On December 27, 2016 The MJ Estate filed a motion to compel Wade Robson to produce essential documents. This motion gave us a first detailed look into the discovery phase and one thing is certain - time after time, Wade Robson is blatantly and desperately lying to withhold discovery from MJ Estate. From manipulating evidence to shopping a tell-all book, here is the unbelievable information that we have learnt from the motion to compel. (Document here)
It is now confirmed that Joy Robson and Wade’s siblings were deposed at the end of September 2016 as planned. Wade Robson was deposed at December 2016. On March 28, 2016 The MJ Companies served Wade Robson with their first set of requests for production (RFP). They asked Wade Robson about all the documents and all of communications between him and any person relating to his abuse allegations. However, it seems that Wade is no longer eager to share his truth:
1. Wade Robson initially produced one single email when asked to produce all communications relating to his allegations of abuse
On June 3, 2016 Wade Robson produced a single email and stated under oath that it was the only communications he had. The single email mentioned is the September 7, 2012 email that Wade Robson sent to 30 people. Judge Beckloff mentioned this email in his dismissal ruling at the probate case. According to Judge Beckloff’s ruling this email included sentences of “very personal information”, “extremely sensitive legal matter” and “truth of his (Robson’s) past”. This email was one of the reasons why Judge Beckloff dismissed the probate claim. (Link ) The new discovery shows there are plenty of other emails and documents that Wade failed to produce.
2. Wade Robson continuously lied under oath about existence of documents as well as his search and production of them
On June 23, 2016 MJ Estate lawyers conferred with Wade Robson’s previous lawyers and expressed their disbelief at a redacted assertion of Wade. Our guess is that Estate was having a hard time believing that there was only a single communication between Robson and other people about his allegations.
At the end of July 2016 Wade Robson hired new lawyers and all of a sudden changed his tone: they produced 100 pages in response to the first set of RFP. He provided no explanation as to why he previously claimed (*cough* lied *cough*) under oath that there was only one document. At the time Estate accepted that Wade Robson provided all the documents asked.
Moreover, during the deposition of the Robson family more evidence has surfaced as Wade’s mother and siblings produced more documents and emails about the alleged abuse sent or received by Wade - more emails that Wade neglected to provide during discovery. When confronted with the new discovery and asked to explain his destruction of relevant evidence, Robson’s counsel admitted that Wade had not produced all the documents in his possession and did not even search for the requested documents.
By the end of October 2016, Wade gave MJ Estate around 4,000 pages. During their examination of these, Estate once again realized Wade Robson was still failing to turn over all the relevant documents and continued making false statements.
After Estate threatened Wade with a court order and forensic examination of his accounts and devices Wade Robson magically located additional documents and once again claimed this completed his document production. However there are still deficiencies. Not only Wade Robson has not produced some documents provided by other people and wrongfully redacted many of the ones he did provide (read more in items 4 & 5) he also stated at his December 2016 deposition that he didn’t specifically search for the emails MJ Estate has asked for.
3. Wade Robson was shopping a book about alleged abuse BEFORE he filed his complaint
Yes, you read that right. Wade was shopping a book BEFORE he filed his first complaint. He even hired literary agent Alan Nevins to help him. His family friend / business advisor Helen Yu was also involved in this book shopping attempt. (Helen Yu is an entertainment lawyer who represented Wade. Do not confuse her with Susan Yu.)
Based on a document Wade produced around October 2016, The Estate has learnt that Wade Robson wrote a book about the alleged abuse in late 2012-early 2013 and was actively shopping it to publishers BEFORE he filed his lawsuit. On October 20, 2016 Estate asked Wade to provide them the drafts and treatments of his book, then also questioned why didn’t he turn it over before as the book was clearly about his abuse allegations. Now we can look back to the (dismissed) probate claim and current complaint against the companies and say that for three long years Robson hid the fact he wrote such book as it was never mentioned and produced before.
Wade replied by saying he didn’t produce the book because he was unable to locate it. Then, only 4 days later he changed his story - Wade’s attorneys said he did have a draft of his book but it was labelled “for my attorneys”. So now the lawyers claimed Wade had the draft of the book but withheld it because it was privileged (client-lawyer confidentiality). See how quickly and easily they change their stories.
Wade Robson’s lawyer said that Wade would waive the privilege and produce the draft of the book to MJ Estate. MJ Estate asked for all drafts of the book to be given to them with metadata intact. Wade Robson’s lawyers said that they received a “recently created” PDF of the book draft and a special program was needed to open the “original publishing format”. Estate again requested from Wade’s lawyers to send them the original document and said that they “can find out the program we need to open it”.
On October 2016, Wade Robson produced a single draft of his book and refused to provide other drafts / treatments of the book as well as the original electronic documents with metadata intact. He provided no explanation as to why he is refusing to provide the original document with the metadata. Wade also claims that his communications with the publishers about the book are privileged.
Why the original electronic document with the metadata and all drafts/treatments of the book are so important to the MJ Estate? They want to know when the document was created, when it was modified and if Wade altered the draft of the book during the course of this lawsuit.
4. Wade Robson did not produce his communications with his family members. A redacted email by Joy Robson may cast doubt on a claim Wade later possibly included in his complaint.
The Estate was also able to see that Wade did not produce many of his email exchanges with his family members. This made Estate ask the two obvious questions – What else is Wade withholding? And if Wade does not have these emails anymore what else did he delete?
The motion mentions some of the emails missing. One of them was an email chain dated October 2012 named “Questions for Mom – 2.0”. In the motion Estate states that Wade was asking his mother questions about his visits to U.S as a child, his interactions with Michael and abuse allegations. Wade did not give any of these emails to MJ Estate.
Another email is dated February 15, 2016 and has the subject of “Security Testimony”. Estate says in this email Wade Robson asks his mother Joy what she thinks about a purported statement by a former Neverland security guard about inappropriate conduct by Defendants (ie. the MJ companies). Joy Robson replies by saying “Wow. None of that’s true…” and the rest of the response is obscured in the version produced by Joy Robson. While Wade Robson produced the email he sent to his mother, he did not provide his mother’s response to the Estate and now Joy conveniently claims she no longer has access to this email either. Wonder why?
We would like to take a little detour here and discuss what this might mean. The Neverland security guard that purportedly gave a statement about Wade and Michael is most probably Charli Michaels. She is the only security guard who made claims about the Robsons, including Joy Robson. Wade used her claims in his latest amended complaint, filed in September 2016, to implicate the companies through Norma Staikos. Here is the relevant part from Robson’s complaint:
If our suspicion is right and this is about indeed the claims by Charli Michaels then it would mean that Wade Robson has no qualms about using stories and claims in his court documents that he knows to be untrue. Let us stress it: In February 2016 Wade Robson’s mother responds to Wade regarding Charli Michaels’ story: “Wow. None of that is true.” Yet Wade has no problem using it in his complaint in September 2016. This could be proof positive of him knowingly and deliberately lying in court documents to get what he wants – money. After all this is all about the “truth” and “justice”, not money, right? This could explain why Wade never provided his mother’s response and why Joy only provided an obstructed version of her email and now claims she no longer has access to that email.
Talking about “justice” and “truth”: What kind of “justice” and “truth” is it that is based on lies? Allegedly these companies are “the most sophisticated child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organization the world has ever known” and they need to be brought to “justice” but to implicate them Robson uses information that he knows to be not true. At the same time he co-operates with his mother on these stories - the same mother who initiated the contact with Michael and his companies in early 1990 when the Robsons came to the US, the same mother who was calling Michael’s companies every day pushing for the green cards, the same mother who let him sleep in Michael’s room not only before but also after the Chandler allegations. Yet, it is Norma Staikos who is the “madame” and Michael’s companies are the “sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organizations”. How come it is not his mother that Wade wants to bring to “justice” but rather companies based on stories that he knows to be untrue? The question is rhetorical. The answer for this question is quite obvious.
5. Wade Robson unnecessarily redacted some of his communications and falsely labeled them as privileged.
Wade Robson has fully redacted 70 emails between himself and his family members. 50 of the emails were sent to his non-lawyer mother Joy. Robson claimed an attorney client privilege and work product doctrine to explain his redactions. Nice try, Wade!
Wade also redacted every single email that Helen Yu was copied despite the fact that there were other non-lawyer people included in the communications.
These redactions don’t make much sense. Wade’s family members aren’t lawyers. Similarly Estate states while some communications with Helen Yu might be privileged, her presence doesn’t make all of the communications privileged. It would depend on the content. We see that Wade’s lawyers are claiming that the communications between Wade and his family members are “attorney directed witness statements”. MJ Estate is not buying this argument. Neither are we.
Furthermore based on an example of a redacted exchange between Robson and his mother, Estate states that Wade’s independent memory of his childhood is limited and he has been relying heavily on his mother for information about his interactions with Michael. Estate argues for this reason alone Wade’s correspondence with his family members should not be withheld from the Estate and a denying to produce them would unfairly prejudice MJ Estate in their preparation of their defense.
6. Wade Robson failed to produce attachments to emails
Above all that, it turns out that Robson produced almost all emails without their attachments. MJ Estate mentions an email communications Robson sent shortly after Michael died. Estate describes this email as “one of Robson’s many attempts to make money from his association with Michael after his death,” but Robson did not provide the attachment included in that email.
Robson’s lawyers acknowledged that this was a common mistake as Robson exported his emails to PDF and that method does not print out the attachments. Robson agreed to produce attachments to two emails. However he did not provide the attachments with the cover emails. This makes it hard to determine which attachment goes with which email. Furthermore Robson did not provide attachments for any other email as well.
