On May 1, 2013 Wade Robson filed a creditor’s claim/civil lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s Estate and companies for a monetary compensation with claims of childhood sexual abuse by the entertainer. This was a shocker, because Robson previously always defended Jackson against such allegations and denied that anything like that had ever happened to him. So what happened? In this section of the document we will go through the process of Robson’s changing of his story, the circumstances surrounding it, and the legal proceedings in this case.
Wade Robson is a dancer-choreographer, whose career peaked in the early 2000’s as a choreographer for artists like the boy band, NSYNC or teen idol, Britney Spears. As a child he was mentored by Michael Jackson when he and his family moved to the United States from Australia.
Over the years, both as a child and as an adult, Wade Robson always defended Jackson privately and publicly alike, and often volunteered to do so. At no times did he give any hint of distress or confusion while talking about Jackson, he always seemed very open and genuine about their friendship. There are also no stories of him telling anyone or hinting to anyone, either publicly or privately, that he had been sexually abused.
In 1993, when the Chandler allegations became public, the police contacted many families and their children who had spent time with Michael Jackson over the years, including the Robsons. Wade Robson (who at the time was 10-11 years old), his mother or any of their family members never said anything incriminating about Jackson during that investigation. In fact, they defended him in a police interview, in a Grand Jury testimony and even in a television interview.
In 2005, during the Gavin Arvizo criminal trial, this time as an adult man, Robson continued to defend Jackson. He testified at the trial and denied ever having been sexually abused by Jackson.
Robson continued to defend Jackson privately and publicly alike.
His mother, Joy Robson (who is supportive of Wade and accepts whatever her son claims now) said in her 2016 deposition: “[Wade] would look me in the eye time and time again and tell me that nothing ever happened. He should have had an Oscar. He was very convincing.”
That was up until May 8, 2012 when he changed his story.
So what happened? Why and how did Robson change his story after all those years of defending Jackson?
His claim is that it was not until 2012 that he realized that Jackson had sexually abused him as a child. He does not claim repressed memories, he claims that he has always remembered what he now alleges happened to him – only he did not know until 2012 that it was sexual abuse and that it was wrong.
That is a quite incredible claim considering that during the 2005 trial Wade was already an adult man and it was discussed everywhere how wrong such alleged acts would be and how there would be nothing consensual about sexual relations between a child and an adult. Another thing to consider is that when the Arvizo allegations became public, just a couple of days later, Robson was asked about them in an interview and he said: “I never had that experience and I hope that it never happened to anybody else”. That sounds like a man who fully understood that a sexual relationship between a man and a child would be wrong. And please consider that, among other things, Wade claims things like anal rape.
He also offered other various, contradictory claims about why he didn’t tell his alleged “truth” until 2012. In one version Jackson told him that both of them would go to jail if anyone ever found out, and Robson supposedly believed that until 2012. This seems to contradict the claim that he did not know it was wrong until 2012: if it is something to go to jail for then it is certainly something wrong.
According to yet another version, that he told his mother Joy Robson (as per her deposition), he denied being abused at the 2005 trial because he felt shame about it. Joy Robson: “He told me that — he told me that after he told us about the abuse, when he talked about the trial, and that’s why he didn’t want to testify. Because if he told the truth, it would be the shame.”
But Wade contradicted that in his own deposition. There he was on his version where he didn’t know in 2005 yet that what allegedly was done to him as a child was wrong, so he did not feel any shame or guilt about it either at the time.
Question: When you testified at the criminal trial in 2005, did you feel a sense of shame of what had happened between you and Michael?
Wade Robson: “No. I didn’t, I didn’t have any, as I stated, I didn’t have any perspective on it.”
“I didn’t know that at the time. I didn’t know that at any, at any time until post May 2012.”
Wade also made the claim that both in 1993 and in 2005, when he was already an adult man, Jackson allegedly coached him on the phone in the form of a “role play” and that supposedly made him a masterful liar – or a “master of deception”, as he put it – for more than two decades. What was this powerful “role play” that supposedly made Wade such a convincing “liar” both as a child and an adult?
Well, Jackson allegedly told Robson on the phone: “They are making up all these lies about you and me, saying that we did all this disgusting sexual stuff. They are just trying to take US down, take away my power and my money, take away OUR careers. We can’t let them do this. We have to fight them together.”
That’s it. That is the sophisticated, powerful “coaching” and “role playing” method that supposedly made Robson a masterful, Oscar-worthy “liar” for more than two decades.
Although, interestingly, in his 2016 deposition Wade commented at a point that it was his perspective NOW that this was some sort of role play. It sounded like a hindsight re-evaluation of something that at face value would rather point to Jackson’s innocence. After all, when an abuser talks directly to his victim they would both know the abuse happened, so it makes no sense for an abuser to deny it and call it “lies” while talking about it directly to his victim. Robson also claims here that Jackson had told him that what was alleged was “disgusting sexual stuff”, which goes against Wade’s claim elsewhere that Jackson taught him to believe that such acts were “an expression of love” and because of that he never realized until 2012 that he was allegedly sexually abused. Here he quotes Jackson himself telling him that such acts would be “disgusting sexual stuff”, so how would that not ring a bell to an adult man, like Wade was in 2005, that something was wrong with that picture, after all?
There is no claim that Jackson told Robson in a direct manner before his 2005 testimony what to say or how to testify on the stand. All Robson can claim is this supposed “role playing” on the phone.
