King of Pop Michael Jackson’s family has issued a passionate joint statement denouncing the recent documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday last week. The four-hour-long film on the late singer is slated to air on HBO in the spring.
The documentary, which focuses on the claims of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, details the years of inappropriate behavior and manipulation the two suffered at the hands of Jackson. However, the Jackson family has called the men “two admitted liars,” adding that they remain “proud of what Michael Jackson stands for”, in a statement issued on Monday.
“People have always loved to go after Michael,” the statement continues. “He was an easy target because he was unique. But Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT. There has never been one piece of proof of anything.”
However, the documentary director Dan Reed rebuked these claims in a statement issued to People magazine. “Anyone who sees the film will know it is solely about hearing the stories of two specific individuals and their families in their own words, and that is a focus we are very proud of,” he said.
The Jackson family’s statement continued, “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. 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. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise, these allegations would not have been made.”
Reed added in his own statement, “We feel no need to include the opinions of people with no direct knowledge of what happened to those individuals.” It was in 2017 that a California judge dismissed Robson’s case against Jackson’s estate and two companies it controls, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures.
The judge also ruled that the singer’s estate is not liable for Jackson’s alleged childhood sexual abuse of the celebrity choreographer. Robson first sued the late musical icon in 2013 claiming that Jackson abused him for nearly a decade. Robson had previously appeared as a witness for Jackson’s defense during a separate sexual abuse trial in 2005 where the pop star was acquitted of child molestation charges.
In 2014, Safechuck, then in his 30s, claimed he was sexually abused by the singer when he was 10 years old, claiming that the incident had taken place after the two were shooting for a Pepsi commercial together. He also claimed in court papers that he made multiple visits to Jackson’s home and several all-expense-paid cross-country trips.
However, it was during the singer’s ‘Bad’ tour, where Safechuck accompanied Jackson, that the alleged first incident of sexual abuse occurred. In their statement, the Jackson family also dragged in the other people associated with the film, including Reed.
“The creators of this film were not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it’s not fair, yet the media are perpetuating these stories. But the truth is on our side. Go do your research about these opportunists. The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100 percent innocent of these false allegations.”
Ever since the news of the documentary broke, Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson has constantly and repeatedly denounced the allegations made in the documentary. “This is all about money and the desperate need to be relevant again.”
“My family and I have known Wade and his family since he came to America. Don’t tell me a four-hour one-sided hit job that you watched is more reputable than people who actually knew him and saw his interactions,” he wrote on Saturday.