An explosive documentary is set to premiere Jan. 25 at the Sundance Film Festival that details the lives of two men who say they were sexually molested by Michael Jackson at age 7 and 10, The New Zealand Herald reports.
Leaving Neverland is being compared to the troubling Surviving R. Kelly docuseries that pits Jackson as a predator of innocent children. In 2005, Jackson went on trial for molestation charges but was acquitted.
James Safechuck and Wade Robson are featured in the two-part, four-hour documentary detailing a history of sexual abuse at the hands of the legendary singer while they were minors.
A synopsis of the doc states:
“When allegations of abuse by Jackson involving young boys surfaced in 1993, many found it hard to believe that he could be guilty of such unspeakable acts. ‘Leaving Neverland’ explores the experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age ten, and Wade Robson, at age seven, who were both befriended by Jackson.”
“Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck and Robson, now in their 30s, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, ‘Leaving Neverland’ crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, and explores the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after each had a young son of his own,” the description continues.
Robson claims the late icon raped him for seven years. He said when he turned 14, Jackson no longer was interested in him. Robson’s testimony is in contradiction to what he said under oath. In 2005, Robson testified at Jackson molestation trial that while he slept in Jackson room, the singer never molested him.
This is not Robson’s first time making these claims. In 2013, he came forward and said the trauma he endured from Jackson and the trauma, compelled him to tell his side. He filed a $1.5 billion lawsuit against Jackson’s estate, which was ultimately dismissed on technicality.
Jackson died in 2009, from an overdose. It was determined that the estate could not be held accountable for Robson’s claims.
The Michael Jackson estate has slammed the new documentary.
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” the estate told TMZ previously.
The estate claims the “so-called documentary is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations. It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project.”
The Jackson family has also spoken out against the claims. Jermaine Jackson took to his Facebook fan page”
In a statement, the documentary’s director and producer Dan Reed spoke out in support of the documentary:
“It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to.”
Meanwhile, Jackson’s nephew, Taj, is raising money through a GoFundMe account to make a documentary of his own to defend his uncle’s innocence.
“Once again, we have to defend Michael Jackson’s name and legacy from vicious and calculated lies. We can no longer sit back and wait for the ‘right thing’ to be reported or for someone else to step in and champion our cause,” Taj Jackson says on the page, which has raised $17,000 of a $777,000 goal. “This is on us – fans, friends and family. I know that the unanimous acquittals and the FBI’s 10-year investigation (resulting in my Uncle’s complete exoneration) should have been enough. The worst thing we can do is let this continued slander go unchallenged.”