Leaving Neverland: ブランカ、リード監督の提訴を示唆

4月16日、マイケル・ジャクソン・エステートの共同執行人ジョン・ブランカが、「Leaving Neverland」に関して初めて公に言及し、別の訴訟(監督のダン・リードに対するもの)を起こすかもしれないと示唆した。ブランカとエステートの法律チームの二人、ハワード・ワイツマンとブライアン・フリードマンは、ハーバード大学政治研究所(マサチューセッツ州ケンブリッジ)で開催されたパネルディスカッション「メディアによる裁判:無罪が証明されるまでは有罪(Trial by Media: Guilty Until Proven Innocent)」にキーパーソンとして参加した。

彼らは同ドキュメンタリーとリード監督を激しく非難し、およそ20人の聴衆に対し、「Leaving Neverland」に対抗してジャクソンの評価を守り再構築する決心をしたと述べた。同ドキュメンタリーは、ジャクソンが小児性愛者だと主張する本人による不穏で生々しい説明を含みながら、こうした主張に反論するチャンスをエステートに与えていない。

すでに進行中のHBOに対する訴訟(エステートは、ジャクソンのコンサート映像「Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour」の放映にあたり交わした1992年の合意事項に含まれていた非難禁止条項に抵触するとして同社を相手取り10億ドルの訴訟を2月に起こしている)と合わせ、彼とエステートの法律チームがリード監督に対する直接の法的行動を検討しているとブランカは述べた。ただし、訴訟の根拠については明らかにしていない。









「私がその人を知っていて、私にはその人についての考えもある。私は反対の立場からの言い分を聞くことができないところで起こったことが好きではありません」とブランカはパネルディスカッションで語った。「(Leaving Neverlandで)語られたようなことを誰かが言うと、実社会に影響し、余波が残ってしまうのです」。




■Michael Jackson Co-Executor John Branca Says He's Considering Suing 'Leaving Neverland' Director Dan Reed

Michael Jackson estate co-executor John Branca spoke publicly for the first time about Leaving Neverland on April 16 and indicated that additional litigation -- this time against the documentary's director Dan Reed -- may be forthcoming. Branca and two of the other members of Jackson's estate legal team, Howard Weitzman and Bryan Freedman, were the the key participants in the panel discussion titled "Trial by Media: Guilty Until Proven Innocent" presented at Harvard’s Institute of Politics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The attorneys had harsh words for the documentary and Reed, telling an audience of approximately 20 they were determined to defend and rebuild Jackson's reputation in the wake of Leaving Neverland, which contained disturbing and graphic first-person accounts of Jackson's alleged pedophilia but did not give the estate a chance to respond to these accusations.

With litigation already underway against HBO -- in February, the estate filed a $100-million lawsuit against the pay-cable network alleging it had violated a non-disparagement clause contained in a 1992 agreement to premiere Jackson's concert film, Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour -- Branca said he and the estate's lawyers are now considering legal action directly against Reed, although he was not specific about what grounds he had for litigation.

In response to Branca's comments, an HBO spokesperson said, "Dan Reed is a proven, award-winning filmmaker and we have full confidence in his film."

For Branca, 68, who knew Jackson personally and even once had the singer serve as his best man, the documentary hit below the belt.

"Those people made up a goddamn story because they wanted money and we will not allow that to go unchecked," Branca told Billboard after the event. "It's that simple."

He said the estate was blindsided by the film because it was done "in complete secrecy." He said neither HBO nor Reed gave the estate an opportunity to clear up inaccuracies or to present Jackson's side of events involving Wade Robson and James Safechuck. For Branca, Freedman and Weitzman, Jackson's treatment in the media has been one-sided and made possible by the fact that there is no defamation protection for the deceased.

Branca said he believes the law surrounding defamation should be reevaluated.

"Because the laws of defamation are what they are, there is nothing we can do or say," Branca said. "The man can be damaged, his kids can be hurt and theoretically nothing can be done. I'm going to suggest the law should be changed to protect the deceased at least for a period of time. Because it's about the truth, it's about fairness, and it's about balance."

"Dan Reed's documentary is replete with inaccuracies, lies and stuff they knew not to be true," Branca told Billboard. "They should be ashamed of themselves."

Branca said he understands that people would say he is biased because he has a financial interest in Jackson's estate. Over the 10 years that have passed since Jackson's death in 2009, the estate's wealth has grown exponentially under Branca's leadership. Billboard calculates that Jackson's music catalog alone is now worth upwards of $570 million, and as co-executor Branca receives a 10 percent commission on new entertainment revenues generated for the estate. "It's a fact I won't deny," Branca said, but he added that his fight to clear Jackson's name is more about fairness than money.

"I knew the man, I had my feelings about the man, and I don't like what has happened where you can't hear the other side of the story," Branca said during the panel presentation. "There are real world implications and repercussions when somebody says something like was said [in Leaving Neverland]."

Branca said the estate was on an upward trajectory prior to the documentary and has taken a hit. He added, though, that streaming sales are still up from last year.

Hopefully the real truth will come out, other facts will come out and people will pay attention to both sides of the story," said Branca. "From the point of view of society, I want to make it so people feel comfortable saying, 'I love Michael's music.'"

"Michael," Branca said to Billboard, "is too big to fail."

Source: billboard.com



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