In “Leaving Neverland,” Wade Robson and James Safechuck, now 41 and 37 respectively, allege they experienced years of sexual abuse by Jackson in the late ’80s and early ’90s, which they describe in graphic detail.
The Jackson estate immediately criticized the film after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last month, calling it a “public lynching” and Jackson’s accusers “admitted liars,” in reference to sworn statements made by both Safechuck and Robson while Jackson was alive that he did not molest them.
Robson made statements in support of Jackson to investigators first in the ’90s and testified in support of Jackson at his 2005 trial, where he was acquitted of child molestation and related charges. Safechuck at one point also denied he was molested by Jackson to investigators.
The two filed separate civil lawsuits against Jackson’s estate that were dismissed on technical grounds and remain under appeal.
“HBO could have and should have ensured that ‘Leaving Neverland’ was properly sourced, fact checked and a fair and balanced representation,” the statement from the Jackson estate attorneys read.
Robson addresses his past testimony and statements in support of Jackson in the documentary, saying, “I wish I was at a place where I could tell the truth … I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t able when I was 11 and when I was 22.”