Widely hailed as the ‘King of Pop’, Michael Jackson was also accused of child abuse. Jackson was taken to court on multiple occasions and let off each time, but his alleged survivors never stopped speaking up. Based on the accounts of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who were allegedly sexually abused by Jackson when they were still kids, British filmmaker Dan Reed has now made a documentary named Leaving Neverland.
The documentary that received a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered there early this year in January. It was, of course, met with plenty of outrage as well. But, now it is gearing up for a wider release and the trailer that just dropped is spine-chillingly devastating.
Robson and Safechuck had sued Jackson in 2013, but their case was dismissed. In fact, in the 2005 case against Jackson, Robson had testified in Jackson’s defence. Robson was only five when he met Jackson for the first time and was recruited to appear in three of his music videos – ‘Black or White’, ‘Jam’, and ‘Heal the World’. Safechuck alleged that his abuse started shortly after he appeared in a Pepsi commercial with the pop star.
Valued at almost $100 million in 2003, Neverland was the home Jackson built for himself in California. It was replete with everything a child’s fantasy would include – from a Ferris wheel, carousel, menagerie, to a movie theater and zoo. The alleged abuse of children took place on Neverland.
The documentary that features archival footage of Michael Jackson and interviews of Robson, Safechuck, and their families will be broadcast in the US in two parts on March 3 and 4, and then in the UK on March 6 and 7 by HBO.