Michael Jackson's brother lashes out at new "nonsense" documentary about King of Pop
At the start of January, it was announced that Channel 4 and HBO are co-producing a documentary titled Leaving Neverland. The two-part show will detail the experiences of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who were aged 10 and seven when they were befriended by the so-called King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Now in their 30s, Safechuck and Robson claim that the singer was abusive towards them, and Leaving Neverland aims to give them a platform to speak publicly about their experiences for the first time.
In response to this news, Jackson's fans have expressed anger and disbelief, with many arguing that he was previously tried and acquitted on all counts of child abuse, and so the matter should be left alone.
Now, Jermaine Jackson, the late singer's brother, has made his opinions on the documentary known.
"What has happened people don’t know is Wade changed his story that he maintained before and after Michael’s death. He tried to go out and shop a book deal, no publisher would touch it," Jermaine claimed in an interview with Good Morning Britain.
He then claimed that Robson is only taking part in the documentary because he failed to find success in a job he'd been working towards.
"[Robson] even sued the estate $1.5 billion, it was tossed out of court. He wanted to go for the head choreography part of Cirque du Soleil, he was turned down from that. So what was left for him to do was to do a documentary, so he gets in front of a camera with a bunch of people and spews out all these nonsense statements."
Piers Morgan then asked Jermaine how he could be so sure that his brother never harmed Robson or Safechuck, seeing as he was not present for the alleged abuse.
"I am a thousand per cent sure because Michael was tried by a jury of his peers and he was acquitted on all of this because there was no real evidence," Jermaine said. "There was nothing there. And I will say this, our family are tired. We’re very tired."
He then went on to say that his brother's legacy should be left alone.
"Let this man rest. He did a lot for the world, let him rest. I’ll just say this, there is no truth to this documentary. You look at the series of events of Wade shopping book deals, the lawsuit and, not to say it, but he was very close to the family. He even went out with two of my nieces.
"We’re living in a time where people can say anything and it’s taken as truth. Under oath he said what he said, they would rather believe a documentary than looking at what was said under oath, under a judge, jury, everything."
Meanwhile, the director of the documentary, Dan Reed, stands by the legitimacy of his project.
"If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to," he said.
"It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held secrets."
The release date for the documentary is not yet known.