Think about it: if Jackson had really molested Wade, it would have been incredible risk-taking on his part, both in 1993 and 2005, to put this guy on the stand (in 2005 as his first witness) and to rely on such lame supposed “role plays”, and hope not only that Wade would understand what Jackson wanted with those cryptic comments on the phone, but also that he would surely go along with it and would know exactly what to say, how to behave on the stand and how to be convincing.
In a draft for a book that Wade was shopping about his allegations in late 2012-early 2013 (more about that later), he explains his consistent, convincing denial of sexual abuse by describing himself as “a master of deception”.
But was Wade Robson a master of deception all those years while he denied sexual abuse, or is he a master of deception now, when he changed his story and filed a lawsuit amidst monetary demands? Once someone is a self-admitted master of deception, how do you decide WHEN he is deceiving you?
Because let’s not forget: One is under oath and under a penalty of perjury while testifying at a criminal trial AND also while making a declaration or testifying at a deposition in a civil case. That means there is no way around it: Wade Robson is a proven liar who has no qualms about lying under oath and under a penalty of perjury. He either lied in 2005 or he is lying now that he has changed his story and filed a lawsuit with monetary demands.
Let’s investigate further!
A Failed Prophecy
On June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson passed away. Wade and his family mourned him and they went to his public memorial. After Jackson’s death Wade had nothing but praise for Jackson, just like during his lifetime.
In an exclusive book, The Official Michael Jackson Opus that was published in late 2009, Wade made an entry in which he wrote among others: “Michael Jackson changed the world and, more personally, my life forever. He is the reason I dance, the reason I make music, and one of the main reasons I believe in the pure goodness of human kind.”
He also wrote an e-mail to Jeff Thacker, Co-Executive Producer of So You Think You Can Dance saying “I wanted to write you now so if you guys are thinking of doing any dance tribute to MJ on the show, I would like it to be me who does it.”
He also participated in a tribute by Janet Jackson to her brother at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. In an e-mail dated October 8, 2009 Wade asks James Phares, director Kenny Ortega’s personal assistant, if his family could get an invitation to the premier of the This Is It movie (a movie made of Jackson’s final rehearsals).
For several years after Jackson’s death, up until 2011, Wade continued to praise Jackson in various media interviews.
In November 2010 Wade and his wife Amanda had a son. A month later, in December, Wade was offered to direct the dance movie, Step Up Revolution, and he accepted the offer. According to his court papers and a blog post he wrote in November 2017, he considered this as the fulfillment of Michael Jackson’s “prophecy” to him as a child that he would become a movie director of “epic proportions”, bigger than Steven Spielberg.
In early 2011 Wade crumbled under the pressures of the job, which triggered a nervous breakdown in him, made him pull out of the project and left him purposeless.
He wrote about it in a blog post in 2017: “Additionally, I was now ravaged by a de-habilitating feeing (sic) of shame that I was a complete failure. I felt that my entire life had been building to this opportunity to become a Film Director. It had arrived, I was fulfilling Michael’s prophecy, and then I blew it, therefore my entire life, I believed, had been in vein. Thank God I had [his wife] Amanda and our baby boy because beyond that, I felt no purpose anymore.”
Wade Goes into Therapy
On May 16, 2011, after his nervous breakdown due to the “failed prophecy” of him becoming a film director of epic proportions, Wade went into therapy. He did not make any allegations of childhood sexual abuse to his therapist or anyone at all.
On May 21, 2011, so only five days after he started therapy, Wade wrote an e-mail to a director of Cirque du Soleil, begging him to let him direct and/or choreograph Cirque’s Michael Jackson themed Las Vegas show called “ONE”. “I always wanted to do this MJ show, badly”, Wade wrote in the e-mail.
Cirque du Soleil told Wade that he needed to be validated by Michael Jackson’s Estate, so Wade met with John Branca, the executor of the Michael Jackson Estate, in Branca’s Los Angeles office where they discussed Wade’s ambition to be involved in the project.
During John Branca’s deposition in 2017, Wade’s lawyers suggested that Wade was eventually hired to do the Cirque show. Branca, however, answered: “Huh. That’s another — another Wade Robson fantasy.” According to Branca, they decided that Jamie King was better qualified for the job and they picked him, rather than Wade. Branca speculated at one point in his deposition that it would be possible that as the director of the show, Jamie King might have hired Wade in some lower position, such as a dancer, but he insisted he was definitely not hired in a leading creative role, such as a director or a lead choreographer that would be validated by the Estate.
Despite of that, in a July 30, 2011 interview, Wade talked about it as if he had a main role in doing the Cirque show. In this interview he praises Jackson again. This was only a couple of months before he made his U-turn and first started making allegations against the star.
In March 2012, about a year after his first breakdown, Wade suffered a second nervous breakdown. He went to a new therapist in April 2012 where he started an insight-oriented therapy. According to his story, about three weeks into the therapy, on May 8, 2012, he first started making allegations of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson to his therapist, or anyone at all.
So what happened between Robson’s first therapy in 2011 and his second in 2012? How did he come from praising Jackson and wanting to work on Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson show “badly” in 2011, to claiming childhood sexual abuse by Jackson in May 2012?
