The Jackson Family calls “Leaving Neverland” a payout for Michael Jackson’s sexual assault accusers during an interview with CBS.
The HBO documentary entitled “Leaving Neverland” details two men’s sexual assault allegations against late singer-songwriter Michael Jackson. The men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, allege Jackson sexually abused them as children for several years. Although Robson testified under oath in Jackson’s defense, he later sued Jackson’s estate, alongside Safechuck, but the cases were dismissed due to the statute of limitations. Now, they are now appealing.
In the new “CBS This Morning” interview, CBS anchor Gayle King sat down with Michael Jackson’s nephew Taj, and brothers Jackie, Marlon and Tito, who say Robson and Safechuck are lying just to get money. “It has been well documented your brother spoke many times about sharing his bed with young children. Did any of you, at any time—” King started.
“Well, see … when you phrased that, you know, ‘sharing’ his bed, young kids have sleepovers, camp out and just everybody in the bed and fall asleep. His kids were there. Taj was little at the time. And they all fall asleep in the bed and watching movies. And so you can twist it, saying, ‘Sharing his bed,’ but, yes, but it makes you think something else,” Marlon said. Taj went on to explain that he has first-hand experience with spending time with his uncle who would frequently have slumber parties with children.
“I grew up in it. So for me, it wasn’t odd,” Taj said. “You know, I think to the outside world, yes, I think it can be odd. I mean, I’m not oblivious to what it sounds like. But when you’re actually there in that atmosphere, and you’re around it, and you’re watching movies, yes, with his kids … it’s very innocent. But I think the fault on my uncle was he just – he didn’t have that bone in his body to look at it the other way … his naiveté was his downfall in a way. And I think that’s what hurts me more than anything is knowing his innocence, but then knowing how the world is.”
The family maintains Jackson is innocent, that they have no plans on seeing the documentary and that the entire situation is all about money. “It’s always been about money,” Taj Jackson said. “I hate to say it when it’s my uncle, it’s almost like they see a blank check. These people felt that they’re owed something. You know, instead of working for something, they blame everything on my uncle.”\
“I don’t have to see the documentary. I know Michael. I’m the oldest brother. I know my brother. I know what he stood for, what he was all about, bringing the world together, making kids happy,” Jackie said.
Jackson’s estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO earlier this month, claiming the network ’s decision to distribute the documentary violates a “longstanding contractual relationship” they made with the star in 1992 when they aired his special Michael Jackson in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour.