The show must and will go on.
That’s the idea behind the Michael Jackson art exhibition opening in Germany amid the fallout from the explosive Leaving Neverland documentary that chronicles sexual abuse claims made by two men made the late singer.
Art historian and curator Nicholas Cullinan said Thursday that the show, titled “Michael Jackson: On the Wall” at Bonn’s Bundeskunsthalle museum was planned long before the HBO documentary was set to air, The Associated Press reports.
While the documentary has caused radio stations, TV execs and others to shift their support of Jackson and pull his music and likeness from their coffers after the damning molestation claims, Cullinan doesn’t intend to halt the exhibition.
It “was never celebratory. It’s about the complexity of Michael Jackson, how he means very different things to many very different people,” Cullinan said.
Despite the allegations made in Leaving Neverland, a Jackson biographer says there is no evidence there is ‘no evidence’ the abuse alleged by one of the men in the documentary ever took place.
Mike Smallcombe says James Safechuck is lying, telling the U.K. tabloid The Mirror that there were inaccuracies in the interview he gave in the film, which ran on HBO earlier this month. He said it was not true that he had refused to testify for Jackson in his 1995 trial.
“In the documentary, Safechuck claims Jackson called him ‘near the end of the trial’ and asked him to testify on his behalf again, as he had done in 1993,” Smallcombe told The Mirror.
“Safechuck said he refused, and that Jackson then ‘got really angry’ and threatened him. He repeated this claim under oath, in his ongoing lawsuit against the Jackson Estate.
“However, it simply can’t be true. Very early on in the trial, the judge ruled that he would allow the jury to hear about five boys whom the prosecution claimed were sexually abused by Jackson.
“They were Jordan Chandler, Brett Barnes, Jason Francia, Macaulay Culkin and Wade Robson. The judge ruled specifically, that ‘evidence as to Jimmy Safechuck will not be permitted’. Those were the judge’s exact words.
“The judge came to this decision because nobody had ever claimed they had seen Safechuck being abused.
“So Jackson could not have asked him to testify, and certainly not near the end of the trial, when the judge had ruled months earlier that Safechuck could not be called as a witness.”
He also said the documentary ignores that Safechuck has sued Jackson’s estate for millions of dollars. Those cases were dismissed, but are now under appeal. The same is true for co-accuser Wade Robson.
Both men, he says are in debt to the Jackson estate for thousands of dollars in court costs after their lawsuits were dismissed, according to The Mirror.