Corey Feldman admits he can "no longer" defend Michael Jackson over 'Leaving Neverland' allegations
Former child star and 80s icon Corey Feldman has condemned the pop star Michael Jackson over his alleged "horrendous crimes", mere days after defending his friend.
As the furore over Leaving Neverland - the documentary detailing how Jackson (who died in 2009 at the age of 50) allegedly groomed and molested two young boys - reaches fever pitch, Feldman has withdrawn his support, saying he can "can no longer do that".
Appearing on CNN's Headline News yesterday, Feldman backtracked on his previous comments defending the singer after the airing of part II of Neverland. Describing the experience of watching the documentary as "painful", Feldman says it was "impossible'' for him "not to listen to what the victims were saying".
''I don't want to be perceived as I'm here to defend Michael Jackson, because I can no longer do that. I cannot in good consciousness defend anyone who's being accused of such horrendous crimes," said Feldman, who was abused as a child himself.
"You're a kid who has endured sexual abuse and during those times, I'm looking to somebody like Michael Jackson as a friend, as a big brother figure. And he was that person to me, however, as you're friends with this guy, all of a sudden you start to hear more and more accusations thrown around by various people.
It comes to a point where as an advocate for victims, as an advocate for changing the statutes of limitations to make sure that victims' voices are heard, it becomes impossible for me to stay virtuous and not at least consider what's being said and not listen to what the victims are saying."
Earlier this week, Feldman, 47, had slammed the first part of the documentary as "one sided" and thrown his support behind Jackson, claiming that Jackson was never abusive to him during his many visit to Neverland, the lavish estate where Michael Jackson lived at the time.
"All I know is what I experienced," he said in a series of tweets, slamming the documentary for being "poorly made", and claiming that he had a tape of Jackson which would reflect the true nature of his relationship with Jackson, reportedly recorded when Jackson was 30 and Feldman was 13.
"I watched it, all I know is what I experienced and yes every experience was the same… right up 2 the sex part. That is where it becomes La La Land instead of Neverland for me. We never spoke about sex other than a few warnings about how sex was scary and dangerous.
MJ never once swore in my presence, never touched me inappropriately and never ever suggested we should be lovers in any way. I feel like if people could hear our convos they would hear the innocence in them. No hint of perversion."
Although Feldman has made a U-turn on his previous statements, the 47-year-old says he cannot go as far as to "judge" his old friend. ''I'm also not here to judge him, because again, he did not do those things to me and that was not my experience," he said to Headline News.