Leaving Neverland: New Doc Spills Michael Jackson’s Secret Life of Child Boyfriends, Pedophilia, Sex Abuse
The new documentary, Leaving Neverland tells the stories of multiple alleged survivors of child sexual abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson, revealing an alleged hidden life of pedophilia, child sexual abuse and sequential grooming of untold numbers of underage male victims, kept secret by Jackson’s incredible wealth, power and influence. The four hour documentary stunned spellbound audiences at the Sundance film festival and in wider release, seeks to rewrite the history of perhaps the most iconic pop culture phenom of the 20th Century.
But then, you already knew it was true. Or, part of you did. But like many in American society, you might have been among those who hoped for the best, believed the best and dearly wished that the darkest suspicions of a verifiable megastar were simply a contrived hoax for purposes of extortion and blackmail.
Deep down, you knew it was true. We all knew the truth.
King of Pop and immortal musical phenom, Michael Jackson was a child rapist. A pedophile. A meticulous groomer and abuser of multiple young boys that he selected, prepped and preyed upon, treating them just like lovers and adult romantic companions over his long supernova of a musical career, until eventually, the truth of his hidden life required more and more effort to conceal until the entire menagerie of lies imploded, but never fully came into view.
At least that’s what a new documentary would have you believe.
At the recent Sundance Film Festival, in a stunning four hour expose and retrospective documentary, Leaving Neverland, self-proclaimed survivors of Michael Jackson’s long tour of debauchery and deceit have spoken their peace, unbound by non-disclosure agreements and laying utter waste to the public persona that eventually required dozens of lawyers and tens of millions of dollars to curate. More than once, even Jackson’s immense wealth and power were not enough to keep the iceberg of revelation from breaking the waves.
At the turn of the millennium, Jackson and his team of spin doctors fought back against a handful of public claims of child sexual abuse and did their utmost to create an image of a tortured soul misunderstood by a cruel world. An eccentric genius with a genuine love for children and a Peter Pan syndrome as damage control explanation for things that no normal adult male would do, say or condone. Pajama parties with young boys. Other people’s children sleeping in his bed. Even public testimony of showertime romps with kids who came to Neverland to indulge in the lavish fantasy life of a pop icon seemingly stuck in the amber of forever adolescence and a charming innocence incomprehensible to average people.
But as alleged survivors, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, (pictured with Jackson, above) it was all a lie. A carefully constructed ruse to maintain the luster and legacy of one of the greatest performers in the history of the world and to protect the lucrative song catalog of the most bankable musical force in a still profitable music-for-purchase industry that had yet to feel the ravages of the internet revolution.
Robson and Safechuck, the men featured in the documentary, say they were seven and 10 when Jackson reached out to them. Robson won a dance contest where the prize was the chance to meet his idol. Safechuck met him on the set of a Pepsi ad.
Robson says that Jackson once told him, “You and I were brought together by God,” while Safechuck recounts having to playact marrying his abuser:
In one of the most chilling scenes, James recalls the mock wedding the pair had, complete with a wedding ring which he still owns and shows to the camera. He claims Jackson would reward him with jewelry for engaging in sexual acts. “It’s still hard for me to not blame myself,” he says, with his hands shaking as he holds the many trinkets.
In a Q & A with the audience after the screening, both men said they weren’t paid to participate in the documentary and were instead hoping to raise awareness:
“We can’t change what happened to us. And we can’t do anything about Michael,” Robson said in a Q&A with the audience. But he said he hopes it makes other survivors feel less isolated and raises awareness for anyone who is responsible for children.
Jackson’s camp, along with angry fans, have been attempting to get ahead of the documentary and discount the survivors’ stories in recent weeks. Before the documentary premiered, Jackson’s estate preemptively issued a statement to People magazine:
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” the statement reads. “Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them. Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed ‘master of deception’, filed lawsuits against Michael’s Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed.”
The documentary, Leaving Neverland is set to air on HBO later in 2019.
GALLERY: MICHAEL JACKSON WITH HIS ACCUSERS, JIMMY SAFECHUCK, WADE ROBSON AND OTHERS