28 July, 2016 - NME.com
Michael Jackson's nephews have filed a $100m libel lawsuit against Radar Online over reports linking them to their uncle's alleged sexual abuse.
The lawsuit written by the nephews' lawyer, Bert Fields, alleges that "Radar has tried to profit by launching a vicious and unrelenting attack on [Jackson] based on claims that, years ago, he was guilty of sexual abuse, even though, at the time, he was found 'not guilty' of that very charge," THR reports.
In June, Radar Online published police reports dating back to a search of the singer's Santa Barbara property in 2003. Jackson faced trial for child molestation two years later but was acquitted on all counts.
The reports claimed that several books featuring explicit and suggestive material of young boys were found, including a "book depicting nude children" and images of "pre-teen or early teenage individuals" who were either "nude or semi-nude". The reports also claimed that images of Jackson's nephews - Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, who make up pop trio 3T - were used to "excite young boys".
However, many of the items found were detailed in court papers from the time, the Daily Mail reported in June.
In the lawsuit, the nephews' lawyer argues that any reasonable person who read Radar Online's reports would presume that the "plaintiffs knowingly allowed themselves to be photographed in salacious, lascivious poses and that they know or should have known that their photos would be, or at least could be used 'to excite young boys'".
"Radar's stories were false and defamatory," their lawyer writes in the lawsuit. "As a direct and proximate result of the publication of Radar's libelous stories, each of [the Jackson nephews] has been damaged personally and professionally."
According to the lawsuit, the Jacksons requested a correction of the allegedly libelous stories from Radar Online on July 5, but the website refused. Michael Jackson's estate previously released a statement responding to the reports in June, denying Radar Online's claims and labelling them "sleazy internet click bait".