Michael Jackson's Estate Hit With New Child-Molestation Claim From Choreographer Wade Robson: Exclusive Details

Exclusive: Friend of Robson's tells E! News that the So You Think You Can Dance regular was often "quite matter of fact" about what happened to him

By Natalie Finn May 08, 2013 3:20 AMTags
Michael Jackson, Wade RobsonAmanda Edwards/Getty Images, Pool Photographer/WireImage.com

UPDATE May 8, 2013: Wade Robson's attorney, Henry Gradstien, tells E! News: "Michael Jackson was a monster and in their hearts every normal person knows it. Wade Robson, in addition to being one of the most talented people on the planet, is one of the kindest, most gentle, decent and introspective human beings one will ever meet. He is the loving father of a young son and happily married. 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...The irony here is that we were the ones who filed under seal and still tried to keep it secret. Amidst all the accusations of a financial motive, no amount of damages is even listed in our papers. 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."

Michael Jackson's legacy has taken another hit.

Choreographer Wade Robson, who testified in the pop icon's defense during his 2005 trial on child molestation charges, has now filed a claim against Jackson's estate, alleging that he in fact was abused by the late star.

Robson's court filing is sealed, but E! News has obtained documents confirming that a petition to make a late claim against the estate, as well as certificates of merit from mental health professionals and other supporting paperwork were filed on May 1.

"Wade used to tell me that Michael would ask to have baths with him," a close friend of Robson's exclusively tells E! News. "It was weird...He didn't seem to question it, neither would we, it was just what he would say. It sounded strange, but we never delved further."

Robson "never seemed ashamed of it or anything," the insider adds. "I have no idea how he was feeling inside, but he would be quite matter of fact about it."

The So You Think You Can Dance regular  was even was among the lineup of all-star dancers who performed a tribute to the King of Pop to kick off the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards following his sudden death at 50 that June.

"To us, he would always defend Michael through the previous sexual abuse allegations," the source says. "He loved Michael and would be the first to stick up for him. But to be honest, today's news has not been a surprise as the relationship between Michael and the family was very unusual."

But while Robson maintained during the 2005 trial that Jackson did not molest him, one of the artist's former housekeepers, Blanca Francia, testified that she saw her ex-boss showering with Robson when he would have been 8 or 9 years old.

"Jackson discovered Wade when he was a little boy in Australia," Robson's friend tells us. "Michael thought he was such a talent right from the start and so paid for Wade and his family to move to California. I think he paid their rent, got their visas, organized the whole thing.

"Wade as a little boy always had everything," the source says. "He never had to ask for anything. He always had the best things and he would always say, 'Michael bought it for me.' 'Michael got it for me.'"

The insider adds: "We all knew he was very special and close to Michael."

Meanwhile, Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for Michael Jackson's estate, tells E! News: "Mr. Robson's claim is outrageous and pathetic. 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 4 years after Michael has passed this sad and less than credible claim has been made. We are confident that the court will see this for what it is."

—Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum