One of the most talked-about documentaries of the year hasn’t even released yet.
HBO’s forthcoming “Leaving Neverland” examines disturbing claims by James Safechuck and Wade Robson that Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.
Jackson’s family released a statement Monday condemning the film.
“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family – that is the Jackson way,” the statement said. “But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him.”
Robson, now 36, met Jackson when he was about five and said he stayed with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch several times. Safechuck, now 40, appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Jackson when he was 10 and said he was also a frequent visitor to Jackson’s home.
Both defended Jackson against other allegations of child abuse, but later filed suits against the singer’s estate with abuse allegations of their own. (Jackson’s estate denied the accusations. Their cases were initially dismissed but reportedly remain under appeal.)
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