Michael Jackson's estate slams Leaving Neverland documentary, calls it "not a documentary"
Leaving Neverland premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last night.
The controversial documentary details sexual abuse allegations against legendary late singer Michael Jackson. The film, directed by Dan Reen, focuses on Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were sexually abused by Jackson years and years ago when they were ages 7 and 10.
Such allegations plagued Jackson throughout his life — and the advent of the #MeToo movement has fresh accusations against Jackson come to light.
While there were a few protesters outside the premiere of the film, both Reed and the two accusers were given a standing ovation by the audience following the documentary.
The Michael Jackson Estate later published a lengthy statement responding to the substance of the documentary, accusing Wade Robson of fabricating claims of sexual abuse.
The statement reads: "Conveniently left out of Leaving Neverland was the fact that when Robson was denied a role in a Michael Jackson themed Cirque du Soleil production, his assault allegations suddenly emerged."
It closes by saying: "We are extremely sympathetic to any legitimate victim of child abuse. This film, however, does those victims a disservice. Because despite all the disingenuous denials made that this is not about money, it has always been about money – millions of dollars — dating back to 2013 when both Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who share the same law firm, launched their unsuccessful claims against Michael’s Estate.
"Now that Michael is no longer here to defend himself, Robson, Safechuck and their lawyers continue their efforts to achieve notoriety and a payday by smearing him with the same allegations a jury found him innocent of when he was alive."