“Would I’ve taken this to my grave? I definitely deliberate on doing that. I had no expectations of ever telling anybody,” fellow ‘Leaving Neverland’ topic James Safechuck says.
Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the topics of HBO's upcoming documentary Leaving Neverland, sat down with CBS This Morning's Gayle King to elaborate on the alleged childhood abuse they declare to have suffered by the hands of Michael Jackson. The two males recount their experiences with the late pop celebrity within the four-hour movie, which is ready to premiere Sunday (March three) and might be proven in two elements, with the second half to air on Monday.
In Robson and Safechuck's joint interview with King — which aired in its entirety Thursday morning (Feb. 28) — King requested the pair if their respective relationships with Jackson ever felt "incorrect."
"No, I didn't assume any of that. Again, the sensation was, out of all the youngsters on this planet, right here I’m and Michael selected me. And he additionally informed me that 'I've by no means performed this to anyone else,'" Robson stated. "So that was extra to [thinking], 'Wow, he chooses me, and he loves me.'"
Added Safechuck, "It's all the identical factor he did to me as effectively."
Robson, now 36, went on to inform King that he thinks "there are numerous different boys that Michael abused," including that he finds it troublesome to imagine that Jackson "had boys round for another cause than to sexually abuse them."
King additionally informed Robson and Safechuck that the Jackson household has stated they don't imagine the lads can be daring sufficient to publicly accuse Jackson of sexual abuse if the pop celebrity — who died in 2009 at age 50 — have been nonetheless alive as we speak.
"It's onerous to invest as to what can be the scenario if Michael was nonetheless alive," Robson stated. "I suppose if I may speculate, if Michael was nonetheless alive and all the remainder of the main points of my life have been the identical — that means I grew to become a father, proper? And I went by means of the identical course of that I did of this realization and going by means of the therapeutic course of, my perception is that we'd nonetheless be doing this. Of course, some particulars could also be completely different."
Safechuck then admitted that he may need by no means come clear about his experiences with Jackson had the musician not died from a propofol overdose almost a decade in the past. "I don't know. Would I’ve taken this to my grave? I definitely deliberate on doing that. I had no expectations of ever telling anybody," he defined. "If he was nonetheless alive, perhaps I’d have taken it to my grave."
When King requested when "alarm bells" began to go off for them, Robson stated when he was 12 years-old (Robson alleges the abuse went on from when he was 7 to 14 years-old). "I bear in mind feeling round 12, beginning to be slightly extra uncomfortable about that. And typically perhaps attempting to vary the topic or, you already know, distract," he stated. "But then having a worry that if I don't do that, I'm already feeling like I'm not a favourite of Michael's anymore. And if I don't do that, what's gonna occur? What's gonna occur to our friendship?" Robson stated he was apprehensive concerning the friendship going away as a result of sexuality grew to become a "protected zone." He added that it was "the grounding supply of the connection as a result of that's what it grew to become so rapidly."
Robson recounted his first keep at Jackson's Neverland Ranch. While his household had plans to depart Jackson's expansive residence property for a trip to the Grand Canyon, they allowed Robson to stick with Jackson alone for per week at Neverland Ranch as a result of the singer "sobbed" for him to not go.
"It was simply Michael and I in Neverland for the subsequent week. My dad and mom allowed that," he stated. "Within both the primary or second night time of Michael and I being alone at Neverland, the night time began altering. One of the methods I bear in mind it beginning is Michael type of staring to the touch my legs and contact my crotch over my pants."
Continued Robson, "It progressed to him performing oral intercourse on me, him displaying me the right way to carry out oral intercourse on him. … The couple days previous to the abuse beginning, he began touching me simply within the sense of like [his] hand on my leg, plenty of hugs, kissing my brow, rubbing my brow. So there had been this growth of bodily closeness that was taking place already, that felt like a father. It simply felt superb."
