“Leaving Neverland” premiered Sunday and Monday on HBO. The documentary about child abuse allegations against Michael Jackson has caused many people to question the future of the King of Pop’s legacy. However, Paris Jackson, 20, is standing by her dad.
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Paris Jackson said she he has not seen the documentary and “was not offered the chance to see it before it premiered at Sundance,” TMZ reported. Nonetheless, she “firmly believes” Michael Jackson was not a pedophile.
In 1993, Michael Jackson was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy. In January of 1994, he reportedly settled for $23 million. The accuser’s father committed suicide in 2009, five months after the singer died. Jordan Chandler reportedly has never come forward about the allegations and supposedly lives outside of the country. In 2017, when Wade Robson, a choreographer who is featured in “Leaving Neverland,” accused Michael Jackson of sexual assault—even though he’d said in the past the singer didn’t assault him—there was a hunt to find Chandler. According to The Daily Mail, he left the U.S. to avoid investigators.
In 2003, Michael Jackson was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent to a 13-year-old boy. He was ultimately acquitted of all charges. Robson testified at the 2003 trial, but James Safechuck, the other person featured in “Leaving Neverland,” did not.
Many people have been saying the documentary is untrue, including Brett Barnes, who said he knew Michael Jackson when he was child. According to TMZ, the film “implies Jackson molested him as a boy. As for why Barnes thinks this … Wade Robson — one of the singer’s well-known alleged victims — claims in the doc, Barnes ‘replaced him.’ The film then shows Michael and Brett together on tour. Thus, the insinuation.”
Barnes has threatened HBO with a lawsuit “claiming the documentary puts him in a false light and subjects him to ‘hatred, contempt and ridicule.’ Presumably, the lawyer is saying MJ supporters will target Barnes as a result of the documentary.”
Barnes testified at Michael Jackson’s criminal trial in 2005 and said he was never assaulted by him. He also tweeted this in January.
Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges.
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