In the documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck both say Jackson abused them when they were children. Associated Press reports that angry fans of the singer unsuccessfully tried to get the documentary pulled from the Sundance Film Festival in Jan 2019, and that the filmmaker, Dan Reed, has received death threats.
Members of the late Michael Jackson’s family defend the late King of Pop in a new documentary seen as a rebuttal to Leaving Neverland. eOnline reports that Neverland Firsthand: Investigating the Michael Jackson Documentary, spans 30 minutes and was recently released on YouTube. It features interviews with individuals who worked at Neverland Ranch, where Jackson’s accusers said much of the alleged abuse took place.
The number and scale of the Jackson anniversary tributes around the world will be a rough guide to whether the spell can survive the revelations in the documentary.
Ahead of his death and of the release of the documentary, the allegations have made little or no impact on the Jackson spell. Some 1.6 million fans applied for 17,500 tickets to his memorial service in Los Angeles in 2009. Over 30 million viewers tuned in to watch the event on cable TV, while millions more viewed it online. In Nov 2018, Jackson was named the top-earning dead celebrity for the sixth year in a row. He has now made some U.S. $2.4 billion since he died.
One of 10 children, Jackson was born on Aug 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, He joined his family’s popular Motown group, the Jackson 5, at 5 years old, and went on to a solo career of astonishing worldwide success. He delivered No. 1 hits from the albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. Biography.com lists Thriller as the best-selling music album of all time, and Jackson’s This Is It as the highest-grossing concert film of all time.
Jackson, who had been dogged for years by accusations of child molestation, was acquitted in 2005. The charges did not involve Robson or Safechuck. He was found unresponsive in his bedroom by his doctor, Conrad Murray, just before launching a comeback tour in 2009. Murray, who had administered the drugs to Jackson, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and spent two years in prison.
#23036 Updated: 05/19/2019 UPDATED MAY 19 TO INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT JACKSON FAMILY DOCUMENTARY REBUTTAL