Wade now claims that what triggered his “realization” that he had allegedly been sexually abused by Jackson as a child was watching his one and a half years old son and imagining and visualizing him being sexually abused – things that he now alleges had happened to him when he was 7-14 years of age. Apparently he needed to imagine and visualize his infant son being sexually abused to be able to muster up any emotion that he could build on in his own story of alleged childhood sexual abuse.
“[O]ften in therapy I would hit a wall when trying to connect to my younger self. But similar as to what inspired me to disclose in the first place: having visual flashes of my son being sexually abused and feeling so viscerally in response to them, in therapy, my Son became a profound access point to little Wade. Upon difficulty connecting with my younger self, I would often envision my son in the traumatic scenario from my past that I was trying to process. I could then feel it deeply, tap into what little Wade was feeling, and what he really needed, to heal”, Wade wrote on his blog.
Mind you, visualizing things that he wanted to turn into “reality” was no stranger to Wade. In a 2002 interview he said: “Learn how to visualize. If (you) have a goal you’ve got to visualize every little aspect of it. You know, if I want to do a song for somebody, and I really want it happen, I’ll put myself in the situation. I’ll visualize what the studio looks like when we’re recording, I’ll picture myself walking to go get coffee, simple little things. But it just places you in the situation and makes it reality before it happens and then there’s not even a question that it’s going to happen. Every time I’ve done that, wholeheartedly, it’s always happened. It’s never failed.”
In 2014 he posted a Neale Donald Wash quote on his Facebook saying: “Think ONLY what you choose to experience, say ONLY what you choose to make real, and use your mind to consciously instruct your body to do ONLY what you choose to demonstrate as your highest reality.”
Wade also claimed on his blog that what prompted him to “confess” to his therapist was a popular TED talk by Brené Brown about “The Power of Vulnerability” that he was listening to on the way to his therapist that day. The talk is about “the courage to be imperfect”. It mentions how parents commit a mistake when they raise their children to be “perfect” and want “to make sure [they] make the tennis team by fifth grade any Yale by seventh”, which echoes Wade’s life who by the age of sixteen choreographed for international stars, such as Britney Spears. The lecture seems more related to Wade’s struggle with career expectations and his struggle to be “perfect” in his job from an early childhood (that we will address soon) than sexual abuse.
So these are the things Wade now claims triggered his alleged “realization” of sexual abuse.
But when we put together all elements of his story, including elements that he omitted from his court documents, a completely different story emerges.
After his first breakdown in 2011, but still before his turnaround in 2012, Wade returned to work “with his former sense of invincibility”, as he put it in his court papers. However, for a long time he had been struggling with the expectations and pressures of his job. He completely omitted this element from his lawsuit, but from his blog posts that he has published in 201 7 and 2018 (after his lawsuit was tossed) we learn about these struggles in detail.
Moreover, the therapist he went to in 2012, Dr. Larry Shaw, is a therapist whose focus is on people in high pressure jobs, whether in business or entertainment, and especially people who are in those jobs because of their family’s high expectations of them.
Dr. Shaw wrote in an article in 2015:“The guys I’ve worked with recently have father issues, which means they had very powerful fathers, so there’s an aspect of living under the father’s shadow. They’ve got this inner dialogue that’s really their father’s voice saying, “You’re not good enough. Everyone I’ve worked with, they all want to get out of the business. They’re at the top of their game and they’re miserable.”
That THIS was Wade’s real issue indeed, is echoed in several blog posts that he wrote in 2017-2018. For example, he wrote: “[A]gain and again, I set my sights higher, believing that the achievements were just not large enough yet, and that was why I hadn’t found fulfillment and happiness. But on that quest, I never found them. On that quest, I eroded and eventually crumbled.”
“I actually became more depressed, the more success I achieved because time after time, the expectation of fulfillment and happiness was not met. It felt like climbing a mountain and every time I looked up to the summit, it had moved further out of my reach. Nothing was ever enough.
The crumbling forced me to question all that I believed to be true. What if there was no achievement or bundle of achievements that could ever make me happy? What then would be the purpose of work? What then would be the purpose of life?”
In another blog post in April 2018 he reveals that he lost his fun in dancing and music when his career got to a level where a high pressure to achieve and succeed started accompanying those activities, from when he was about 19 years of age.
In yet another blog post in January 2018 he reveals that it were the pressures to achieve and succeed those lead to his nervous breakdowns:
“In my classes, I talk about my story of external success and all of the pressure and stress that came along with that. About my fruitless search for happiness and fulfillment via my external achievements. About how I was educated out of play and learned to be devastatingly serious. And how all of this led to complete breakdowns and the (temporary) destruction of my relationship with my gifts.”
“Through this indoctrination our children learn things like, “If I’m not busy and stressed, I’m lazy and unworthy,” “If I’m not the best, I’m nobody at all,” and “Never be satisfied, always strive for more.”
This contradicts the narrative in his lawsuit about the reason for his breakdowns. There he claims that the reason was his realization of alleged sexual abuse by Jackson and that show business was now associated with sexual abuse for him because of that. Otherwise, he claims in his complaint, his career would have continued “an upward trajectory”. In his complaint he never mentions that he had a long time struggle with career pressures and expectations and THAT is the reason why he broke down.
In his declaration (so under oath), Wade claims:
“Before my final breakdown in 2012, I was on a path to major notoriety and success in my field.”
“Had it not been for the sexual abuse I suffered as a child, my emotional breakdowns as a result and my subsequent inability to return to the life that [Jackson] “prophesized” I would have, I believe my career would have continued this upward trajectory.”
