Last month, a new Michael Jackson documentary aired at Sundance, called Leaving Neverland. The documentary is specifically about the allegations of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson, featuring detailed accounts from two of his accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. The documentary will air in two parts on HBO: one two-hour segment is coming out Sunday, March 3, and the other Monday, March 4. Those who have seen the film describe it as “powerful and convincing,” a “bombshell,” and “more disturbing than you could imagine,” all of which makes me want to go to sleep right now and not wake up until I can watch it for myself. Somewhere in a Chicago jail cell, R. Kelly is reading these reviews and breathing a sigh of relief. Michael Jackson’s family, however, is neither thrilled nor convinced by what this documentary brings to light—and they’re making their feelings known.
Earlier this week, four members of Michael Jackson’s family—brothers Tito, Marlon, and Jackie, plus Michael’s nephew Taj—went on CBS This Morning to decry the documentary and defend Michael Jackson against its claims. While none of them have seen the film, they’re certain that what’s described by Jackson’s alleged victims is nothing more than a series of lies. “He’s my little brother,” says Jackie Johnson. “He’s not like that.” Oof.
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Jackie Jackson explains why he won't be seeing "Leaving Neverland" – Watch the full interview on CBS This Morning today, 27 February. #leavingneverland #truth #liesrunsprintsbutthetruthrunsmarathons #tajjackson #jackiejackson #titojackson #marlonjackson #fightback #defend #michaeljackson #thejacksons #JacksonsLegacy
Most of the family’s defense of Jackson centers on that point: the man they knew couldn’t have done these things; the media has always misunderstood him. Jackie describes him as “a kid at heart,” while nephew Taj laments “naiveté” as Michael Jackson’s “downfall.” While admitting that stories of Michael’s sleepovers with children could sound odd “to the outside world,” Taj insists it was innocent—and that Michael simply “didn’t have that bone in his body to look at it the other way.”
To be clear, the Jackson family does not view the alleged victims featured in Leaving Neverland as benevolent third parties who got confused, or otherwise misunderstood things, but rather, money- and fame-hungry liars. On the day of the documentary’s debut, Taj Jackson tweeted the following.
After years of coaching and studying for these roles, I’m sure Wade (self proclaimed “Master of Deception”) and Jimmy both gave Oscar winning performances today. Media, please do a 10 minute google search before you condemn an innocent man who is no longer here to defend himself.
— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) January 25, 2019
Doubling down on his claims that this is a long con for personal gain (even though the filmmakers insist the Robson and Safechuck were not paid for the documentary), Taj affirmed on CBS This Morning that “it’s always been about money,” and that people see his uncle as “a blank check.” He’s since set up a GoFundMe page to produce a documentary of his own—one he hopes will “destroy decades of salacious myths” about his uncle. (The stated goal is $777,000, which seems oddly specific. Almost $64,000 has been raised so far.) While Jackson’s other family members are less vocal online, they add in the interview that there’s “not one piece of evidence” corroborating the alleged victims’ stories. As Deadline points out, they don’t offer up “what, exactly, such evidence might be.”
Finally, the Jackson family is emphasizing the fact that both alleged victims featured in this documentary—Robson and Safechuck—testified to Jackson’s innocence during his first criminal trial, and swore he’d never behaved inappropriately toward them. This is, of course, addressed in the film—but I’ll let you watch that for yourselves. When Robson was asked if he had anything to say to Jackson’s fans, and those who believe the documentary is a lie, he offered the following quote:
I understand that it is really hard for them to believe…Even though it happened to me, I still couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t believe that what Michael did was a bad thing, so I understand.
Wow. I’ve been less understanding about a mixed-up coffee order. Please note, I have not yet seen the documentary myself and would like to withhold full judgment until after the fact. Enjoy that objectivity while you can, because I am expecting my forthcoming review of the film to be…opinionated, put lightly. Whether you’re a Jackson fan, or someone who’s believed the allegations for a long time and has been waiting for something like this, suffice it to say this documentary will capture your attention. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have start practicing my voice for when I call in sick on Monday.
This week Rob Porter, the now former White House staff secretary (bye, boo), stepped down when two of his ex-wives accused him of physically and mentally abusing them during their marriages to him. Trump, as he is wont to do, reminded everyone that Porter considers himself innocent and that he “very good job when he was at the White House.” Yeah, OJ Simpson did a good job at football, but that isn’t the issue here, Donny. Why is it that this White House is so obsessed with defending abusers?
Everyday is a new day to wake up and learn that not only is the Trump administration fucking us as a whole, but the individuals that his abhorrent cabinet is composed of, have been fucking and fucking over people their whole lives. AKA Trump surrounds himself with people who are legally defined as creeps. It isn’t just Porter. Here are the other people hanging at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave who have super serious allegations against them.
Somehow Steve Bannon’s scaley ass landed a wife. That might’ve been a surprise, but what unfortunately isn’t is that that (now) former wife charged him with domestic violence and battery. The chargers were later dismissed, as was Steve Bannon, from both his job at Breitbart and the White House.
Porter isn’t the only person who dipped out this week. Sorensen, a speechwriter who worked under Stephen Miller, quietly stepped down after his ex wife of two years came forward accusing him of being violent and emotionally abusive. The only thing surprising about this is that someone helps Stephen Miller write his speeches.
Puzder was the former CEO of Carl’s Jr and was Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary. Everything you really need to know is that this is what Carl’s Jr ads are like. Oh, also his ex-wife made allegations of domestic abuse against him. Technically this guy never made it to the White House because he withdrew himself from consideration for the Labor Secretary position which might be the only smart thing he’s like ever done?
Ding ding ding! Our president has 19 abuse allegations against him and has been caught on tape, for our great nation to hear, discussing grabbing a woman by her genitals. We still voted for him, so maybe we are just fucking ourselves!
If you or anyone you know is a victim of abuse, call the Domestic Abuse Hotline for help ASAP.
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