Michael Jackson's former nanny speaks out for the first time over 'Leaving Neverland' documentary
Years after the initial allegations of sexual abuse were made against Michael Jackson, a new documentary has brought those issues to light once again. 'Leaving Neverland', a four-hour documentary detailing the experiences of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, has shocked the world with its claims - eliciting a wide range of responses from the world.
Just this week, former child actor Corey Feldman came out against the documentary, before later clarifying his comments, explaining that he could "no longer" defend the late pop star. There's been the news that various radio stations across the world have removed Jackson's music from their playlists, and Paris Jackson has broken her silence over the allegations.
Grace Rwaramba worked as a nanny for Paris and Jackson's other children, Prince Michael I and Prince Michael II (better known as Blanket). She was under his employ for seventeen years, and has now come out to say that she believes the claims made in the documentary are false, and that she "never saw anything that made her suspect he was capable of child sexual abuse".
"If Michael harmed Wade Robson and James Safechuck, they have my deepest sympathy and compassion," she began her statement, which was shared with ABC News.
"I don’t claim to know what happened between Michael and his accusers. I wasn’t there.
"However, because Michael is no longer here to defend himself, and because I have a unique view of him and the life he lived, I feel compelled to speak out against what I firmly believe to be false claims. The person that Wade and James describe is not the person that I knew."
She then went on to describe the singer as "trusting to the point of extreme naiveté," and that he always assumed others had the best of intentions. "While he was far from perfect, in my over twelve years of living with Michael, knowing him and his lifestyle intimately, I never saw or experienced anything that led me to suspect that he was capable of child sexual abuse," she added.
“For twelve years, from 1997 to 2009, I was part of Michael’s family … I spent more time with Michael in the last twelve years of his life than anyone except his children.”
Following the statement, a lawyer representing both Robson and Safechuck has issued a response, in which he claims that she has a vested interest in protecting Jackson's legacy. He told ABC News:
"Ms. Rwaramba admits in her statement that she does not know what happened between Michael and his accusers. As a longtime employee of MJJ productions she has vested interest in defending Jackson and his estate. It is sad that she had chosen to disparage a victim of child sexual assault and his family in order to do so."
Rwaramba was reportedly working as a Personnel Director for MJJ Productions, a company founded by Jackson in 1991 to deal with his personal finances and business affairs. It was from this position that she was asked by Jackson to become the nanny for his three children.
"This is a continuation of the campaign of false information, character assassination, victim blaming and the shaming that the Jackson corporate lawyers heap on any child or adult who speaks the truth about Mr. Jackson’s sexual behaviour with children."
"These attacks have kept many of Mr. Jackson’s victims silence," he concluded. "It will not stop Wade or James from speaking the truth."