Michael Jackson Accused of Paying Millions in Hush Money to Alleged Molestation Victims
By Raphael Chestang
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According to reports, attorneys are claiming that Michael Jackson spent $200 million to silence alleged victims.
Purported victims Wade Robson and James Safechuck, now in their 30s, are reportedly threatening to release a wealth of evidence that could show that Jackson abused young boys and paid to keep them from accusing him.
"What the victims are trying to claim here is that Michael Jackson shut people up -- not just one or two or three but many many people," legal analyst Robin Sax told ET.
Howard Weitzman, attorney for the estate of Michael Joseph Jackson, spoke out against these reports.
"We are aware of recent false 'reports' regarding Michael Jackson having, among other things, paid over $200 million to 20 'victims,'" Weitzman told ET in a statement on Monday. "There is not a shred of evidence to support these ludicrous 'reports.' It is unfortunate that, even in death, Michael cannot be free of these types of allegations, but we are confident that the truth will prevail in the end, just as it did in 2005 when a jury fully exonerated him."
Jackson, who died in 2009, vehemently denied molesting children.
"Before I would hurt a child I would slit my wrists," Jackson told 60 Minutes in 2011.
Safechuck worked with Jackson on a Pepsi commercial when he was 8 years old and claims that Jackson sexually abused him for years.
Robson, a choreographer who often appears on So You Think You Can Dance, called Jackson a pedophile in 2013, but was a key witness in the singer's successful defense against child molestation charges in 2005.
"He was like a family member and that's all," Robson told ET in 2000, defending Jackson.
Robson says he felt the need to come forward now because of the birth of his son.
"During the first 18 months of his life, I collapsed into two nervous breakdowns -- terrifying nervous breakdowns," Robson told Today. "During the second one, this thing happened where I started thinking of him and imagined him being a victim of the sexual abuse that I was at the hands of Michael."
Jane Velez-Mitchell, who covered Jackson's molestation trial for HLN, said that the financial implications complicated the situation. "This is all about money -- all about money on both sides," she said.