THE Michael Jackson estate has sent a letter to Channel 4 warning that a documentary on two men who accuse the singer of molesting them as boys violates the network’s programming guidelines.

The letter, from estate lawyer Howard Weitzman, states Leaving Neverland, set to air early next month, makes no attempt to get a response from Jackson’s estate, family, friends or others who have defended his reputation – as required by the channel’s standards for factual programming and basic journalistic ethics.

The letter cites a section of the publicly available guidelines that state if a show makes “significant allegations” then “those concerned should be given an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond”.

“I think we can all agree that the false allegations being made in your ‘documentary’ are ‘significant allegations’,” the letter states, adding “it is hard to imagine more significant accusations that can possibly be made against anyone”.

Yet no-one was ever asked to respond, the letter states, adding: “This includes persons mentioned by name in your ‘documentary’ as having ‘replaced’ Robson and Safechuck as Jackson’s supposed victims of abuse. Those named persons eloquently and publicly deny ever being abused."

Channel 4 said the allegations against Jackson are rebutted in the documentary by denials that Jackson made during his lifetime.

The three-page document from the estate echoes a longer letter it sent to US station HBO on Friday calling the allegations from Robson and Safechuck “disgraceful” and urging investigation of the men’s backgrounds.

The two channels co-produced the documentary, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival.

Robson and Safechuckhad previously told authorities Jackson did not molest them. Robson testified as much in Jackson’s 2005 trial, in which he was acquitted of molesting another boy.

Jackson died in 2009. Both men later filed lawsuits that were dismissed and are now on appeal.