyond death, while US law does not.
Ludot has a history of winning defamation cases involving Jackson. Stereogum reports that Ludot also won a case in France in 2014 when fan groups were awarded one euro from a suit against Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who prescribed Jackson’s drugs before his death. The fans in that suit apparently claimed that they’d suffered emotional damages from their favorite star’s death.
It remains to be seen whether these fan groups will receive the payment they’re asking for. A judgment in the case will be delivered on October 4.