Music video producer who worked closely with Michael Jackson says he believes accusers
In the wake of the Leaving Neverland documentary, multiple people close to Michael Jackson have come forward to either support or refute claims made by two of his accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. The latest of these people is Rudi Dolezal, a music video director and producer who worked with the so-called King of Pop during his career.
"I believe almost every word [of the documentary]," he said. "It’s brilliant work."
Dolezal, who first met Jackson in 1992 when filming his 'Dangerous' tour, said he understood why Robson and Safechuck had been afraid to come forward earlier. Indeed, the two men had previously denied that Jackson had molested or abused them in any way - but the producer says their reasons for doing so are obvious now.
"Nobody would stop Michael," he said. "It’s hard to believe an icon is a con."
Dolezal also gave an insight into Jackson's own disturbed childhood, claiming that he was abused by his father, Joe Jackson.
According to him, Michael Jackson once told him - very matter-of-factly - that Joe had physically tortured him in order to make him a better dancer.
"[Joe] put the 4-year-old [Michael] on a hot stovetop barefoot," Dolezal said, explaining that the infliction was supposed to encourage the young MJ to move his feet quicker. "The way he told it, he was not regretting it. I felt really sorry for Michael."
The producer also claimed that a lot of Jackson's decisions to undergo cosmetic surgery were influenced by him not wanting to look like Joe. "He hated his father," Dolezal said.
But, of course, none of this excuses the abuse that Michael Jackson allegedly inflicted on other children.
Jackson's family have vehemently denied all accusations against him, but that has not stopped more people coming forward to say they believe the claims.
What's more, a recently resurfaced news report appears to back up some statements made by Safechuck in the Leaving Neverland documentary. In the film, the former child dancer said that Jackson would buy him rings and other items as rewards for engaging in sexual activity with him.
In the clip, you can see Jackson purchasing jewellery with a young boy:
Dolezal was obviously a fan of Jackson's during his lifetime, and has some sympathy for the man as a victim of abuse. However, he has also conceded that we know a lot more now than we did when MJ was alive, and that the late pop star should be judged in the light of this new evidence.
"If the Michael Jackson legend is destroyed by this, the person responsible is Michael Jackson — no one else," he said.
Jackson was charged with child abuse offences during his lifetime, but was acquitted at trial in 2005. He was never found guilty of any other molestation offences.