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Filming For Sequel To Leaving Neverland Documentary Underway Amid Legal Challenges

Filming For Sequel To Leaving Neverland Documentary Underway Amid Legal Challenges

Filming for a sequel to the Leaving Neverland documentary is underway - despite legal challenges from Michael Jackson's estate.

Deadline reports that director Dan Reed has been filming in the Los Angeles Superior Court as Wade Robson and James Safechuck pursue claims they were sexually abused by Jackson as minors.

Judge Mark A. Young dismissed the latter's lawsuit on Tuesday - he is preparing to appeal - while Robson's case is scheduled for next June.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Jackson's companies - MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures - are attempting to block the sequel documentary though, and have issued subpoenas ordering Reed to hand over his footage.

Reed has filed a 79-page motion to quash the subpoena, outlining the fact he has no affiliation to Robson or Safechuck and has asked MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures counsel Howard Weitzman to appear in the sequel.

Reed said: "The follow-up documentary for which I am currently filming in these cases is about current events taking place partly in public view and will be an unfolding narrative with multiple points of view."

Channel 4's head of news and current affairs, Louisa Compton, has also backed Reed and condemned the subpoenas.

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She said: "Understandably, the MJJ companies are not happy with Leaving Neverland or the making of the follow-up documentary. It is easy to see why they do not want the subject matter of these films to be reported to the public.

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"However, as much as they may dislike the messages that are being conveyed by these documentaries, we strenuously oppose their efforts to 'shoot the messenger'.

Channel 4 said it is only right that the court proceedings are covered in the sequel documentary. Credit: HBO
Channel 4 said it is only right that the court proceedings are covered in the sequel documentary. Credit: HBO

"In particular, we at Channel 4 oppose their effort to use subpoenas to try to force Reed and his company to turn over all of their unpublished materials and drag this journalist into depositions.

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"In the UK, as in the United States, the courts are very reluctant to order journalists to hand over unbroadcast and other journalistic material, given the strong legal protections that exist to protect freedom of expression.

"The motives of the MJJ companies are further revealed by their attempt to ban Reed from filming in the courtroom and thereby prohibit him from getting footage to report on the proceedings.

"We oppose these efforts to suppress journalism by preventing Reed from further informing the public about these matters of vital public importance."

A hearing on Reed's motion to quash the subpoenas is scheduled for 9 April.

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Leaving Neverland was released in March 2019, with its graphic accounts of the late pop star's alleged assaults making headlines across the globe.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: TV and Film, Michael Jackson, US News

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Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.