Michael Jackson (Getty/Lucas Jackson)

Michael Jackson's family calls "Leaving Neverland" doc a "public lynching"

“Michael is not here to defend himself,” singer’s family claims in new statement


Daniel Kreps
January 28, 2019 10:00PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone.
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Michael Jackson’s family released a statement Monday condemning the documentary Leaving Neverland that alleges the singer molested and raped underage boys. The two-part, HBO-bound film premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival and left the audience shell-shocked with its accusations against Jackson.

“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family — that is the Jackson way,” the Jackson family statement said.

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“But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.”

Read more Rolling Stone: Leaving Neverland’: Sundance’s Michael Jackson Doc Leaves Audience Shellshocked

Like the statement released by the Jackson estate – which labeled Leaving Neverland as “tabloid character assassination” – the family noted that the two accusers featured in the documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both told investigators that Jackson hadn’t molested them at Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial. Their own accusations against Jackson didn’t come to light until both men filed a lawsuit against the Jackson estate in 2013. Those lawsuits were dismissed.

The Jackson family was also “furious” with unnamed media outlets who “without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael,” adding that Safechuck and Robson are “perjurers” and “opportunists.”

Read more Rolling Stone: Michael Jackson Estate Slams ‘Leaving Neverland’: ‘Tabloid Character Assassination

The Jackson family statement added, “But the truth is on our side. Go do your research about these opportunists. The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations.”

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Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson also slammed Leaving Neverland and Robson in a tweet Sunday, “My family and I have known Wade and his family since he came to America. Don’t tell me a 4-hour one-sided hit job that you watched is more reputable than people who actually knew him and saw his interactions. This is all about money and the desperate need to be relevant again.”

Read more Rolling Stone: Michael Jackson Musical to Premiere in Chicago

Read the Jackson family’s entire statement below:

Michael Jackson is our brother and son.  We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity. We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for.

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People have always loved to go after Michael. He was an easy target because he was unique.  But Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT. There has never been one piece of proof of anything.  Yet the media is eager to believe these lies.

Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family – that is the Jackson way. But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.

The creators of this film were not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it’s not fair, ­yet the media are perpetuating these stories. 

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But the truth is on our side. Go do your research about these opportunists. The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations.


Daniel Kreps

MORE FROM Daniel Kreps

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All Salon Culture Documentary Film Finding Neverland #metoo Michael Jackson Rolling Stone Sexual Abuse




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