July 5, 2019 1:34 am EST

Michael Jackson fan clubs sue ‘Leaving Neverland’ subjects for harming his reputation

The two men who alleged Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children were taken to court in France on Thursday, though they did not appear in the courtroom, over French fans' own allegations that they defamed the pop star.

Three Michael Jackson fan clubs in France are suing two men who accused the singer of sexual abuse in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.

The lawsuit accuses Wade Robson and James Safechuck of unfairly harming the reputation of the King of Pop, who died 10 years ago.

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A lawyer for the fan clubs, Emmanuel Ludot, said he is seeking conviction under a French law against the public denunciation of a dead person.

The fan clubs are asking for one euro each in symbolic damages.

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A court in the French city of Orleans held a hearing Thursday. A lawyer represented Robson and Safechuck, who in the documentary described years of alleged sexual abuse when they were boys and teens.

Jackson’s estate denies the allegations and sent a letter supporting the lawsuit.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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