As you have seen, this is quite simply not true. Based on his own blog posts his career would not have continued “this upward trajectory”. On his blog he admits that he has LONG struggled with the pressures and expectations of his job, and that those pressures and expectations were the reason for his breakdowns. Moreover, his career crumbled way BEFORE he “realized” that he had allegedly been sexually abused.
This means that the whole premise of his lawsuit about his breakdowns being a result of sexual abuse, is nothing but a lie. The reality is that the breakdowns were a result of career pressures and expectations that he couldn’t handle.
And it was a very convenient lie too: He crumbles under career pressures and expectations. According to his mother Joy Robson’s testimony, he also had financial problems at the time, and worries about how he would provide for his family with his career struggles. And THEN he suddenly “realizes” that he was allegedly sexually abused by Michael Jackson as a child – allegations that he can then use to sue Michael Jackson’s entities for money. Of course, one cannot sue for a “failed prophecy”, but one can sue if he starts alleging childhood sexual abuse.
In his deposition and on his blog Wade made claims that it was Jackson who taught him to always work and who is responsible for his unhealthy work attitudes from an early childhood. He tried to blame that on Jackson telling him things like “study the greats and become greater” or “be in the history books”. While Jackson was known to make such comments to people as a way of inspiration and motivation, Robson’s perception that this was some sort of “prophecy” that he was entitled to fulfill, and his resentment of Jackson because it did not materialize, is certainly weird.
The reality is that Wade’s mother, Joy Robson, was a very ambitious stage mom and it was her who trained her kids to work hard from an early childhood. Wade makes absolutely no mention of that in his lawsuit. However, in a 2011 podcast interview Joy Robson proudly declared that she was the driving force behind her children’s strict working attitude and schedule. Apparently she was the one who “educated her children out of play”.
Joy Robson: “[Wade and Wade’s sister Chantal] have always been busy and I think boredom breeds trouble. […] My kids worked every weekend, every school vacation, their birthday parties were backstage, their Christmas parties were backstage. No regrets.“
In an article about the Robsons from 1995, we learn: “Wade was doing three or four auditions between 3-7 pm each day. While Wade worked hard, attending audition after audition, learning lines, practising and rehearsing his dance movements, so too did Joy – his greatest supporter. The two are almost inseparable and make career decisions together.”
Also from the 1995 article (as well as from the Robsons’ testimonies in 2005 or Joy Robson’s deposition in 2016) we learn that Jackson was actually hardly present in their life at the time: “The first 18 months in LA was really tough going. We had taken six suitcases and little money and knew no-one in LA, only Michael who spent much of the time away.”
Meanwhile, on contrary to Wade’s contention that it was Jackson who taught him that he had work all the time and that he had to give up all fun of life at the altar of work, Jackson actually begged Wade’s mother to let Wade have his childhood. Joy Robson herself testified to that in her 2016 deposition. She said that Jackson “used to call me and ask — and beg me not to make Wade work all the time, to let him have his childhood”.
Despite of clear evidence that it was Wade’s mother who made her children work so hard, in Wade’s new version of his life it is Jackson who is made out to be the scapegoat for his unhealthy work attitudes, his own and his mother’s professional or personal failures and he even hints at his father’s suicide in 2002 being a result of anxiety and fear that Jackson might have been sexually abusing Wade, even though Wade’s own claim is that he never told or hinted to anyone until 2012 that he had allegedly been sexually abused. That includes his father, who did not even live with Wade, his sister and mother in the United States, but stayed back in Australia with Wade’s older brother.
Wade’s father was bipolar and according to Joy Robson’s deposition the actual issue was that he felt that his family did not care about what he was going through with his mental illness.
It has to be noted that mental illness seems to run in Robson’s family. Besides his father’s bipolar disorder, a male first cousin of Wade, also on his father’s side (son of his father’s sister), committed suicide in 2014 at the age of 30, due to depression.
On top of Wade’s career struggles and financial struggles at the time when he first made his allegations, he also had a marital crisis. According to his own deposition, his wife Amanda had a hard time handling his breakdowns and threatened to leave him if he got back to work again and didn’t get out of this cycle of breakdowns.
So this is the context in which Wade – as a quite convenient solution for all of his problems – suddenly “realized” that had allegedly been sexually abused by Michael Jackson as a child.
This U-turn made it possible for him to sue Jackson’s entities for money or to use his new found story in other ways, like seeking a lucrative book deal, since the accused is an internationally known celebrity.
Moreover, apparently his alleged “victimhood” is also something that Wade intends to build on in his new career as a selling point. In a note that he wrote to himself and that the Jackson Estate found out about and presented at his 2016 deposition, Wade stated: “My story of abuse and its effects will make me relatable/relevant.”
When asked what he meant by that, Wade said that he contemplated a career as a Vedic meditation teacher and he thought potential clients who went through childhood trauma would find someone with a similar story more relatable. The same notes also contain a sentence saying: “It’s time for me to get mine!” When asked what he meant by that Wade said he did not know.
There would also be a benefit in scapegoating someone else for his professional and personal problems and failures. With the claim of sexual abuse, Wade is suddenly seen as a “victim”, not as someone who failed in his profession and failed as the family breadwinner. The blame is shifted on someone else. Amanda surely would not leave him then.
