Michael Jackson's family responds to the controversial Sundance Film Festival "Leaving Neverland" documentary. They're pissed. MJ's nephew, Taj Jackson, is currently working on a documentary to "tell the truth" about his uncle. Deets inside...
A controversial documentary about Michael Jackson that was shown during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival has pissed off the Jackson Family. And now, they're responding.
"Leaving Neverland" is a two-part documentary, directed by Dan Reed, that tells the story of two subjects who allege Michael Jackson molested them as children.
The film premiered at Park City's Egypitan Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival on Friday (Jan. 25th) and the film's subjects - Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40 - were greeted with a standing ovation. Allegations from Robson were first made in 2013 where he claims he was abused by MJ at the age of 7. Safechuck made his allegations in 2014 making claims that the global superstar molested him at the age of 10. Both lawsuits were later dismiessed by judges due to techinical reasons.
Many noted that during Jackson’s 2005 trial on other sexual abuse charges, Robson sworn under oath that the singer never acted inappropriately with him. In an unsuccessful multi-million dollar 2016 lawsuit, which is examined in Leaving Neverland, Robson changed his story and said that the performer was a serial sexual predator who assaulted him repeatedly for years.
There’s been no new legal action by either side yet, but representatives for the estate of Jackson — who died in 2009, four years after being acquitted of seven counts of child molestation and two counts of giving a drug to a 13-year-old boy — trashed Neverland in early January as “just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations.”
MJ's Family is now responding to the allegations made against the late pop singer. And they're PISSED.
“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family – that is the Jackson way,” said the family in their latest statement addressing the film.
"But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made," the statement reads.
Read the full statement below:
Michael Jackson is our brother and son. We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity. We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for.
People have always loved to go after Michael. He was an easy target because he was unique. But Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT. There has never been one piece of proof of anything. Yet the media is eager to believe these lies.
Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family - that is the Jackson way. But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.
The creators of this film were not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it’s not fair, yet the media are perpetuating these stories.
But the truth is on our side. Go do your research about these opportunists. The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations.
The Jackson Family
"Leaving Neverland" director Dan Reed responded to the Jackson Family's statement, defending the two subjects.
"How can you call a four-hour documentary 'tabloid'? That beats me," Reed https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2019/01/27/leaving-neverland-... ">told USA Today. "It's pretty much what you'd expect them to say. ... The statement contains nothing that is of concern and no substantial criticism of the film. They obviously haven't seen it, and I'm not engaging with the substance of what they're saying."
"One of the things I'm really proud of is that the film is a portrait of grooming by a person who's trusted by a family," Reed says. "It's an incredibly lucidly told (account) – by these guys, their moms and siblings – of what happens when a family encounters someone who's deemed to be a wonderful friend and mentor to a child, and how that can progress to sexual abuse. I think, independently, whether it's Michael Jackson or Joe Shmoe, it's an amazing portrait of that process.
"I think people need to know that with child sexual abuse, the damage is caused very early on, but it's not manifested until quite a lot later," Reed continues. "And that's something people need to realize because quite a few people don't. Some of (Jackson's) fans are like, "Why didn't (Robson) say it before? Why did he defend Michael in court in 2005? He said nothing ever happened.' They don't understand and I can't blame them for that, necessarily. We're not all born with the timeline of child sexual abuse, but here we are."
"If there are people out there who were also intimate with Michael Jackson and spent many nights with him in bed that were not molested, that's fine. It doesn't in any way negate the story of these two individuals. So for the estate to say, 'Well, you haven't spoken with other people who weren't molested by Michael Jackson' is absurd."
The film will air on HBO this spring.
Not only have the Jackson Family released a statement, one family member is working on his own documentary about the late Thriller singer:
MJ's nephew Taj Jackson is raising funds to create his own documentary about his uncle that aims to tell the truth about the late pop star.
Taj - the son of Tito Jackson - put up a GoFundMe page to crowdsource funds for his documentary that he plans to release in response to the "Leaving Neverland" screening. On the GoFundMe page, TJ said his "explosive" series will expose how his uncle was “betrayed, entrapped, and extorted” throughout his life.
The time has come to tell the true side of his story. Join me on my journey to unmask the truth about Michael Jackson. Not the truth certain media is selling you, but the truth as it actually happened. #proveninnocent#truthrunsmarathons#justiceforMJhttps://t.co/KV7a7jfmFc
— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) January 21, 2019
Michael Jackson died an innocent, vindicated man. The world needs to understand this most important and basic fact. The world also needs to understand the damage that is done to legitimate victims of abuse when self-confessed liars are not only allowed to profit from false allegations, but are given a platform to pontificate their fraudulent claims.
In an effort to settle this injustice - and to create a historic tome that will be a resource for anyone interested and willing to learn THE TRUTH about Michael Jackson’s indisputable innocence– I’m creating a documentary series that explodes the myths once and for all.
As of the time of this post, Taj has raised $32,264 of a $777,000 goal.
Taj continued, "As a sexual abuse victim…I know what it means to be a survivor. I also know what kind of damage sexual misconduct leaves upon the victims. This unique position makes me even more determined and qualified to make the truth, the whole truth known about my uncle Michael’s false allegations.”
And he hasn't been holding his tongue on social media either:
Then he applied for a job choreographing a Michael Jackson tribute show for the MJ Estate. When he didn’t get that job, he filed lawsuits against 50 different people/companies, seeking money from all of them over alleged abuse. He claimed the 50 civil suits were not about money. https://t.co/ESQnrmh5lx
— Charles Thomson (@CEThomson) January 10, 2019
— TJ Jackson (@tjjackson) January 25, 2019
— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) January 15, 2019
Huh? I don’t even get that joke. Leave it alone man...Just spread facts that prove my uncle’s innocence instead of trying to get cheap laughs at his expense. You owe that to him and my family.
— TJ Jackson (@tjjackson) January 19, 2019
You implied it!!! You could have simply said that then but you didn’t. Instead you lumped them together. They are different. Completely different! Why are you doing their work?
— TJ Jackson (@tjjackson) January 19, 2019
Call it loyalty all you want. In reality its pure LOVE. My uncle Michael was a godsend. Greatest uncle PERIOD. That love kept me & many others going, gave me the heart to forgive & to see the best in mankind during my darkest times. He was too good for you & the haters in this world
— TJ Jackson (@tjjackson) January 19, 2019
He calls out Wade Robinson:
And the media: