Barbra Streisand says she 'absolutely' believes Michael Jackson's accusers
Following the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary, in which two men go into great detail about the alleged abuse they experienced at the hands of the late Michael Jackson, many have come out to comment on the issue at hand.
The Jackson estate has been very clear about their stance, calling the documentary a "public lynching" and insisting that the pop star "was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations".
The documentary has made waves in the entertainment industry, whether it's radio stations choosing not to play the 'king of pop' any longer, The Simpsons' showrunner recalling Jackson's guest episode, or Corey Feldman speaking out on his experience growing up with Jackson. Now, Barbra Streisand has stepped into the fray, in a profile with The Times.
In her statement on the matter, she demonstrated her belief in the claims made by James Safechuck and Wade Robson in the four-hour documentary. However, she also also said that she blames their parents for allowing them to sleep in the same bed as Jackson during their stay with him.
The 76-year-old went on to say that she "absolutely" believes the stories Safechuck and Robson told, while also describing Jackson as being "very sweet, very childlike" from her memory of him. She says:
"His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.
"You can say “molested”, but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them."
She goes on to say that she has complicated feelings regarding the matter:
"It’s a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him. Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shoes and the dancing and the hats?"
Streisand is not the only person who has worked in the music industry to comment on Jackson and the allegations levelled at him by the documentary and others. Rudi Dolezal, a music video director and producer who worked with Jackson in the 1990s, said "I believe almost every word. It’s brilliant work."
"Nobody would stop Michael," he said. "It’s hard to believe an icon is a con."
He went on to recount how Jackson had candidly told him about the abuse he had received from his father during his childhood, to make him a better dancer:
"[Joe] put the 4-year-old [Michael] on a hot stovetop barefoot. The way he told it, he was not regretting it. I felt really sorry for Michael. He hated his father.
"If the Michael Jackson legend is destroyed by this, the person responsible is Michael Jackson — no one else."
Jackson was charged with various child abuse offences, but was eventually acquitted in 2005, and was never found guilty of any other molestation charges.