By the way, Wade’s “memories” of the alleged abuse also “evolved” during his case. That is it to put it euphemistically that his story has changed even since he first made his allegations in 2012. There are different stories in his book draft that he was shopping late 2012- early 2013 and different ones in his lawsuit.
“So, have your memories changed as you’ve gone through that process?”, asked the Jackson companies’ lawyer at one point during Wade’s deposition in 2016. “They’ve evolved”, Wade answered.
After Wade first made claims of sexual abuse to his therapist in May 2012, he spent several months e-mailing with his mother, Joy about the events and circumstances surrounding their relationship with Jackson. From the e-mails it is clear that Wade does not have much independent memory of his own about those events, and he has to heavily rely on his mother’s recollections to construct a story for his lawsuit.
The e-mails also revealed in discovery that in late 2012-early 2013 Wade was shopping a book about his allegations. He contacted several book publishers, but apparently they all turned him down. During Wade’s deposition in 2016, Katherine Kleindienst, an attorney for the Jackson companies revealed that she spoke to Wade’s literary agent, Alan Nevins on the phone and he volunteered to her that Wade had asked for “a large amount of money” for his book. Wade denied this.
No more dance, films, entertainment?
On May 1, 2013 Wade Robson filed a civil lawsuit against Jackson’s companies and a creditor’s claim against Jackson’s Estate. In both he demanded a financial compensation. His claim was that it was due to Jackson’s alleged childhood sexual abuse of him why his career crumbled, so Jackson’s entities needed to financially compensate him for that. As we have discussed earlier, this is quite simply not true. It were the pressures and expectations of his job why he crumbled.
And this was not the only false claim in his complaint.
Wade claimed that because of Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse of him, he was no longer able to do any kind of entertainment activity because those activities were now too associated with Jackson and sexual abuse for him. He claimed that he could not dance, make music, make or even watch films any more because of those activities association with Jackson was so triggering to him.
The fact is, however, that Wade continued to do all of those activities all the while claiming in court documents that he was so traumatized by such activities’ association with Michael Jackson that he would never be able to do them again, so he needed financial compensation.
On June 19, 2015 Wade’s wife, Amanda posted a photo of Wade teaching their son to dance on her Facebook and on her Instagram. Wade also posted the same photo the same day on his own Facebook. Amanda captioned it as “Wade wisdom #1: “Don’t think. If it feels good, you’re doin it right.” Rather than it being Wade’s own wisdom, it actually echoes Michael Jackson’s philosophy in dancing and something that he would likely tell Wade as a child while teaching him to dance.
In 2015 he wrote and directed a dance video entitled “Flight”. Also in 2015, he advertised a dance session with him on his Facebook.
The same year he created a teaser trailer for a dance company. In 2016 he directed another dance video entitled “Life in Color”. On his video channel Wade also posted “making of” footage of it where he is seen dancing, directing, choreographing, laughing and – far from seeming traumatized by dancing or “unable to continue directing in any manner or capacity whatsoever” (like he claimed in his lawsuit) – having a lot of fun with the project.
Likewise in 2016, Blake McGrath, a professional dancer and choreographer with pop star ambitions, announced on his Instagram that he was working on his first music video with Wade Robson as the director/choreographer. They eventually created three music videos together – the first two heavily focused on dancing.
There are several other dance and film projects that Wade was involved in during the period when he claimed in court documents that he was unable to do such activities in any manner or capacity.
In September 2017 then, while his lawsuit was predictably heading towards dismissal, he declared himself “healed” from the bad associations regarding entertainment activities and announced his return to the dance, choreography and entertainment scene. So, the alleged bad associations and his inability to work were suddenly all gone when his lawsuit was close to dismissal.
Robson’s Creditor’s Claim
Now, a summary of Robson’s creditor’s claim and lawsuit. First, the creditor’s claim.
Under US law when someone dies, those who have any sort of claim against the deceased can file those claims against the deceased person’s Estate – this is called a creditor’s claim. There are certain statutes of limitations to file a creditor’s claim, though. A claimant has to file his creditor’s claim no later than 60 days from the date when he first has knowledge of the facts reasonably giving rise to the existence of the claim and the administration of the Estate.
In this case it meant that Robson should have filed his creditor’s claim within 60 days of when he knew both of the following: 1. that he was allegedly sexually abused as a child by Michael Jackson, 2. that Michael Jackson had an Estate.
As we have seen before, Robson claimed that he did not understand that he was sexually abused by Michael Jackson as a child until May 8, 2012. “[Robson] lacked any understanding that his long-term childhood relationship with [Jackson] included ongoing sexual abuse over a seven-year period – the acts giving rise to this claim – prior to May 8, 2012”, we read in Wade’s court petition.
In his declaration and creditor’s claim, Robson also claimed that he did not know about the administration of Michael Jackson’s Estate until March 4, 2013 when he first met with his lawyers, Henry Gradstein and Maryann Marzano: “Prior to March 4, I did not understand or was even aware that an Estate had been opened for administration or that I could seek to make a claim.”
If this was true it would put Wade within the 60 days requirement, as he filed his creditor’s claim on May 1, 2013, within 60 days of obtaining knowledge about the administration of Jackson’s Estate.
However, this is yet another lie in his complaint.
As it was revealed during discovery, Wade was well aware of Jackson’s Estate years before March 4, 2013. Like we discussed earlier, in 2011 Wade was eager to work on Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson show and to discuss the show, in early 2011 he made a visit to the office of John Branca, one of the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate. Not only he knew that Jackson had an Estate, but he even negotiated with them!
