Just after getting denounced by the Michael Jackson Estate, the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland premiered Sunday on HBO.
The 4-hour documentary, which will conclude with aspect two tonight, shares claims of abuse from Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who spent time with Jackson from a incredibly young age. Robson and Safechuck’s households have been also interviewed for the documentary, adding extra specifics about Jackson’s connection with Robson and Safechuck.
“Leaving Neverland is not a documentary, it is the sort of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death,” the Michael Jackson Estate stated in a statement in January. “The film requires uncorroborated allegations that supposedly occurred 20 years ago and treats them as reality.”
The Michael Jackson Estate also named Robson and Safechuck “admitted liars” whilst noting that their claims had previously been dismissed by a judge.
“The two accusers testified beneath oath that these events by no means occurred,” the statement continued. “They have offered no independent proof and totally no proof in help of their accusations, which suggests the whole film hinges solely on the word of two perjurers.”
Aspect a single of Leaving Neverland detailed how Robson and Safechuck very first met Jackson. For Robson, who was born in Brisbane, Australia, it was soon after winning a dance contest at the age of 5. A few years soon after their meeting, which took spot whilst Jackson was on tour in Australia, the Robson family members traveled from Australia to Los Angeles, exactly where they have been invited to Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
On the very first evening, Robson and his sister slept in Jackson’s bed. According to Robson, he woke up the following evening to Jackson crying about how the family members would be leaving the subsequent day. Then, whilst the rest of his family members went to the Grand Canyon, 7-year-old Robson stayed with Jackson at Neverland.
It was for the duration of this time, Robson alleges, that Jackson began producing physical speak to with him.
“The very first factor I try to remember is Michael sort of moving his hands across my legs,” Robson claimed. “And then his hands got to my crotch location.”
Robson went on to allege, “And then his hands went underneath my pants and began touching my penis underneath my pants…and then him guiding me to do the similar factor to him.”
Even though Robson would later allege that the abuse went on for years, he initially testified in defense of Jackson in his 2005 sexual abuse trial, exactly where Jackson was acquitted. But then in Might 2013, about 4 years soon after Jackson’s death, Robson filed a claim against Jackson’s estate, alleging that he was abused by the late singer from the age of seven to 14. He would later inform the Currently show that Jackson had manipulated and brainwashed him into lying about years of sexual activity with him, stating, “He would play and train me for these [court] scenarios.”
In 2015, a superior court judge ruled that Robson’s claim is untimely and should be dismissed. A year later, Robson filed new negligence claims against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, two firms owned by Jackson. In Dec. 2017, a judge ruled that the groups have been not liable for Robson’s exposure to Jackson, he did not rule on the credibility of the allegations.
As for Safechuck, he met Jackson on the set of a Pepsi industrial in 1987, when he was just nine. Jackson and the Safechuck family members went on to have a close connection with Jackson, enjoying the luxury of the celebrity life with vacations, hotels and very first class accommodations. At the age of 10, Safechuck was even invited on Jackson’s tour.
In Leaving Neverland, Safechuck claimed, “In Paris, he introduced me to masturbation, and that is how it began.”
He added, “It felt like we have been bonding, in a way.”
In 2014, The Each day Beast reported that Safechuck had added his name to Robson’s Might 2013 lawsuit against Jackson. The similar lawsuit that went on to be dismissed by a judge.
Aspect two of Leaving Neverland airs tonight on HBO.
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