Going into graphic detail, Robson, 33, claims in an amended complaint obtained by PEOPLE to his 2013 lawsuit against the late musician’s entertainment company MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures that the businesses were operations “specifically designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce child sexual abuse victims.” (MJJ Productions has not returned PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
Robson claims in the new filings he was sexually abused for seven years by Jackson until he was 14 years old and “began showing signs of puberty.”
Though he previously appeared as a witness for Jackson’s defense during a separate sexual abuse trial in 2005, Robson came forward with abuse claims when he underwent psychotherapy treatment after suffering a nervous breakdown in 2012. A judge threw his original case out of court in May 2015. Howard Weitzman, an attorney for the Jackson estate, hailed the ruling at the time, saying the estate believed Robson’s earlier sworn testimony in Jackson’s defense “when his sole motivation was ‘to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’ ”
So who exactly is the man accusing the late legend of sexual abuse? Here’s what you need to know about the choreographer who got his start as Jackson’s young protégé.
1. Michael Jackson discovered him
Robson was a fan of Jackson since birth. His mother used to play Jackson’s songs nonstop when she was pregnant with him, and by the age of 4, he knew all of the King of Pop’s famous moves. When he was 5, Robson won the national Jackson dance-impersonation contest. The grand prize was a meeting with Jackson, who then invited Robson to perform at his Brisbane concert. Jackson later encouraged his mother to bring Robson to the States, where he later had a stint on Star Search. Jackson cast him in several of his music videos and signed him to his private label. Robson once defended Jackson during a separate trial, saying the singer never behaved inappropriately with him.
2. He set ‘NSYNC in motion
Robson created signature moves for the boy band in the ’90s and was the man behind their dance routines for their No Strings Attached tour in 2000. Despite not having any formal musical training, Robson also co-wrote four songs with ‘NSYNC’s leading man, Justin Timberlake, on the band’s 2001 album Celebrity. Robson worked with Timberlake on his hit single, “Pop,” and even got a chance to fill in for an injured Joey Fatone as his dancing double in the music video.
3. Britney Spears’ infamous python moment at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards? His idea
It’s been nearly 15 years since Britney Spears strutted on stage to perform “Slave 4 U” with an albino python around her neck at the VMAs, but the moment still remains iconic. Robson is the one to thank for thinking up the performance that shocked audiences everywhere. Robson got his start with Spears when he was just 16 years old after she hired him to choreograph her first big U.S. tour in 1999. After watching a sampling of Robson’s moves, Spears decided to hire the teenager.
But he also allegedly made his way into other parts of Spears’ life. Rumor has it he may have been the one responsible for making Timberlake and Spears’ relationship go “Bye, Bye, Bye.” In 2002, Spears allegedly cheated on Timberlake with Robson. At the time, Robson said reports of him being the cause of the breakup stung, but Timberlake’s songs like “Cry Me a River” are said to be written about the duo. (Spears has never confirmed nor denied the rumors.)
4. He had his own TV show on MTV
Robson once served as the host and executive producer for the eponymously named MTV show, the Wade Robson Project, which aired in 2003. The dance-battle inspired TV show was well-received, but didn’t last very long.
5. He was a familiar face on several dancing competition shows
For several seasons, Robson appeared as a choreographer, performer and guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance. He won two Emmy awards for Outstanding Choreography for his routines “Ramalama” and “The Hummingbird and the Flower.”
In 2007, Robson choreographed and performed a special performance for Dancing with the Stars.