photo credit: Vicki L. Miller //Shutterstock
HBO’s new Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland” revisits the claims of him sexually abusing two boys over a period of several years when they were children. The film had a screening last week at the Sundance Film Fest, opening up the pedophile discussion once again surrounding MJ.
The Jackson family released a statement today condemning the film.
“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family – that is the Jackson way,” the statement said. “But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him.”
Wade Robson, who is now 36, first met Jackson when he was about five years old in Australia. He said he stayed with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch in California on several occasions. At the age of 10, James Safechuck, now 40, appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Jackson and said he was also a frequent visitor to the singer’s home.
According to CNN, both defended Jackson against other allegations of child abuse, but later filed suits — Robson in 2013 and Safechuck in 2014 — against the singer’s estate with abuse allegations of their own. (Jackson’s estate denied the accusations. Their cases were initially dismissed but reportedly remain under appeal)
During a Q&A after the screening, Robson said this in response to fans in disbelief, “Even though it happened to me I still couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t believe that what Michael did was a bad thing, so I understand. We can only understand and accept something when we are ready,” Robson concluded.