Michael Jack­son’s es­tate slams new doc­u­men­tary

The New Paper - - LIFESTYLE -

Michael Jack­son’s es­tate con­demned last Thurs­day an up­com­ing doc­u­men­tary about al­leged child sex­ual abuse by the late US pop star as an­other “out­ra­geous and pa­thetic at­tempt” to cash in on his fame.

The doc­u­men­tary Leav­ing Nev­er­land will be screened at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val later this month and will be aired on ca­ble chan­nel HBO and Bri­tain’s Chan­nel 4 tele­vi­sion net­work.

It fea­tures in­ter­views with two men, Wade Rob­son and James Safechuck, now in their 30s, who say they were be­friended by the singer and sex­u­ally abused by him when they were young boys.

Both men filed law­suits against the Jack­son es­tate al­leg­ing sex­ual mis­con­duct after Jack­son’s death in 2009 and both cases were dis­missed. Rob­son had tes­ti­fied at Jack­son’s 2005 trial in the singer’s de­fence.

“This so-called ‘doc­u­men­tary’ is just an­other re­hash of dated and dis­cred­ited al­le­ga­tions,” the es­tate said in a state­ment.

But di­rec­tor Dan Reed said he had no ques­tion about the va­lid­ity of the sto­ries of the two men.

“If there is any­thing we’ve learned dur­ing this time in our his­tory, it is that sex­ual abuse is com­pli­cated and sur­vivors’ voices need to be lis­tened to,” he said in a state­ment.

PHOTO: AFP

Michael Jack­son died in 2009.

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