‘Leaving Neverland’: 7 Disturbing Allegations Against Michael Jackson in HBO Documentary


Wade Robson and James Safechuck element a sample of abuse they are saying they suffered by the hands of Jackson.

[This story discusses parts from each elements of HBO's documentary Leaving Neverland.]

The low-key presentation of HBO's documentary Leaving Neverland belies the burden of the allegations its topics, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, make towards Michael Jackson. The two males, who say they have been sexually abused by the late music icon once they have been boys, element a sample of habits that allowed each them and their households to really feel protected initially; an escalation of abusive habits because the boys grew to become youngsters; and a re-emergence of their lives when Jackson was taken to court docket over different allegations of abuse.

Jackson's property has denied the allegations made by Robson and Safechuck, and is suing HBO for $100 million, claiming the cable outlet violated a non-disparagement clause in a contract for a 1992 live performance particular. Here are a number of the most stunning allegations in Leaving Neverland, which premiered Sunday evening (March three) on HBO and concludes Monday (March four). Both elements can be found for streaming on HBO's digital platforms. 

Jackson groomed households in addition to his alleged victims. 

Both Joy Robson, Wade's mom, and Stephanie Safechuck, James' mother, say Jackson for a time felt like one other son to them. (Jackson met James once they starred in a Pepsi industrial and Wade when the boy's Jackson impersonation led to an onstage look in Wade's native Australia in the course of the Bad tour.) He visited each households' houses and hosted them at houses he owned, together with Neverland Ranch. His childlike persona and, the documentary implies, the overwhelming nature of his fame helped persuade the households that Wade and James could be protected in his firm.

Neverland had a number of locations for Jackson to take his victims. 

As Safechuck tells it, Jackson's Santa Barbara County property had a number of areas the place he took the boy for sexual encounters, from a room adjoining to the principle home's residence theater to a bed room above the theme park's practice stations. The hallway resulting in the singer's bed room had a collection of bells that sounded if somebody was approaching.

Jackson sowed an us-against-them mentality within the boys. 

Robson and Safechuck talk about at size how Jackson informed them not belief different folks — ladies specifically — and that nobody would perceive their "love." He allegedly informed the boys that they might go to jail together with Jackson if anybody came upon what they have been doing. Safechuck additionally says he and Jackson would observe "drills" about what to do if somebody have been to stroll in on them.

Jackson's favored sexual ways. 

Both males describe a gradual escalation from touching to extra concerned acts. They allege that Jackson most popular to have them kneel on palms and knees at one nook of his mattress whereas he masturbated from the alternative nook whereas them. Robson describes one such encounter the place he would both must look again at Jackson or in entrance of him at a cutout of Peter Pan. Both allege he had them carry out oral intercourse on him and did the identical to them; as they bought older, he confirmed them graphic pornography.

Jackson and Safechuck bought "married." 

One of Leaving Neverland's strongest moments comes about 90 minutes into half one, when Safechuck recounts how Jackson used the boy's love of knickknack towards him, together with shopping for him a marriage ring to cement their dedication to at least one one other. A visibly upset Safechuck reveals the digicam the ring and different items he says Jackson gave him as rewards for intercourse. They would go to jewellery shops on the pretense of shopping for one thing for a girl, Safechuck alleges, utilizing his smaller hand as a information for measurement.

Jackson counted on each for help in court docket instances. 

Part two of Leaving Neverland spends a great period of time on two court docket instances towards Jackson. As boys and, in Robson's case, as an grownup, each stated in authorized proceedings that Jackson had by no means violated them. When Jackson was accused of abusing boys in 1993 and 2003, he repeatedly known as each and pressed them to testify on his behalf. His legal professionals subpoenaed Robson within the 2004-05 trial, the place Robson once more stated Jackson had by no means acted inappropriately with him. He tells director Dan Reed he wasn't prepared, emotionally or psychologically, to talk the reality at the moment.

It took years for Robson and Safechuck to know they have been abused. 

As Robson put it, for years he believed that "I beloved him and he beloved me, and [sex] was one thing that occurred between us." Safechuck informed his mom of the abuse within the days following the 2003 accusations towards Jackson, when the singer was pressuring the household to talk on his behalf. Robson took longer to withstand the reality. Robson sued Jackson's property in 2013, however the case was dismissed after a decide discovered he hadn't filed it throughout the statute of limitations.

This article initially appeared on THR.com.