If you are an undying fan of Michael Jackson, this documentary released in January 2019, will surely sadden or depress you. The documentary is full of graphic sexual scenes and intimacy.
The explosive new Michael Jackson documentary – ‘Leaving Neverland’, was released two weeks ago, offering the first look at the two-part testimonial of two men alleging Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children.
Despite legal threats from Michael Jackson’s estate, the four-hour film will show James “Jimmy” Safechuck and Wade Robson sharing intimate details from their time spent with the superstar and – as images of Robson fighting back tears in the trailer might suggest – their stories are expected to be unsettling.
The documentary will be aired In the UK at 9p.m. on Channel 4 Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 7, 2019. It was shown on HBO in the US on Sunday, March 3 and Monday, March 4.
What is the Leaving Neverland documentary about?
Leaving Neverland explores the separate, but parallel experiences of two men who were both befriended by Jackson as young boys – Safechuck, at age 10, and Robson, at age seven.
The interview-led documentary with the pair, now in their 30s and 40s, recalls stories from trips to the singer’s fairy-tale Neverland Ranch to confronting their experiences at that time.
The estate of Michael Jackson has already issued a statement denouncing the film as “yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson.”
In a series of photos, videos and interviews, the documentary trailer shows different moments the young boys spent with Michael Jackson.
After flashing a picture of Robson with Jackson as a child, it cuts to him as an adult – eyes filled with tears.
A separate birthday message shows Michael smiling as he says: “Hello Wade. Today is your birthday. So congratulations. I love you. Goodbye.”
Robson then says: “He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives.”
Dan Reed, who claims his reputation is built on “forensically researched, exhaustively documented” stories, is the creator and director of Leaving Neverland.
In an interview for The Telegraph he said he asked both men to go into explicit detail for Leaving Neverland, saying: “We can’t draw a veil over it… because for so many years the contention has been that he just liked children and a kiss and a cuddle, and this wasn’t.
What happened to James Safechuck and Wade Robson?
Wade Robson and James Safechuck filed a civil action lawsuit against the Jackson estate in 2015, claiming both had been sexually abused by the eccentric celebrity.
Safechuck met Jackson, age nine, when they appeared in a Pespi commercial together. He went on to accompany the singer on most of his Bad tour and, almost 30 years later, accused the singer of molesting him nearly 100 times.
In court filings, Safechuck claimed that he took part in the secret ceremony in which he received a wedding certificate and a ring as confirmation of their ‘undying love.’
According to Safechuck, having sex with Michael happened every day.
“It would happen every day. It sounds sick, but it was like when you are first dating someone – you do a lot of it,” he said.
Australian-born choreographer Wade Robson was five years old when he met Michael Jackson and actually testified in his defence after Jackson was charged with child sexual abuse in 2005.
Robson said he had slept in Jackson’s bedroom several times but had never been molested. He later went on to claim Jackson had abused him for the seven years following his family’s move to America.
In explicit parts of the documentary Robson details “a grown man’s penis in my seven-year-old mouth” and drops of blood on his underwear after Jackson tried to penetrate him.
The men also allege regular abuse took place during “sleepovers” at Jackson’s other properties, including the “Hideout” in Century City, Los Angeles.
In the documentary, their intimate and devastating testimonies are illustrated with archive photographs of them, as boys, with the pop icon off-duty and seemingly relaxed, recordings of messages from Jackson, and – in Robson’s case – hundreds of faxes filled with love and affection for the boy he called “Little One”.
Are the stories in Leaving Neverland true?
There has been endless controversy surrounding the documentary since it first aired in January.
Jackson supporters question the motivation of Robson, in particular, claiming he has been trying to make money from his allegations – first by attempting to sell a “tell all” book and second d then by suing Jackson’s estate for millions of dollars.
Director Dan Reed has said he and his team spent months cross-checking the pair’s stories: “If we’d caught them out in a lie or if we’d found any major inconsistencies in their accounts, even in the last two weeks, we would have canned the film.
“Jackson was prepared to go to pretty much any lengths to destroy and discredit a child who claimed that he’d been hurt by him and the estate is doing the same thing today. Their first response to news of this documentary was to say, ‘They’re after money and it’s all lies’.”
With many people refusing to listen or stream Jackson’s music in the wake of new allegations, BBC Radio 2 have dropped Michael Jackson songs from their playlists altogether, saying: “We consider each piece of music on its own merits and decisions about what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind.”
Neverland now: does Michael Jackson’s house still exist?
In a bizarre turn of events Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch, which has been deserted for years, has been re-listed on the property market just days after the documentary aired in the US.
Though it was originally listed for $100m in 2015, the late singer’s 2,700-acre California property has just been listed at a drastically reduced price of $31m (£23.5m).