Michael Jackson defender files sex abuse claim
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — A dancer-choreographer filed a claim against Michael Jackson's estate related to alleged child sex abuse by the late pop icon.
Wade Robson, now 30, denied in testimony at Jackson's child molestation trial in 2005 that he had been molested by the singer.
The details of the allegation are sealed by the Los Angeles probate court where Robson's lawyer filed the claim last week, according to a court document obtained Tuesday by CNN.
The deadline has long passed for creditors to file claims against Jackson's estate, but Robson is asking the probate court to allow him to file a late creditor's claim.
The sealed documents include an affidavit from Dr. David Arrendondo, a San Francisco-based child psychiatrist, the filing said.
Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges in 2005, partly based on the testimony of Robson, his sister and his mother.
"It's absurd," said Tom Mesereau, the lawyer who successfully defended Jackson in the trial. "He was one of the strongest witnesses for the defense at Michael Jackson's criminal trial in 2005. He was adamant under oath that he had never been molested at any time."
A Neverland housekeeper testified that she saw Jackson showering naked with Robson during a visit in the early 1990s, but he denied it at the trial.
"He withstood very aggressive cross-examination by the prosecutor," Mesereau told CNN Tuesday. "He stood his ground and never wavered in saying Michael Jackson had done absolutely nothing improper to him."
The 2005 trial in Santa Barbara County, California, centered on charges that Jackson had molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor who often visited his ranch. He was also charged with plying the boy with alcohol, conspiring to abduct, extort and falsely imprison the child and his family. He was acquitted on all counts.
"I've known Michael for a long time. I've spent many hours talking to him about everything. I trust him. I trust him with my children," Joy Robson, the mother of Wade Robson, testified when called as a prosecution witness.
Robson said she let Wade, who was then 7, and daughter Chantal sleep in Jackson's bedroom from the first visit.
A spokesman for the Jackson estate said the executors may issue a statement later.
Mesereau said it was "suspicious timing" for the claim to be filed at the start of the trial of the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, in which Jackson's mother and children are suing concert promoter AEG Live.
AEG Live lawyers have said they would bring up the child molestation charges against Jackson as part of their defense.
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By Alan Duke