Michael Jackson's estate has pointed out a major inaccuracy in the documentary Leaving Neverland, suggesting that it completely invalidates alleged victim James Safechuck's story.
The estate of Michael Jackson has decried the new HBO documentary since before it came out and premiered on the network. The movie tells the stories of two boys who say they were repeatedly molested by Jackson when they were young, While Jackon's family maintains his innocence. Now, biographer Mike Smallcombe has pointed out a detail that Safechuck got wrong in his account, which he argues renders the whole account false.
Safechuck claimed that Jackson molested him inside the train station on the Neverland Ranch between 1988 and 1992. Last week, Smallcombe tweeted the construction permit issued by the Santa Barbara County for the station, which specifically states that it was issued in 1993, after the alleged abuse had taken place. Smallcombe further claimed that the station was not even built until 1994.
In the last couple of hours I’ve been given access to the Santa Barbara County construction permits for the Neverland train station by my source - approved Sept 2, 1993 pic.twitter.com/xjtfvEvsUu— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) March 30, 2019
"Safechuck's train station fiction is one of several lies in this film which shows that neither the director or HBO ever bothered to verify the claims made by these accusers," said the Jackson family's lawyer Howard Weitzman in a statement published by The Blast. "Safechuck's allegations that he was abused in a building before it was even built and two years after he said the 'abuse' stopped speaks for itself."
"Remember these are two individuals who filed lawsuits asking for millions of dollars after changing years of their under oath testimony and multiple denials that Michael ever did anything inappropriate to them. The lawsuits were dismissed but the accusers are appealing the dismissals," it went on. "I believe for the accusers, the director and HBO this has always been about the money or ratings."
The director of Leaving Neverland, Dan Reed responded to Smallcombe's tweet, conceding that the dates did not seem to line up. However, he simply said that the dates of the abuse were likely wrong, not invalid.
1. James Safechuck was at Neverland both before and after the construction of the train station there. The two still photos of the station shown in #leavingneverland were in fact taken by James, who is very clear that he was abused by Jackson in multiple places over many years.— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) April 4, 2019
"Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse," he wrote.
"James Safechuck was at Neverland both before and after the construction of the train station there," he added later. "The two still photos of the station shown in [Leaving Neverland] were in fact taken by James, who is very clear that he was abused by Jackson in multiple places over many years."