Though it’s been 10 years since the King of Pop Michael Jackson passed away, his alleged history of child sexual abuse once again became a topic of discussion after the premiere of the Leaving Neverland documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah on January 25.
In the documentary directed by British filmmaker Dan Reed, two of his accusers, 36-year-old choreographer Wade Robson and former child actor James Safechuck, 40, claim the multi-platinum selling musician sexually molested them giving a gruesome account of their experiences when they were aged 7 and 10 and had befriended the singer.
Until 2013, the two accusers had testified under oath in 2005 that they weren’t victimized by Jackson when they were children. They later filed civil suits against the Jackson estate in 2013 and 2014 respectively and both cases were thrown out due to technicalities.
More about this
They claim their previous testimony was untrue and was a direct result of pressure from Michael Jackson himself who had said that they would be jailed if he should be convicted.
In the aftermath of the documentary, however, some fans have boycotted the singer while radio stations in New Zealand and Canada have reportedly stopped playing his music. His statue at Britain’s National Football Museum in Manchester, England and his iconic hat and glove at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis have also been removed.
To set things straight, some members of Michael Jackson’s family released a documentary titled Neverland Firsthand to counter and challenge Robson and Safechuck’s accusations and clear Jackson’s name.
The video, which was posted on YouTube on Saturday is directed by Eli Pedraza and features Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson, his niece Brandi Jackson and his former technical director as well as
“Not in a million years did I ever see a child around Michael Jackson that looked like they had been distressed, hurt, abused,” Sundberg said in the documentary. “[Neverland] was such a peaceful, safe, fun place.”
Brandi, who also claims to have dated Robson for more than seven years accused him of being an opportunist, Vanity Fair further reports.
“He knows how to position himself into different situations that will benefit him in a financial way,” she said.
Taj was also adamant his uncle did no wrong saying: “When you have a certain niceness, people take advantage of it.”
Take a look at the full documentary below: