Michael Jackson’s estate calls ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary a ‘character assassination’
Michael Jackson’s estate is calling the ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary a ‘character assassination’ after it debuts at the Sundance Film Festival.
Diana Ross urged critics of Michael Jackson to "stop in the name of love."
The former Supremes frontwoman tweeted Saturday, "This is what’s on my heart this morning. I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others. STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE."
Jackson, who died in 2009, has been the subject of much criticism and scrutiny following the HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland," which detailed harrowing sex abuse allegations against the King of Pop.
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Wade Robson and James Safechuck came forward in the documentary and alleged that Jackson groomed them as children, as well as their families, and acted as a paternal figure to them before sexually abusing each of them for years.
Robson was 7 and Safechuck 10 when they each met the singer.
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When Jordan Chandler accused Jackson of sexual abuse in 1993, both Safechuck and Robson denied Jackson molested them. Robson reiterated his denial in 2005 when Jackson was on trial for allegedly sexually abusing Gavin Arvizo — for which Jackson was acquitted.
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Robson explained last month that he simply lived in fear of the singer's wrath while Jackson was alive, claiming, "Michael's training of me to testify began the first night that he began abusing me. He started telling me, 'If anybody finds out, we'll both go to jail.'"
Diana Ross and Michael Jackson
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"I wish that I was ready [at the time]. I wish that I could have helped Gavin Arvizo receive some justice … for what happened to him."
Jackson's estate has vehemently and repeatedly denied all accusations of impropriety and illegal behavior against the "Thriller" icon, pointing out that he was never convicted of any crimes. The estate is suing HBO over "Leaving Neverland," alleging that the documentary violated a non-disparagement contract Jackson had with the cable giant.
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Ross' post came just a day after Barbra Streisand was slammed for her own remarks about the molestation claims that plagued Jackson for decades.
Streisand initially said in an interview of the child sex abuse allegations against Jackson, "His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say 'molested,' but those children, as you heard [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck] say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them."
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She did note, however, that she "absolutely" believed his accusers.
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After a slew of backlash, the "Yentl" star walked back on her words, telling Variety in a statement, "To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone. The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them."
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