This post won’t be my standard “summary of the court documents” blog post. I won’t be making a long list of legal aspects of the complaint. While I will refer to some elements in Robson’s new revised complaint, I will mostly write my personal take on the revisions. Consider this a disclaimer.
I regularly add the relevant court documents to my blog posts and you will find a copy of Robson’s proposed revised complaint below. You might wonder how I got this document. This time I didn’t get it from the court. I was able to get a copy because Robson’s new lawyers wrote a press release and added the document to it. In the less than 2 months they have been on the case, this is the second press release they have done with a negative document attached to it. This makes it clear that these new lawyers are attempting to try to this case in the media. Furthermore the once sealed and redacted complaint is no longer redacted. One can only assume they want the salacious media stories to force MJ Estate into a settlement.
Here is the document: https://www.scribd.com/document/324151013/Wade-Robson-Motion-To-Amend-Complaint
On September 7, Robson lawyers email Estate lawyers saying they want to amend Robson’s complaint. Simply put they want to remove the sexual abuse causes of action and add negligence causes of action. Estate replies they believe it is too late to amend the complaint and say they won’t agree to a new complaint. Therefore Robson lawyers file a motion with the court asking the court to allow them to proceed with a new revised complaint. In their motion they add a copy of their proposed revised complaint. A hearing on this matter will be heard on October 7th and the judge will decide if he will allow a revised complaint or not.
The causes of action on the revised complaint are intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent retention/hiring, negligent failure to warn, train or educate and breach of fiduciary duty.
There is some interesting stuff in the document. First you see how Robson lawyers try to justify allowing the amended complaint and how they claim Estate wasn’t ready to depose Robson so they can’t say it’s too late to amend the complaint. This is serious twisting of what happened a few weeks ago. Estate didn’t say they weren’t prepared, they wanted to get the results of the mental examination before they depose Robson. At that time Robson’s new lawyers had delayed the mental examination for 3 weeks and wanted to depose Robson 1 day after the mental examination. That didn’t give enough time to get the report for the mental examination.
Robson lawyers state this case had “voluminous pleadings and thousands of documents” produced during discovery. However the complaint makes it obvious that none of these thousands of documents uncovered anything new. The usual suspects are mentioned in the complaint: Quindoy, Michaels, Francia, Murdock and so on. All of these people were used in previous instances and all of them face serious credibility issues.
From the media you probably heard that Norma Staikos has been called a “madame” or “procurer” of a child sexual abuse victims for MJ. Here is the back story for that claim:
In 1987 aged 5, Robson wins a dance competition run by MJJ Productions and briefly meets Michael. According to the complaint these meet and greets were “sexual grooming mechanisms to acquire minor sexual abuse victims disguised as charitable events for minors”. It’s important to note that Robson’s mother was present in this so called “sexual grooming” meet and greet and in 2005 she testified that meeting wasn’t substantial and it was just a “how are you, it’s a pleasure to meet you” type of thing.. Then nothing for the next 2 years. The “sophisticated child sexual abuse organization” totally forgot about this kid they acquired through their evil intentioned dance competition and exposed to a “sexual grooming” meet and greet. Keep that in mind.
2 years later in 1990 aged 7, Robson comes to US with his dance company. His family members (mother, father, sister and grandparents) accompany him as they want to turn the trip into a family vacation. Robson’s mother calls Norma Staikos who then arranges for Robson to meet with Michael in a recording studio. Robson lawyers claims this meet and greet “purposely orchestrated” by Norma Staikos. Hold on a minute. Didn’t Robson’s own mother call and asked for a meeting with Michael? How is that orchestrated by Staikos? And how does that make her a “madam” or a “procurer” if she was only responding to Joy’s request?
By the way if it’s not the clear, “the most sophisticated public child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organization the world has known” is actually a secretary/ assistant doing her job. Personally I see no sophistication or “purposely orchestrated mechanisms” in a secretary / assistant making calls and travel arrangements situation.