"As Michael began doing these sexual acts, he began speaking to me about, 'God introduced us collectively. We love one another and that is how we present one another our love,'" Robson recalled, whereas Safechuck nodded in settlement.
"He launched me to masturbation, and he stated I taught him the right way to French kiss. And then it strikes on to oral intercourse," Safechuck claimed of his personal experiences with Jackson, including that, on the time, it didn't really feel significantly incorrect. "It's within the context of a loving, shut relationship. There's no alarm bells going off in your head or any ideas like that. Really, it's simply I like this individual and we're attempting to make one another comfortable."
Robson additionally defined why he denied he had been sexually abused by Jackson on the stand then later recounted his testimony in court docket. "Michael's coaching of me to testify started the primary night time that he began abusing me, within the sense that you already know, that immediately, after the primary type of expertise of sexual abuse, he began telling me that if anyone else ever finds out, we'll each go to jail, each of our lives can be over," he stated.
Robson stated that Jackson's workers have been "in every single place" to make sure that "the room I used to be in with him was safe and closed off and personal so he may do something he needed with me." When King requested if Jackson's workers have been conscious of the alleged abuse, Robson replied, "It's onerous for me to imagine that folks didn't know or at the least individuals needed to marvel what’s going on. Something bizarre is happening right here."
When King introduced up the truth that each Safechuck's and Robson's moms seem in Leaving Neverland — and the potential backlash they could obtain for permitting their sons to take care of relationships with Jackson throughout their childhoods — Safechuck stated that "the dad and mom are groomed as effectively."
He elaborated: "Michael spends numerous time speaking to your dad and mom and connecting with them and constructing relationships with them. He pays consideration to them, and so they're groomed over the time. It is their job to guard us and so they didn't, however I attempt to take a look at it from their viewpoint with out letting them off the hook as a result of clearly that's their job."
Safechuck additionally stated that he has "numerous combined emotions" about his relationship with Jackson. "There's nonetheless a bit of affection. And there's nearly like a guilt for saying the reality, like a betrayal," he informed King. "It's like I nonetheless have that previous wiring that's nonetheless there. My understanding of my relationship with him — I believe it wants numerous work."
On Wednesday, CBS This Morningaired an interview of King's with a number of of Jackson's members of the family, comparable to brother Marlon Jackson and nephew Taj Jackson, amongst others. According to Marlon Jackson, Robson's and Safechuck's claims are "all concerning the cash."
Continued Taj Jackson, "It's at all times been about cash. I hate to say it when it's my uncle; it's nearly like they see a clean verify. These individuals … felt that they're owed one thing. You know, as an alternative of working for one thing, they blame every part on my uncle."
After Leaving Neverland's debut in January on the Sundance Film Festival, Michael Jackson's property known as the movie "a tabloid character assassination" and insisted it "isn't a documentary," whereas his household known as director Dan Reed and the pic's two accusers "opportunists."
Robson beforehand defended Jackson in court docket in the course of the singer's notorious 2005 youngster molestation case, however the Australia native says within the trailer for Leaving Neverland that he wasn't telling the reality in his testimony. "I need to have the ability to communicate the reality as loud as I needed to communicate the lie for thus lengthy," he stated.
Jackson's property has since filed a $100 million lawsuit towards HBO and its mother or father firm, Time Warner, claiming that the community has violated a non-disparagement clause from a 1992 contract masking the airing of considered one of Jackson's concert events.
Despite pushback from the Jackson household, HBO has stood agency in its plans to premiere the documentary.
King's shut buddy Oprah Winfrey on Wednesday introduced plans to air an hourlong Leaving Neverland TV particular by which she will interview Robson and Safechuck in entrance of an viewers that features sexual abuse survivors. The particular — titled Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland — will air concurrently on HBO and OWN on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT instantly following the second and last a part of the two-night Leaving Neverland.
Part considered one of Leaving Neverland will air Sunday on HBO. Watch parts of Robson and Safechuck's interview on CBS This Morning within the clips beneath.