With the rise of the MeToo movement, women and men alike have come out with stories of sexual abuse against their perpetrators. Their stories sometimes absent of violence reveals how the accused groomed them into doing things that they didn’t want to do. Some have accused Bill Cosby of using drugs to knock them out first, before having sex with them, and others have accused the likes of Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and R.Kelly of committing heinous sexual crimes against them.
The latest to join this league of extraordinary not-so gentlemen is deceased superstar, Michael Jackson. His accusers reveal that he groomed them, explaining to them that whatever act he was performing on them, was an act of love. His accusers were also little children when they claim the abuse first began.
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The two people, who came out (now adult men); Wade Robson, and James Safechuck, shared their graphic and heart-wrenching story in a documentary, on HBO titled—Leaving Neverland. In the documentary directed by Dan Reed, they reveal how they first met the superstar, and when the alleged abuse began. Michael has been known to hang out with children, especially little boys because he loved being around them.
However, in 1993 when the first allegation against him was made public, he had to call on his little friends to come to his defense.
Wade and James were around the same age when they testified in favor of Michael Jackson, revealing that he never touched them inappropriately. Now both men revealed, that the singer had sex with them, multiple times, on different occasions, throughout many years. Wade Robson disclosed that his abuse lasted from age seven to fourteen.
As I watched this documentary, my heart broke for the men, as they showed footage of them as boys with the singer, I felt as if it were those boys sharing their story.
The allegation against the singer is nothing that is new to the world. These accusations have followed him along the years, just as singer R. Kelly. It is difficult for people to reconcile Michael’s soft persona, his beautiful music and his love for children, with the accusations that have now resurfaced.
And as such, these men who have shared their story have faced a lot of backlashes, including the director of the film, the network, and Oprah Winfrey, for having an exclusive sit-down interview, with the men, after the film aired on HBO.
The Allegations Against The Men
Michael Jackson's estate have sued the network HBO for $100 million because they feel they broke a non-disparagement clause in a contract HBO signed many years ago, that had to do with airing the singers concert and all the agreement that comes with that, on HBO. Michael's family has not failed to call Wade Robson and James Safechuck liars. They claim the men's allegations are unfounded, also because they came to Michael’s defense when a young boy first accused him of molestation in 1993.
Although it is important to note that Wade Robson was 11 when he first came to Michael’s defense, and about 22 when fresh allegations surfaced in 2005, against the singer as well. If you watch the documentary, you will see that their families were also interviewed, and both men found it hard to forgive their mothers. Wade’s mom revealed that her daughter-in-law didn’t let her come to their house after Wade opened up about his abuse.
These are real families; I don’t want to believe that they are making these up.
The Families Involved
While watching this documentary, it reminded me a lot about a documentary on Netflix, titled: Abducted in Plain Sight. Both documentaries mirrored the same issues which involved the parents leaving their children in the custody of strangers. The parents had so much trust in Michael, who they barely knew, just because he was a celebrity.
I don’t know if they ever thought it was weird for a grown man, who isn’t related to them in any way, to sleep in the same room, with their children, and without their supervision. The men also revealed that as the abuse began, their parent's room got further away from the room they usually shared with Michael.
The Justice System is not a Holy System
Michael was indicted in 2005, on multiple charges against him involving child molestation and was found innocent. Wade Robson and Macaulay Culkin’s testimonies carried a lot of weight in the trial. Both young men, firmly stated that the singer never molested them, as they knew him as children. And he was set free. It is also alleged that the FBI never found anything incriminating against Michael. So a lot of people are refuting these men’s claims because he was found innocent in the court of law.
What we have to understand is that the justice system is a flawed system, regardless of what continent you might find yourself in. Most times it is usually my word against yours. If a good defense team is put in place, with people willing to testify in favor of the accused, and the evidence against them being circumstantial, which usually isn’t strong enough for a conviction, the accused can walk free, even if they are guilty of all the charges leveled against them.
So this shouldn’t be used against the men who have come out to speak about a difficult issue, especially if the allegations are true. These are sexual allegations and against children.
We also have to understand the star power Michael had. He was known and loved by many around the entire world. Just as Oprah said in her interview with the men— “there is no one who has been that famous since Michael; stars don’t shine that bright anymore.”
So if Michael asked someone to tell a lie, they probably would have, especially if they were a child, and they loved him. According to the revelation in the two-part documentary, it was alleged that he said he was expressing his love for them. Thus, it was easy for them to want to cover up for him. The second time he was accused in 2005, James Safechuck, refused to testify in his favor. He asked the singer never to contact him again, and then came clean to his mom.