Robson lawyers can’t seem to make up their minds about the relationship between MJ and the companies. On one page MJ is listed as “president/owner”, “representative/agent” of the companies. On another page the companies become MJ’s “co-conspirators, collaborators, facilitators and alter-egos” of MJ. Then MJ was hired by MJ Companies “as a singer, dancer, entertainer, teacher, mentor, and coach to in part mentor and train minors in entertainment industry”. So now Michael becomes “an employee, managing agent, agent, officer, director and/or servant of such and/or was under the companies complete control and/or supervision”. Then in the causes of action part, Robson lawyers list what should have been done in regards to negligent supervision, retention, hiring etc. These include stuff like: the companies should have done an adequate investigation into MJ’s background before hiring him, they shouldn’t have placed MJ in a function or environment in which he would had contact with kids, warn families about MJ’s dangerous propensities and unfitness, investigate, supervise and monitor MJ and even not retain – aka fire- him
You can't really appreciate the absurdity of Robson lawyers arguments until you imagine what they suggested happening in real life. Let’s try it, shall we: MJ forms a company, a company named after him. He hires Norma and others to work for his company. He pays their salaries. Norma who is working for Michael sets out to hire employees, agents, "mentors" for MJJP. How about Michael? He is a talented guy. Yes let's hire Michael at a firm he owns. Norma is supposed to run a background check on Michael, otherwise she will be negligent in hiring. If there were any red flags, she shouldn't have hired him. How would that go? "Sorry Michael, we can't hire you at a company you own, you didn't pass the background check". Imagine Michael managed to get hired by his own company. Then it's Norma's responsibility to supervise Michael because he is now a measly employee. Uh oh imagine some concerns were raised by other employees, now Norma needs to act. Remember Robson lawyers says she needs to put Michael in positions that he cannot interact with kids and/or supervise him when with kids. Michael finds a really talented young kid and wants to sign him up to his music label. Norma says: "Sorry Michael you cannot sign young people to your record label, why don't you stick with adults?" Michael wants to invite his friends including kids to his private residence. He calls Norma his personal assistant/secretary to arrange it. "Sorry Michael can't do it. You can't have kids over to your house. Or at least I need to send someone to monitor you while you spend time with kids". Then comes the dreadful day. After a "reasonable suspicion" Norma calls Michael to her office "I'm sorry Michael, you don't fit with MJJP's ethics and wholesome image. We will have to let you go. You are fired. Oh by the way don't forget to pay my salary." Poor Michael just accepts what Norma says. Seriously though, in what world can this even possibly happen?
Oh and it doesn't end there. Add to the mix that Michael was the owner and president of the companies and the companies were his alter-ego per the complaint then it becomes like this: Michael Jackson formed a company. Michael negligently hired himself to work for his company. Michael the owner was supposed to supervise Michael the employee and not place Michael the employee in a position where he has contact with children. And Michael the boss is negligent because he didn’t do that and he didn't stop Michael the employee when his behavior was inappropriate. Mind blown, right?
I can’t help but wonder, where is Wade’s mother Joy Robson in all of this? For example Norma Staikos is accused of intentionally placing Wade’s mother and sister at a hotel across the street while Wade stayed with Michael in his apartment and was sexually assaulted. Why couldn’t Joy as his mother say No to this? Even if we assume and accept that Joy was a total failure as a parent to take care and protect her kid, it doesn’t end there. Robson’s own documents state that MJ Companies applied for a work visa for Joy Robson, she was also to be an employee of MJ Companies and she was acting as Wade’s manager. I imagine as the manager of Wade, it was her job to supervise Wade and his interaction with other people including MJ. Why not accuse Joy of negligence as well after she was both an employee of MJ companies and was paid to manage Wade?
