Throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Michael Jackson was hit with child molestation allegations but was never convicted on any charges. Despite his 2005 acquittal on molestation charges, the speculation around if Jackson’s relationships with children were appropriate remained. Ten years after his death, a documentary is being released that is bringing those allegations back to the forefront. In Leaving Neverland, two of Jackson’s accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck claim that the King of Pop sexually abused them during his career.
According to Billboard, Jackson’s estate has slammed this documentary, saying that it is “the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death.”
“The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact,” his estate said in a statement.
Even though Robson testified in the “You Are Not Alone” singer’s defense back in 2005 and said he never abused him, he changed his story after he died in 2009. In the doc, Robson and Safechuck claim they befriended Jackson when they were seven and 10-years-old and that he sexually abused them during “long-running relationships” with him.
Jackson’s estate reportedly felt that the documentary focused too much on Robson and Safechuck’s accounts and did not include the children that had good relationships with Jackson.
“He treated children with respect and did nothing hurtful to them.”
The four-hour documentary premiered at Sundance Festival last night (Jan. 25) and will air on HBO later this year.