Barbra Streisand has apologized for her comments about Michael Jackson and Leaving Neverland last week.
Streisand made headlines when she seemed to come to Jackson's defense in a recent interview with The Times of London. The singer, who met Jackson on occasion during his career, had some criticism for Jackson's accusers, saying that they "were thrilled to be there" and that Jackson's alleged abuse did not "kill them." On Saturday, she spoke to PEOPLE, trying to clarify her comments.
“To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone,” she said. “The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them.”
“The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children,” Streisand went on. “It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy.”
Streisand went on to say that she had spoken too flippantly in her interview with The Times, and the quotes did not reflect her true feelings.
“I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings,” she said. “I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James [Safechuck] and Wade [Robson] know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth.”
Even in her initial interview with The Times, Streisand noted that she "absolutely" believed Safechuck and Robson, the documentary's subjects, who both say they were sexually abused by Jackson.
Streisand noted that she had been asked to to a duet with Jackson once in the past, but she declined.
“He was very sweet, very childlike,” she went on. “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”
“You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard [Robson and Safechuck] say, they were thrilled to be there.”
Streisand went on to say that she had "a combination of feelings" about the documentary. She pointed out how well Robson and Safechuck are doing today, feeling that it was a good sign.0comments
“They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them,” Streisand said.