Reporter reveals he wrote a note to 10-year-old Michael Jackson accuser
A reporter has revealed that he wrote a note to a 10-year-old who was an alleged victim of Michael Jackson, so concerned was he for the young boy's life.
In the wake of Leaving Neverland, an HBO documentary that focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim that Michael Jackson sexually assaulted them as young boys, Irish reporter Sam Smyth revealed how he wrote a letter to Safechuck in 1988, fearing that the 10-year-old could be in danger.
Smyth had initially raised concerns during a Michael Jackson concert in Cork in 1988. Smyth had unique access to the pop star's entourage, recounted his observations and fears. "We sat around a table in the resident's lounge in Jury's Hotel in Cork while Michael Jackson was unwinding in the luxurious penthouse suite above," Smyth began.
It was later on that Safechuck (referred to as "Little Jimmy" by Smyth and Jackson) checked into the hotel with Michael Jackson. While discussing the phenomenon of Jackson with fellow journalist Eamon Dunphy, Smyth recalled how Dunphy had found the whole situation rather strange.
"Sometimes little Jimmy had danced on stage at other venues on the tour but he was a no-show at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and, according to staff, didn't leave his room in Jury's. Stating the obvious that had been ignored by the world's media, Dunphy said it was very, very odd for a 30-year-old man to have a ten-year-old boy as his very best friend."
After a few drinks, Dunphy and Smyth decided to write Safechuck a message, before beginning to explain the situation to the Irish minister for justice at the time, Gerry Collins, before he had to rush off. But still, the journalists pressed on.
"A single page telling little Jimmy that, if he needed help, it was available in the resident's lounge was sealed into an envelope and given to a porter to slip under Master Safechuck's door. The porter was also given a generous tip and he later assured us that the letter had been delivered. We never heard from little Jimmy."
Six years after that, in 1994, child abuse allegations that "shamed a generation" (according to Smyth) in Ireland began to materialise, while a year prior to that, a dentist accused Jackson of abusing his 13-year-old son, Jordan Chandler. Jackson settled out of court for $23 million, but more accusations were to come, culminating in the Leaving Neverland documentary.
Reflecting on the letter he sent to Safechuck, Smyth said that more than three decades after the fact, it was obvious that Jackson's relationship with Safechuck was "at least inappropriate, probably criminal", before expressing his regret at not doing more at the time.
"Nobody shouted stop. The most famous pop singer in the world was hiding in plain sight - a predator on children protected by all the lawyers and influence that his millions could buy. And I deeply regret not reporting my suspicions, no matter how slight the chances of anybody making Michael Jackson stop sexually abusing children."
Smyth was speaking to Mail Online.