Moreover, Wade’s longtime lawyer and family friend, Helen Yu, who helped him in shopping around his book in 2012-2013, discussed the Michael Jackson Estate in an interview on her law firm’s website in 2009. She mentioned the Estate’s executors, John Branca and John McClain, and she talked about how Jackson “will most likely earn more dead than alive” through his Estate.
In a ruling by Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff, the Court dismissed Wade Robson’s creditor’s claim on May 26, 2015. Although immediately after the ruling Wade’s lawyer, Maryann Marzano vowed to appeal, they eventually never did.
The Civil Lawsuit
Parallel with the creditor’s claim in the Probate Court, Wade filed a civil lawsuit against two of Jackson’s companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, also for monetary compensation.
In the lawsuit, to get the monetary compensation he desired, Wade portrayed these companies as “the most sophisticated public child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organization[s] the world has known” that knowingly and deliberately “facilitated” his alleged sexual abuse.
However, his own mother’s deposition in 2016 inadvertently exposed Wade’s allegations as lies.
The Robsons, who are originally from Brisbane, Australia, first met Jackson in 1987 when he was on tour in Australia and Wade, who was 5 year old then, won a dance competition at a Target store where the prize was to meet Michael Jackson.
Wade alleged in his lawsuit: “[Robson] alleges these “meet and greets” were purposely orchestrated by MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures as a sexual grooming mechanism to acquire minor sexual abuse victims for Michael Jackson, disguised as charitable events for minors.”
First of all, the meet-and-greet was not organized by either of Jackson’s companies, but by Target, Pepsi and CBS. Wade knows that too, since in his 2005 testimony he himself made mention of Target organizing it.
More importantly, his own mother’s deposition in 2016 totally destroyed Wade’s narrative in which he attempted to portray this meet-and-greet as some sort of plot to groom him as a sexual abuse victim.
Joy Robson testified that the meet-and-greet was an event where a lot of people were present and they only had a couple of minutes with Jackson. Then Jackson invited Wade to dance on stage with him at one of his upcoming shows. According to Wade’s own deposition at the concert he did not spend any time with Jackson off stage, their only interaction was on the stage.
Their encounter would have ended there, if it was for Jackson or his companies. It was Joy Robson who then made further efforts to contact Jackson again. She, with her son, had delivered a “thank you” note to Jackson’s hotel room a couple of days later and as a result they had another meeting with the star, for about one and a half hours. Again, this would have been the end of their encounters if for Jackson or his companies.
Over the next few years Joy Robson sent Jackson letters and videos about Wade’s progress as a dancer, but they never heard back from the star. The next time they met or even talked to Jackson again was more than two years later, in 1990, when, once again, it were the Robsons who sought contact with the star, not the other way around.
How does this make the meet-and-greets “a sexual grooming mechanism to acquire minor sexual abuse victims for Michael Jackson”, as Wade alleges?
When Wade constructed his story he was well aware of the real story of how they came in touch with Jackson and that it was his mother who contacted Jackson again. So the only conclusion can be that Wade deliberately lies and twists facts in his complaint in order to implicate Jackson’s companies and receive the monetary award he desires.
In January 1990, the Robson family traveled to the USA for Wade and Chantal to perform at Disneyland with a talent school. Before leaving Australia, Joy Robson already tried to obtain contact information for Jackson by calling several Australian television channels and asking if they had any sort of contact for him. Eventually she managed to get the phone number of MJJ Productions.
While in the US, Joy Robson called MJJ Productions and Jackson’s personal assistant Norma Staikos. At Joy’s request, Staikos arranged for the Robson family to meet with Jackson at a recording studio where Jackson was working at the time.
Wade’s complaint claims about that meeting: “[Robson] is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges that Ms. (Norma) Staikos was acting on behalf of MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, as a “madam” or “procurer” of child sexual abuse victims for Michael Jackson. Although disguised as another charitable “meet and greet” between [Robson], his parents and Michael Jackson, this event was purposely orchestrated by Ms. Staikos, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures as a further means for Michael Jackson to acquire another sexual abuse victim and grooming him and his parents for such.”
When you read Joy Robson’s deposition, Wade’s claims are simply absurd. According to Joy Robson’s own story, it was Joy who initiated the contact with MJJ Productions and Norma Staikos (MJJ Ventures did not even exist at the time), and her ultimate goal was, of course, to contact Michael Jackson. The companies and Staikos were incidental to that event and definitely NOT the initiators.
How does that make Norma Staikos “a “madam” or “procurer” of child sexual abuse victims for Michael Jackson” and Jackson’s companies “child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organization(s)”, as Wade tries to portray them in his lawsuit?
It is clear that it was Joy Robson who “purposely orchestrated” the meeting, not Norma Staikos, MJJ Productions or MJJ Ventures. That Wade claims otherwise in his lawsuit seems to be a deliberate lie to try to implicate the Jackson companies and Norma Staikos, because that is the way Wade could sue the companies for money.
Next Robson claims in his lawsuit: “In order to arrange for their immigration to the United States, Michael Jackson had MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures hire [Robson] and his mother, and arranged for [Robson], his mother and sister to move permanently to California. [Robson] alleges this was done by Michael Jackson, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures for the explicit purpose of allowing Michael Jackson access to [Robson] for sexual abuse.”
However, according to Joy Robson’s testimony, the idea for the Robsons’ immigration to the USA came from Wade’s father, Dennis. Joy herself too wanted it: “You know, I — I believed that Wade had a future here, and I — I felt like he had gone as far as he could go in Australia. He really needed to be here”, she said in her 2016 deposition.
The role of Michael Jackson’s companies in all this was that when Joy eventually decided to immigrate in September 1991, the Robsons needed a sponsor and an employer in the USA to be able to stay. Joy Robson asked Jackson to help them with that, and Jackson instructed his office to do it.
This goes against Wade’s narrative that Jackson and his companies brought him to the USA “for the explicit purpose of allowing Michael Jackson access to [Robson] for sexual abuse”. Jackson and his companies reacted to the expressed desire of the Robson family to have a career for Wade in dancing and choreography, which could be better pursued in the USA than in Australia.
Moreover, the reality is that after the Robsons moved to the USA, Jackson did not even spend much time with them, including Wade. In actuality, in her deposition Joy Robson revealed that she had to be the one to pursue Jackson about calling Wade, putting him in projects such as his “Jam” music video in 1992, and that “Wade felt pushed aside a little bit” because Jackson would rather spend time with others.
Joy testified that one time she cut ties with Jackson for six months – and that was for Jackson NOT calling Wade from the Dangerous Tour. Wade also wanted to go on tour with Jackson, but the star would not take him.
So the narrative that Jackson moved the Robsons to the USA “for the explicit purpose of allowing Michael Jackson access to [Robson] for sexual abuse” makes little sense when he then hardly wanted to spend time with Wade and he “spent much of the time away”, as Joy Robson stated in a 1995 interview and Wade rather “felt pushed aside”.
The allegation that Jackson’s companies were “the most sophisticated public child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organization(s) the world has known” is also outrageous because if that was the case it should have been a regularity for these companies to employ children like Wade, but his employment was a one-off, and specifically in answer to Joy Robson’s request to help them with their immigration.
Wade is most likely aware of all of the above considering his detailed e-mail correspondence with his mother while putting together his allegations. That he claims that Jackson’s companies arranged their immigration to the USA in some evil plot with the explicit purpose of Jackson having access to him to molest him, is a misrepresentation of what actually happened – and that in order to be able to sue Jackson’s companies for money.
Wade put other stories in his complaint too about which he knew that they were false. For example, he put a story in his complaint by a disgruntled ex-employee, Charli Michaels about which story his own mother told him in an e-mail that it was not true. But because he could use that story to try to implicate Norma Staikos, Wade did not care about it being untrue, he used it anyway.
This shows him as an opportunistic person who does not have any qualms about being dishonest in court documents and to embrace untrue stories if they serve him.
Here we have to mention two other supposed witnesses for Wade, whose stories he previously had denied. These people are ex-employees of Jackson, who came out with claims of inappropriate behavior by the singer during the 1993 Chandler allegations and the accompanying tabloid media frenzy. They have been paid money by the tabloid media for their stories.
One is Mark Quindoy, who worked for Jackson with his wife between 1989 and 1990. In the wake of the Chandler allegations in 1993 they sold stories to the tabloid media, claiming that they quit, because they were so disturbed by what they had allegedly witnessed Jackson do with children, including Wade.
Thing is that the Quindoys gave media interviews about Jackson before the 1993 Chandler allegations too, but those stories never included claims of inappropriate behavior with children. In fact, before the 1993 allegations the Quindoys talked about Jackson as a kind, shy man who was good with children.
Their stories only changed when in 1993 the tabloid media offered money for molestation stories about Jackson. Various journalists revealed that the Quindoys shopped their new found stories for $250,000 – $900,000. The Quindoys also tried to shop around a book deal, and court documents revealed that the real reason why they left their employment was because of a disagreement about their wages and conflicts with other employees.
Even tabloid journalists noted about the Quindoys that they found them to be completely untrustworthy.
The other main “witness” of Wade is a maid called Blanca Francia, who worked for Jackson between 1986 and 1991. She is the mother of Jason Francia.
In 1993, in the wake of the Chandler case, she alleged that on one occasion she witnessed Jackson showering with a child Wade Robson. Francia was paid $20,000 by the tabloid TV show Hard Copy for her story – an amount that was more than her annual salary at the time.
There have been several versions of Francia’s story that she told over the years. At Jackson’s 2005 trial, on direct examination she claimed that although the window of the shower was fogged up, she definitely saw two figures in the shower: one of Jackson, one of Wade. However, on cross-examination it turned out that she said something completely different during the 1993-94 investigation. During Wade’s current case, in 2016, Francia was deposed again and through her recent deposition we got an even more detailed insight into what she actually said in a deposition in 1994.
In her deposition in January 1994 Blanca Francia admitted that she never saw OR heard Wade Robson in the shower with Michael Jackson. She admitted that she only ever saw Jackson in the shower and she never saw a second figure with him. She also admitted that she never heard anyone else in the shower than Jackson himself.
She just assumed Wade to be in the shower (even though that is not what she actually saw) – an assumption that was probably fuelled by the Chandler allegations, in the hindsight. That assumption evolved into a full-blown story by her that she actually saw and heard Wade Robson in the shower with Michael Jackson. Remember, that she testified to that in 2005, which makes her a liar under oath.
