Leaving Neverland is an HBO documentary that details the accounts of two men who are now speaking out about their intimate relationships with Michael Jackson when they were children.
James Safechuck and Wade Robson detail their experiences of alleged sexual abuse that lasted over several years. Both children were superfans of Michael Jackson when they met him, and after treating their families to lavish gifts and special access to his private estate, called Neverland, both men allege Michael proceeded to perform sexual acts with them regularly.
But these are not the first allegations that have come up against Jackson.
In 1993, a 13-year-old boy named Jordan “Jordie” Chandler, charged Jackson with sexual abuse. In 2005, Jackson went to trial following allegations from another 13 year old, Gavin Arvizo, in which Jackson was acquitted on 10 felony counts, including four counts of child molestation and one of attempted child molestation.
The dynamics are similar to those of victims featured in recent docuseries, Surviving R Kelly, where victims describe how the mixture of fame and power can help facilitate and hide sexual abuse… with victims grappling with shame and fear only have the courage to tell their truth years later.
Though, given the delay of the allegations, many have criticised the documentary, claiming these alleged victims are lying for financial gain.
The Jackson family has filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO and claim they were never approached for comment by the film’s producers.
And in the case of these particular allegations, the alleged perpetrator is no longer alive, which puts a lot of the burden on the Jackson family.
One member of the family that has gotten a brunt of negative comments is Paris Jackson, who is now an actress and activist. After seeing the backlash, Shane Dawson tweeted “no matter what you think about the new hbo doc i think everyone can agree that his children should only be sent love and support. they have been through so much. love u @ParisJackson and we have your back ❤️”
Paris has understandably been quiet about the topic on social media, especially during the turmoil, but there are plenty of fans sending love and support her way.
What do you think about all of this? Let us know in the comments section.