Michael Jackson’s family says they are disappointed that Oprah Winfrey sided with his accusers and called her interview with them “the ultimate betrayal.”
In an interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Taj and Brandi Jackson, Michael’s nephew and niece, maintained their uncle is innocent of sexual abuse claims raised during HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary, which they refer to as “one-sided propaganda.” Brandi Jackson said Oprah’s interview after the 4-hour documentary “was a real disappointing situation. As far as journalism is concerned, she really let us down with that.”
Added Taj: “For me, I’ve seen it happen before. I was there when she was requesting an interview with my grandma and Michael’s kids talking about Michael was misunderstood,” after Michael’s death. “She does what she needs to do to get ratings. To me it’s an ultimate betrayal.”
The accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, accused Jackson of molesting them over the course of years while they were children and frequent guests at the pop star’s Neverland Ranch. They graphically detailed their allegations in the bombshell documentary “Leaving Neverland” which aired on HBO in early March.
Brandi said she dated Robson for seven years, which include the time period when he alleges the king of pop was abusing him. She questioned the timeframe of abuse and said she knows Robson very well and could tell he was lying.
Taj Jackson said he actually got Robson and his entire family into his uncle’s memorial service after they requested to be there.
“It makes me more angry than anything because these guys are pulling one on the public and they’re getting over,” Taj Jackson said.
He added that the motivation is strictly money.
“They have an appeal right now for hundreds of millions of dollars, they sued the estate,” Taj Jackson said in the interview with Tom Joyner. “They were denied and denied and now they have an appeal coming up. They have all the interest in the world to get the public behind them” to make their case for appeal stronger, he added.
Taj Jackson says he’s working on a documentary to refute the claims against his uncle.
Jackson was acquitted on all charges of child molestation in 2005 after he underwent a high-profile trial. He maintained his innocence until his death in 2009. His estate continues to fight against allegations that he abused any children and has sued HBO for $100 million in damages.