Michael Jackson's Estate Addresses Sexual Abuse Allegations Discussed in New Documentary

Michael Jackson's estate is speaking out against a new documentary that focuses on the sexual abuse allegations with the late singer, with Jackson's estate calling it "outrageous and pathetic."

The film in question is titled Leaving Neverland, after Jackson's famed estate, and will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month after being added in the festival's "special events category."

"At the height of his stardom Michael Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged 7 and 10, and their families," the festival's website description of the film reads. "Now in their 30s, they tell the story of how they were sexually abused by Jackson, and how they came to terms with it years later."

The synopsis does not indicate which two men are the focus of the documentary, but the film's page on the Sundance website shows Jackson and choreographer Wade Robson. Robson, now 36, originally testified in defense of Jackson at his 2005 trial but later filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Jackson in 2013. The suit was dismissed by a judge in 2017.

After the film was announced, Jackson's estate slammed the documentary and denied the claims made against the musician and seemingly confirmed the other alleged victim featured in the film.

"This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson," the estate said in a statement to E! News. "Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them. Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed 'master of deception', filed lawsuits against Michael's Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed."

"This so called 'documentary' is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations," the statement continued. "It's baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project."

Safechuck also filed a lawsuit against Jackson that was dismissed by a judge in Los Angeles in 2017.

Leaving Neverland is a two-part, 233-minute film and was directed and produced by Dan Reed. The film's full synopsis on the Sundance website calls the documentary "disarming" and "gut-wrenching."

"As one of the world's most celebrated icons, Michael Jackson represents many things to many people — a pop star, a humanitarian, a beloved idol," the description reads. "When allegations of sexual abuse by Jackson involving young boys surfaced in 1993, many found it hard to believe that the King of Pop could be guilty of such unspeakable acts."


"In separate but parallel stories that echo one another, two boys were each befriended by Jackson, who invited them into his singular and wondrous world. Seduced by the singer's fairy-tale existence and enthralled by their relationship with him, both boys' families were blind to the manipulation and abuse that he would ultimately subject them to," the synopsis continues. "Through gut-wrenching interviews with the now-adult men and their families, Leaving Neverland crafts a portrait of sustained exploitation and deception, documenting the power of celebrity that allowed a revered figure to infiltrate the lives of starstruck children and their parents."

Photo Credit: Getty / Phil Dent