Then we see Robson lawyers trying so so hard to try to make mandated reporters argument work. The child abuse protection laws define some people as mandated reporters. These people are generally people who spend time with kids regularly or people who can see/hear/learn signs of child abuse during their work. They would include people like teachers, child care center employees, law enforcement, doctors, nurses, priests etc. One part of the law states that “An administrator or employee of a public or private organization whose duties require direct contact and supervision of children” is also a mandated reporter per law. So in order to fit with this suddenly MJ Companies are presented as “operated a program in that at least in part catered to children and required defendants’ employees interact with, be in contact with and supervise minor children”. That’s why all throughout the document you see references made to Michael as “teacher”, “mentor” and Robson being called a “student”, MJJP being called a “school”. If I’m being honest, some parts of the document read like a copy/paste from a school case.
There is a reason for that though. The lawyers repeatedly mention they are specialized in child sexual abuse cases. Their press releases mention the settlements they got for such cases. Both of these are true statement. However when you go to their websites, you will see that the most of the child sexual abuse cases they handle are against churches or schools. These cases have a very common style. Churches and the schools select and hire the priests and teachers. It is indisputable that churches/schools are responsible for hiring, supervising and retention of priests and teachers. Kids are exposed to these priests and teachers through the church or school. If they get abused and if the church and school knew about abuse and did nothing there is a very clear duty of care and negligence. So those cases are a lot more straightforward and even more of a slam dunk. Churches and schools tend to prefer to settle rather than going through a public trial.
So I think this is why these lawyers are trying so hard and so desperately to portray MJJP and MJJV as a school. But if you ask me, it doesn’t work, it makes no sense. MJJP/ MJJV simply does not fit the profile of organizations whose duties require direct contact and supervision of children.
As for the damages part, Robson lawyers tells us how special Robson is as he achieved success in many diverse areas. According to the complaint unfortunately this had ended and Robson couldn’t become an international superstar. So they ask for "past, present and future general and special damages, punitive damages, statutory damages, costs of suit, attorney's fees, and interest as allowed by law". So just tens of millions of dollars.
In the damages section, we catch Robson and his lawyers in a blatant lie. They claim Robson is “unable to continue directing in any manner or capacity whatsoever”. However this is not true. Robson registered his Wade Robsons Creations webpage in 2014. He does documentaries, commercials, wedding videos, music videos and so on. His website says “Let’s create something great together!” He posted 60+ videos since 2014. In the last year he released two dance short films named “Flight” and “Life in Color”. So not only he is more than capable to direct, he can also do entertainment related dance videos. To be fair, he doesn’t seem to be working on good paying and/or big projects but I guess you don’t have to if you expect a big payout from Bank of Michael Jackson. Still no matter how you roll the dice “unable to continue directing in any manner or capacity whatsoever” is a blatant lie.
What’s even more unbelievable is that while his lawyers were filing this motion to amend his complaint, making claims he can’t work at all and ask for significant amount of money, Robson was posting on his Facebook about a music video he will be directing next week on September 21/22, 2016. Shortly after his lawyers sent the press releases to the media to start the salacious media spin, Robson deleted his Facebook post. Too late buddy, it was already screen capped.
Now if Robson or his lawyers ever stumble upon to this blog post, they might be tempted to delete his website, videos and such. Don’t bother though. Every single one of them are also copied and saved. Or actually go ahead and delete it. I would love to do “here are all the things Robson has deleted and trying to hide” post.
Finally Robson lawyers state they have no issue if the judge allows the amended complaint and it means a delay in the case schedule. According to CA civil code, a case has to be brought to trial within 5 years. This means Robson case has be tried by May 2018 latest. Robson lawyers say that this gives them ample of time to amend the complaint and go through the process of discovery and such before that date. However if you remember just a few weeks ago Robson’s own lawyers wanted to depose him as soon as possible as they feared he was a high suicide risk. Now they have no problems with delays and waiting for the trial to happen. Isn’t it amazing that how quickly someone can overcome a fake suicidal risk?