Claims that Michael Jackson sexually abused two boys came to the surface Friday in a four-hour documentary titled “Leaving Neverland,” which aired at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film presents, in detail, the allegations of Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40. They claim Jackson began sexually abusing Robson at the age of 7 and Safechuck at age 10. Both boys were not only fans, but they also wanted entertainment careers, USA Today reported.
Jackson died in 2009 after overdosing on prescription medication.
“He helped me with my career,” said Robson, according to the New York Post. “He also sexually abused me for seven years.”
Jackson’s estate has taken issue with the film.
“The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact,” the estate said in a statement, according to the BBC. “The two accusers testified under oath that these events never occurred. They have provided no independent evidence and absolutely no proof in support of their accusations, which means the entire film hinges solely on the word of two perjurers.”
Among the many, many disturbing revelations of #LeavingNeverland: MJ gave one of his young male victims jewelry in exchange for sexual acts, and even staged a mock wedding complete with vows and diamond ring. #Sundance2019
— Patrick Ryan (@PatRyanWrites) January 25, 2019
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 26, 2019
Leaving Neverland has left people appalled and wondering how Michael Jackson got acquitted. And we’ve only seen part one so far #Sundance2019
— Francesca Bacardi (@OriginalFresca) January 25, 2019
The film advances Robson’s claim that after he and his family spent time with Jackson, on the night before his family was to leave, Jackson convinced the boy to stay by sobbing on the floor of the room where the boy was sleeping.
“I’m just so sad you are going to leave,” Jackson allegedly said. Robson’s mother agreed to leave the 7-year-old behind when the rest of the family went to the Grand Canyon. Robson claims the sexual abuse began then.
He said Jackson said at one point, “You and I were brought together by God. This is how we show our love.”
“Once the abuse started that first week, every night I was with him there was abuse, with my mother in the next room,” Robson said.
Safechuck met Jackson at age 10. Safechuck’s mother rejected Jackson’s request that her son, then 10, sleep in the same room as the star on a trip they took together to Hawaii.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate for my son to go sleep with him,” Stephanie said. “And that’s how it was the first trip.”
A recording that is part of the film includes Safechuck asking Jackson, “What was the best thing about Hawaii?”
Jackson replied, “Being with you.”
Safechuck said Jackson had him practice getting dressed quickly and quietly if anyone came to Jackson’s room.
He said Jackson told him “If people find out, his life would be over and my life would be over.”
Safechuck said that a mock wedding ceremony was staged between Robson and Safechuck. The ceremony included vows and a gold-and-diamonds ring.
Wade Robson & James Safechuck are disgraceful, deplorable, shameful, inexcusable & unforgivable. Your actions are a betrayal to a friend & are unjustified. A film based on lies & hearsay & no evidence. Enjoy the spotlight Michael Jackson’s legacy will live forever. @tajjackson3 pic.twitter.com/L5zRFEx7YF
— #StopLeavingNeverlandNOW (@MJStarOfficial) January 26, 2019
Robson and Safechuck said they were eventually replaced by younger children.
By September 1992, someone else “would sleep in Michael’s room and I would sleep on the sofa,” Safechuck said.
Robson and Safechuck were both witnesses in Jackson’s sexual abuse trial. Both said at that time Jackson never abused them.
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