Childhood innocence, my ass. Michael Jackson was a certified creep, a sick dude with a strange agenda when it came to spending way too much time with other people’s young, impressionable children.
I already felt that way about MJ going into Leaving Neverland, a two-part, four-hour documentary featuring interviews with Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, two men who knew Jackson when they were young boys—and who now both claim Jackson molested them, after years of public denials.
The two men share explicit details about their nights with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch and other properties. Also featured are their mothers—two dummies who allowed their kids to sleep in the same bed as a grown man, a man who prohibited each of these women from sleeping in the same room as their child when they all stayed over. Yeah, there was nothing going on. It was all innocent.
Look … there are other kids who spent time with Jackson who could describe Jackson’s private parts and blotchy buttocks. That alone, in my mind, convicts Jackson of inappropriate behavior.
As for Robson and Safechuck, I can see why some find their stories a little suspect; they denied Jackson molested them for years. But after watching this (admittedly one-sided) documentary about their experiences with Jackson, I can tell you their time with him was seriously messed up, even if you remove the alleged sexual encounters. The faxes, videos, weird voicemails and expensive jewelry gifts are enough to alleviate any doubt that Jackson had some kind of unhealthy power over these boys. That power lasted well into their adulthoods.
If you think Jackson was a creep, this film will fortify that opinion. (Jackson’s coy, flirty birthday-wish video to one of his young friends is stomach-churning.) If you are a fan, this might cause you to reconsider. Leaving Neverland is further proof that this man was deranged, delusional and irredeemably ill.
Leaving Neverland is now airing on HBO.