Leaving Neverland, directed by Dan Reed was first aired at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, it’s a documentary film that features the testimonies of two men who claim that they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson when they were children. Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the former were in their thirties and the latter in their forties at the time of the film’s release, this documentary talks about the pop sensation who allegedly molested them at the Neverland Ranch as well as at the singer’s apartment at Century City. The film, denounced by Michael Jackson’s estate, has drawn mixed reactions from the public.
Wade Robson, born in Australia, first met Michael Jackson in 1987 after winning a dance competition in Brisbane. The boy, aged five at the time, won the opportunity to meet Jackson in person and was given tickets to see him perform live during the Bad world concert tour. Jackson befriended Robson and hired the boy to perform in the Black and White, Heal the World and Jam music videos. Robson, having spent years defending Jackson, claimed in 2013 that the entertainer had sexually abused him when he was between the ages of seven and fourteen.
James Safechuck, a computer programmer and father of two, first met Michael Jackson in 1988 when he starred alongside the singer in an advert for Pepsi Cola. The pop sensation invited Safechuck, then ten-years-old, to accompany him on the Bad tour and on one occasion the child actor joined his idol on stage and performed the moonwalk. A friendship was established between Jackson and the Safechuck family, with both parties staying around one another’s houses, and James Safechuck alleges that Michael Jackson molested him on a regular basis at the Neverland Ranch.
The two-part documentary, which airs on Home Box Office (HBO) in America and will also be shown on Channel 4 in Britain, runs for just under four hours and contains detailed interviews with Wade Robson and James Starchuck as well as members of their families. Jackson is said to have groomed the two boys and their families, buying expensive gifts for the parents of the two boys and seeking permission for the children to sleep with him in his bedroom, while Robson and Starchuck recount the sexual abuse that they claim to have suffered in graphic detail.
Both men allege that the abuse started with fonding and kissing and escalated into oral sex and, as they entered their teenage years, ended with full penetrative sex. Jackson, his accusers claim, would begin to lose interest in his alleged victims once they had started puberty and would begin to seek out new boys to groom and later abuse. Michael Jackson’s die-hard fans have accused Robson and Starchuck of lying while Taj Jackson, Michael Jackson’s nephew, has defended his late uncle and stated that the singer’s unorthodox behaviour was due to his lack of a childhood.
Shirley Mist has been involved in fashion and design for many years. She has also written extensively for many online publications. She currently writes for The Tribune World and is a valued member of our team.