A lot of other details emerged from Blanca Francia’s 2016 deposition that show her as unreliable, dishonest and changing her stories at will.
Raising Awareness of Facilitators of Abuse?
The reason why Norma Staikos and Jackson’s companies are emphasized so much through these proceedings is that, due to certain legal requirements, Wade needed to make them responsible for his alleged abuse in order to get the monetary compensation that he desired.
This explains why Robson made all those contrived and absurd claims to link the companies and Staikos to his alleged abuse. He needed to demonstrate that the companies and Staikos were in some evil plot to “acquire him as a sexual abuse victim for Jackson”. But this narrative is clearly a lie based on his own mother’s testimony. The reality is, and Wade knew this full well, that it was his mother who pursued Jackson, not the other way around, and that the companies and Staikos were only incidental to their relationship with the star.
This leads us to the next point about the alleged purpose of Wade’s lawsuit. On his blog he claimed that it was not about money (of course), but about raising awareness of sexual abuse and “of the people along the way that help facilitate the child abuse directly or indirectly” and “to hopefully play any role in helping other victims of Michael Jackson’s”.
First, let’s see the claim about raising awareness of the people who allegedly facilitate abuse directly or indirectly.
If Wade’s story was true then there was no bigger facilitator of his alleged abuse than his own mother, Joy Robson. The mother who pursued the relationship with Jackson. The mother who asked Jackson to help them move to the United States. The mother who admittedly and knowingly allowed Wade to sleep in Jackson’s bedroom – and that even after the 1993 Chandler allegations. The mother who, if Wade’s story is true, did not pay attention to her son enough to realize that something was wrong. Yet, Wade does not make ANY mention of his mother’s responsibility in his lawsuit at all.
Instead, as we have seen above, Joy Robson’s actions are twisted into being the actions of Norma Staikos and the companies (eg. about who really orchestrated certain meetings). Wade tries hard to make the companies and Norma Staikos, responsible for his alleged abuse, while his mother’s responsibility is completely missing from the narrative in his complaint.
In actuality, in his 2016 deposition, in order to implicate the companies, Wade blames Staikos (and Jackson’s next personal assistant after Staikos, Evvy Tavasci) more than even Jackson himself:
“Michael was like a child in a lot of ways, like, he could do his work, he could do his art, right, but beyond that, everyday life stuff, I mean, he could heartly (sic) work a microwave. So, Michael wasn’t organizing any of that stuff, [Norma Staikos and Evvy Tavasci] were helping to facilitate all of that stuff.”
In his deposition Wade makes absurd claims like that Staikos should have called the authorities when the Robsons contacted Jackson in January/February 1990. (For what, exactly?) He also blames Staikos because “[Jackson] didn’t know about me again until [Staikos] made the connection”, once again “forgetting” that it was his mother who initiated that connection, not Staikos.
That Norma Staikos is made out to be the main “facilitator” of Wade’s alleged abuse instead of his mother, is a big red flag regarding what this case really is about. It has all to do with the fact that this is the way Wade could try to sue Jackson’s companies for money.
Coupled with the fact that his mother’s responsibility is completely missing from his lawsuit, this shows Wade’s dishonesty when claiming that his lawsuit is for “raising awareness” about people who supposedly “facilitate sexual abuse”. His lawsuit and his public communication of it did nothing to raise awareness about his mother’s role and responsibility.
Wade’s other claim is that he filed his lawsuit to help Jackson’s supposed “other victims”, but his treatment of those other alleged victims was certainly inconsistent with that. In his deposition Wade admitted that he never attempted to reach out to Gavin Arvizo, the boy at the center of the 2005 trial. So despite of his claim that he filed this lawsuit, not for money but as some sort of advocacy for Jackson’s other “victims”, he never bothered to reach out and apologize to the boy whose justice Wade obscured if we believe the current version of his story that he falsely testified at that trial.
He did “reach out” to Jackson’s 1993 accuser, Jordan Chandler, but not in the way one would expect from a compassionate fellow “victim”. He tried to depose Jordan in support of his lawsuit, despite of Jordan obviously being opposed to it. Instead of respecting the Chandlers’ obvious wish to stay away from the case, Wade’s legal team aggressively pursued them, filing counter-motions and trying to force them to testify. They even bragged in a tabloid article that they were trying to hunt down Jordan wherever he was hiding from them.
They also aggressively pursued Jonathan Spence, a man who befriended Jackson in the 1980s as a child. Spence never accused Jackson of any wrongdoing and he still says that Jackson never did anything wrong to him. Robson’s lawyers aggressively tried to depose him as well. In a motion where Spence opposed Robson’s strong-arm tactics to depose him without any sign of willing to compromise on the date when Spence could be available for a deposition, among other things, we read: “Plaintiff Wade Robson and his counsel have treated Spence in the most abominable manner – without the slightest regard for Spence’s concerns and objections regarding Spence’s unilaterally-noticed deposition” and “[Robson’s] bullying behavior toward a non-party is inexcusable and speaks for itself.”
Brett Barnes, a fellow Australian who befriended Jackson as a child as well, and always maintained that Jackson never molested him, did not want anything to do with Robson and his so-called “advocacy” either. When Robson’s allegations became public in May 2013, Barnes tweeted: “I wish people would realise, in your last moments on this earth, all the money in the world will be of no comfort. My clear conscience will.”
The reality is that Robson’s lawsuit advocates for no one but his own pocket.