Michael Jackson Trial Continues
Justin Sullivan

Michael Jackson's Nephew Slams HBO's Documentary About Alleged Child Abuse

Taj Jackson encouraged fans to help discredit the doc. 

Following Lifetime's docuseries about R. Kelly, HBO is looking into the sexual abuse cases brought against Michael Jackson. The premium network is gearing up to premiere a new documentary exploring the longstanding accusations of child abuse brought against the King of Pop at the Sundance Festival at the end of Jan. 2019. Ahead of the doc's showing, Jackson's family is speaking up.

MJ's nephew Taj Jackson condemned HBO and the upcoming documentary on social media on Thursday (Jan. 10). "I’m so tired of these lies about my uncle," he wrote.

He also sent love to his family's supporters and encouraged them to help discredit the documentary. "MJfam, I see all your comments and messages about wanting to fight back," he continued. "I doubt the media wants to learn the truth or is even interested in it. Negativity sells. But please post below on what we all can do to expose this documentary."

The doc, which is formally titled Leaving Neverland, will reportedly delve into the story of two boys who accused Jackson of sexually abusing them when they were 7 and 10 years old.  It features interviews from the two men who are now in their 30s.

A rep for Jackson's estate stated that the documentary was "just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations" against legendary singer.

Leaving Neverland will premiere at Sundance on Jan. 25. See Taj Jackson's response below.

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Sanaa Lathan Stars In Chilling Trailer For Jordan Peele’s ‘Twilight Zone’ Reboot

Sanaa Lathan stars in the chilling new trailer for Jordan Peele’s reboot of The Twilight Zone. Set behind a blood-curling instrumental, the mysterious teaser appears to center around the concept of time and numeric synchronicities.

The creepy clip also features Adam Scott, John Cho, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracy Morgan and Peele, who will host and produce the latest revival of the classic horror series through his Monkeypaw Productions imprint.

The Twilight Zone, created by Rod Sterling, debuted in 1959 and aired for five seasons. The show was rebooted in 1985, and again in 2002.

“I was terrified,” Peele told Variety last year of taking on the remake. “Why would I ever jump into the most established, pristine shoes in all of the genre? I could rip Twilight Zone off and call it something different and not be compared to Rod Serling. So I stepped away from it. And then several months later I got another call.”

It's a good thing that Peele faced his fears, because The Twilight Zone and his forthcoming horror flick, US, prove that he knows how to scare up anticipation.

The Twilight Zone debuts April 1 on CBS All Access. Check the video above for the trailer.

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Aaron Lambert-Pool/Getty Images

Michael Jackson's Estate Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against HBO

Michael Jackson’s estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO over the upcoming Leaving Neverland documentary set to air next month. Jackson’s estate accuses the cable network of breaching a non-disparagement contract made with the King of Pop back in 1992.

"HBO breached its agreement not to disparage Michael Jackson by producing and selling to the public a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself," Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Jackson estate said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit, according to NBC News.

The statement adds that HBO should have “ensured that Leaving Neverland was properly sourced, fact-checked and a fair and balanced representation.”

Leaving Neverland features alleged accounts from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom accuse Jackson of molesting them when they were minors. Robson, who attended Jackson’s funeral in 2009, previously testified in 2005 that Jackson never molested him. In 2013, Robson sued the estate claiming abuse. Safechuck also sued for similar allegations in 2014. Both lawsuits were dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed. The two men hope that the film will “educate the public about how abuse like this happens.”

The estate claims that the amount of damages potentially caused to Jackson’s legacy “could exceed $100 million should HBO success in the damage it is intending to cause.” Jackson’s estate also believes the King of Pop's accusers are using HBO as part of their “litigation strategy.”

HBO plans to air the film, as scheduled. In a statement responding to the legal complaint, the network called out Jackson’s estate for going to “desperate lengths” to undermine the documentary. “Our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland, the two-part documentary, on March 3rd and 4th. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”

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Actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail following his release, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Chicago, IL.
AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

Jussie Smollett Released On $100K Bail

Jussie Smollett was reportedly released from Chicago police custody on Thursday (Feb. 21), after posting $100,000 bail, CNN confirms.

Police and prosecutors held a press conference, in which they listed a series of evidence that would corroborate their claim that Smollett staged the homophobic and racist attack that occurred against him in Jan. 2019.

The prosecutors confirmed a chronology of the events leading up to and after the attack. They cited phone and credit card records from both Smollett and the Osundairo brothers who were reportedly paid $3,500 to act out the incident.

As previously reported, the Empire actor was arrested and taken into custody in Chicago earlier this morning on one count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. The police claimed the actor staged the attack because he was upset about his low salary.

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said. "Why would anyone especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?"

If convicted of the charge, Smollett could serve one to three years in prison.

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