New allegations against Michael Jackson
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Michael Jackson was a "monster" who molested a now-famous choreographer for seven years when the dance pro was a child, a lawyer claimed Wednesday.
The lawyer for alleged victim Wade Robson issued his blockbuster statement after going to court last week on Robson's behalf to seek a late claim against the dead singer's estate related to "childhood sexual assault."
The legal claim surfaced Tuesday and grabbed immediate headlines because Robson — who went on to work with Britney Spears, 'N Sync and Demi Lovato — was a regular sleepover guest at Jackson's Neverland Ranch and denied any sexual abuse during the pop icon's 2005 molestation trial in Santa Barbara County.
"Michael Jackson was a monster, and in their hearts every normal person knows it," lawyer Henry Gradstein said in a statement to the Daily News.
Gradstein described Robson as a "gentle" and introspective young father who repressed his memories of the alleged abuse until he couldn't stand it anymore.
CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP/Getty Images
Defense witness for the Michael Jackson child molestation trial, choreographer Wade Robson, now says he was abused.
"Last year, on a career trajectory that was off the charts, he collapsed under the stress and sexual trauma of what had happened to him for seven years as a child," Gradstein said. "He lived with the brain-washing by a sexual predator until the burden of it all crushed him."
RELATED: CHOREOGRAPHER'S MOLESTATION CLAIMS AGAINST JACKO ARE 'PATHETIC': LAWYER
According to Gradstein, Jackson had threatened Robson over exposure of the alleged molestation.
"If anyone ever finds out about what we did, we will go to jail for the rest of our lives," Jackson told Robson, the lawyer claimed. "Our lives will be ruined forever."
Gradstein said his client was too young and impressionable to clearly process what happened.
© Reuters Photographer / Reuters/REUTERS
Michael Jackson leaves the courtroom during a break in testimony during which Wade Robson and a second witness, Brett Barnes, 23, said they shared Jackson's bed during sleepovers at his Neverland Valley Ranch when they were boys but insisted that Jackson never abused them or touched them in a sexual way.
"This kind of intimidation of a child by a sexual predator is tragically characteristic and effective, keeping them quiet about the abuse — often for a lifetime," Gradstein said.
Robson, now 30, was a regular companion of the "Thriller" singer in the late 80s and early 90s after their meeting in Australia when he was just 5 years old.
He testified at the infamous 2005 molestation trial that he shared the pop star's bed a few times as a boy but was "never" sexually abused.
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Giving uneasy testimony on the witness stand in Santa Barbara County, he denied an ex-maid's claim that she caught Jackson showering naked with him.
kaleniX via YouTube
Wade Robson at age 8 dances to a Michael Jackson song on Australian talent show "Star Search."
The maid, Blanca Francia, recalled seeing Robson's tiny "green-neon" underwear on the bathroom floor next to Jackson's white cotton briefs and hearing the duo "laughing and playing around."
She said she could make out the figures of Jackson and a "little kid" but couldn't confirm they were touching due to the "cloudy" haze of steam.
She said it happened in 1989 or 1990, when Robson was about 8 years old.
"It never happened," Robson testified in 2005.
Jackson, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2009, was acquitted of molestation by a jury.
kiwi4u via YouTube
Wade Robson, age 10, defends Michael Jackson in a TV interview.
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"Mr. Robson's claim is outrageous and pathetic," Howard Weitzman, a lawyer for Jackson's estate, said Wednesday in reaction to Robson's reversal.
"This is a young man who has testified at least twice under oath over the past 20 years and said in numerous interviews that Michael Jackson never did anything inappropriate to him or with him. Now, nearly four years after Michael has passed,this sad and less than credible claim has been made," he said.
"We are confident that the court will see this for what it is," Weitzman said
Gradstein said Robson had not designated a dollar figure in his court paperwork filed May 1.
"There are significant legal issues involved in this case that have the potential to impact lives beyond just our client. But the Jackson money machine, in which everyone is indeed financially motivated, is at it once again to keep the truth from coming out. This time it won't work," Gradstein said.
A lawyer for Jackson's beloved mom also was critical of the new claim late Tuesday.
"This is really absurd," lawyer Perry Sanders told the News.
--What do you think?