Michael Jackson Estate Breaks Silence After ‘Leaving Neverland’ Premiered at Sundance

Michael Jackson Estate Breaks Silence After ‘Leaving Neverland’ Premiered at Sundance

Michael Jackson Estate Breaks Silence After ‘Leaving Neverland’ Premiered at Sundance

Michael Jackson Estate has denounced the new Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which premiered Friday (Jan. 25) at the Sundance Film Festival.

The two-part documentary tells the stories of two men—Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 42, and their families—who claimed the late pop star befriended them during the mid-to-late 1980s and then sexually abusedthem during separate sleepovers at his Neverland Ranch. The alleged abuse endured for several years, and they swore to keep the encounters a secret.

Daily Beast adds that the documentary recounts both men’s experiences in detail, which include “incidents of masturbation, kissing, oral sex—at least once while Safechuck was sleeping—being forced to caress Jackson’s nipples, bending over for him while he pleasured himself, and being coaxed into painful anal sex.”

The documentary reportedly received a standing ovation, but Jackson’s estate released a statement slamming the documentary, calling it “the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The estate also called the victims “two perjures,” and added that Jackson “treated children with respect and did nothing hurtful” to them.

“The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago,” the statement concludes, “and treats them as fact.”

Leaving Neverland is set to air on HBO later this year.

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