Absurdly Robson tried to shift the burden to the MJ Estate telling them to identify which of his emails are missing the attachments.
Dear Wade, you know that the little paperclip image means that the email has an attachment, right? The stupidity of Robson’s arguments is amazing.
7. Clearly, all of this sheds a new light on why Wade Robson’s lawyers wanted him to be deposed as early as possible.
You might remember that Robson’s lawyers wanted Wade to be deposed on August 24, 2016 and tried to force Estate to a now or never deposition. Estate successfully argued and won their request to delay Wade’s deposition as they wanted to wait for the report from his mental examination. ( Link )
If Robson’s lawyers succeeded and forced Estate to depose Robson at August, 2016. Not only that the Estate wouldn’t have had the mental examination report, but they also wouldn’t have known about the missing emails between Wade and his family or about the book Wade wrote.
Back then it seemed like a tactic by Wade Robson’s lawyers to force MJ Estate to depose Wade before they can get the mental examination report back. Now we learn it was way more serious than a single report. They wanted to force Estate to depose Wade before they could get ANY discovery.
Let it be clear that disrupting evidence and sabotaging discovery is against the law. As a result Estate wants the court to compel Wade’s compliance to his discovery obligations, they want Wade to provide unredacted versions of the emails that he improperly redacted, provide all the attachments to the emails. MJ Estate is also asking the judge to order that Wade’s accounts and devices to be subject to a forensic examination. Estate argues that it is impossible for them to know what else Wade still failed to produce. Estate have already hired an expert – Michael Kunkel of Setec Security Technologies- to do the forensic examination of Wade’s accounts/devices so that Estate can get the discovery they are entitled to defend against Robson’s allegations. Finally Estate is asking Robson to be sanctioned in the amount of $17,100. Hearing for motion to compel is set for February 2, 2017.
Overall when you look to the above information, we are left with three possibilities
- Wade did not diligently search for responsive documents
- Wade is willfully withholding responsive documents
- Wade destroyed relevant evidence.
We vote for options 2 and 3. Wade is deliberately withholding the documents and most probably deleting them left and right like a scared cat now that Estate caught him in multiple lies.
Repeatedly Wade produced some documents, under oath claimed to be it’s everything he has. However whenever Estate found out evidence to the contrary, Wade suddenly able to find and give more documents to the Estate. This happened several times and it still seems to be the case.
Our take on this
We would like to finish this post with sharing our personal opinion on this latest developments. All of information above confirms that this is all about money as we suspected from the day one. It is apparent that Wade aimed for a settlement all along and never planned that this case would come to the discovery phase. Now they are desperately trying to hide information from MJ Estate and lying very blatantly in the process.
If we take a look at the timeline and all the information we have so far, we get yet another confirmation that Wade made “many attempts to make money from his association with Michael after his death”. At the very least we know that in 2010 and 2011, Robson was in contact with Cirque about Michael related projects. In 2011 Wade even met with John Branca to discuss Cirque projects. (Fun fact: Despite his meeting with Branca, Wade claimed he didn’t know about the MJ Estate.) In July 2011, Wade gave an interview saying he will be directing Cirque’s MJ show. We know that didn’t happen. It’s safe to say that his attempts to make money from his association with Michael were unsuccessful.
We also now learn that Wade was writing a book in late 2012 and early 2013 and he unsuccessfully shopped it to publishers before filing his lawsuit. So that attempt of money making failed as well. Obviously, this has brought us to this lawsuit which we can call “when everything else fails sue the Bank of Michael Jackson” lawsuit.
Wade writing and shopping a book to publishers BEFORE filing this lawsuit makes it crystal clear that this was all about money and nothing else. Some of Wade’s defenders may mention “truth” and “justice” but “truth” can be told without a price tag on it and “justice” doesn’t come from a book. When you put getting a book deal before filing a lawsuit, it leaves no doubt that this is all about money.
Don’t forget Wade initially filed this lawsuit sealed. Telling the “truth” wasn’t really his concern from the start. He probably hoped that MJ Estate will quickly settle to make these allegations go away. But it didn’t happen. Then the tactics changed. Safechuck was probably recruited and his complaint was announced with an exclusive by Diane Dimond - a known MJ hater. Radar Online became a mouthpiece for Wade writing pieces filled with misinformation and dramatic titles that included “anal rape” and so on. The timing of many of these events is also quite suspicious as they were always organized around significant times for Estate: right before a new release, around the anniversary of Michael’s death and so on. Along came the new lawyers, who are big fans of press releases for every single motion they file. They love media rounds. All of these suggest they have been trying to pressure MJ Estate to settle.
This is exactly why we feel Wade never imagined that this case will come to the discovery phase and he will have to provide documents to the MJ Estate. When push came to shove, he tried to hide his tracks but got caught red handed. It will be quite interesting to see how this will all play out.