HBO is facing a potential lawsuit from a man who was mentioned in the upcoming Leaving Neverland documentary, stating that the film is spreading falsehoods. Brett Barnes, who is shown as a boy in the film, says that Michael Jackson never molested him and he’s filing his suit due to that insinuation.
The upcoming documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” shows Brett, and he claims it implies Jackson molested him as a boy. As for why Barnes thinks this … Wade Robson — one of Jackson’s well-known alleged victims — claims in the doc, Barnes “replaced him.” The film then shows Michael and Brett together on tour. Thus, the insinuation.
Barnes lawyered up and threatened HBO with a lawsuit, claiming the documentary puts him in a false light and subjects him to “hatred, contempt and ridicule.” Presumably, the lawyer is saying MJ supporters will target Barnes as a result of the documentary.
Barnes testified at Jackson’s criminal trial in 2005 — along with Macaulay Culkin — that he was never sexually abused by Jackson … and he hasn’t changed his account since. Brett also tweeted about the MJ allegations in January, calling them “lies.”
HBO has replied to Barnes’ suit, stating it will not strike his image and his account from the film, which appears only briefly.