The household of singer Michael Jackson on Monday joined the firestorm in opposition to “Leaving Neverland,” calling the harrowing new documentary about Jackson’s alleged historical past of sexually abusing boys a “public lynching.”
“Folks have at all times beloved to go after Michael. He was a simple goal as a result of he was distinctive. However Michael was subjected to a radical investigation which included a shock raid of Neverland and different properties in addition to a jury trial the place Michael was discovered to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT. There has by no means been one piece of proof of something. But the media is raring to consider these lies,” the late singer’s household stated in an announcement Monday, after the documentary’s Sundance Movie Pageant premiere on Friday left attendees shocked and shellshocked.
“We will’t simply stand by whereas this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who by no means met Michael go after him,” the assertion continued. “Michael isn’t right here to defend himself, in any other case these allegations wouldn’t have been made.”
Jackson’s property and a few of his followers have actively campaigned in opposition to the movie in statements and on social media, questioning its veracity and attacking defenders of the movie, its director Dan Reed, and Jackson’s accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, whose tales are featured within the four-hour documentary.
Jackson’s followers have seized on the truth that each of the accusers beforehand defended Jackson in opposition to different baby sexual abuse allegations. Nevertheless, sexual abuse specialists word that trauma can have an effect on survivors’ recollections and perceptions of their experiences, notably in the event that they have been youngsters on the time of their abuse, as Robson and Safechuck would have been.
Throughout a 2005 trial, Robson testified that Jackson didn’t molest him when he was a baby. However Robson has stated that he later realized he “compartmentalized” the abuse due to his shut relationship to Jackson.
The household of Jackson, who died in 2009, continues to take care of that he “was and at all times might be 100 p.c harmless of those false allegations,” and of their assertion Monday, referred to Robson, Safechuck and the filmmakers as “opportunists.”
Robson and Safechuck have denied accusations from Jackson’s defenders that they have been paid to inform their tales.
Forward of Friday’s Sundance premiere, competition organizers established additional safety procedures in anticipation of protests. A handful of protesters stood exterior the theater, telling attendees to “do your analysis.”
Contained in the theater, psychological well being professionals have been readily available to help viewers with processing the graphic nature and emotional depth of the four-hour movie, and the competition’s director launched the screening with a set off warning.
The documentary is slated to air on HBO this spring.
Need assistance? Go to RAINN’s Nationwide Sexual Assault On-line Hotline or the Nationwide Sexual Violence Useful resource Heart’s web site.