The controversial Michael Jackson HBO documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ has aired

Michael Jackson

Even though R. Kelly’s history as a predator and abuser was well known and well-documented for years, it took Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docu-series to really congeal public opinion to the point where no one could deny that Kelly abused and raped dozens of girls and women for years and years. I feel like that could be the case with HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary, which aired last night. I didn’t watch it, just as I heard that many people couldn’t watch it, or had to turn it off because it was so triggering. Here’s the trailer:

Many of us of a certain age remember the stories about Michael Jackson and “Jesus Juice” and the sleepovers with children which happened for years. Many of those stories got whitewashed after MJ’s death, especially because his estate was and is very litigious. His estate has already sued HBO for the Leaving Neverland documentary, but I tend to think…the genie is already out of the bottle, you know? Maybe this is what will happen now: we need these documentaries and docu-series to consolidate public opinion on predators.

Here are some social media reactions to Leaving Neverland & some articles too – there are a lot of people defending MJ on social media today and I just feel like… enough. The survivors have earned their right to tell their stories and be believed after all this time.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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219 Responses to “The controversial Michael Jackson HBO documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ has aired”

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  1. Babs says:

    I don’t believe them. Those accusations were debunked long ago. Lies and agendas still exist in metoo era.

    • Silas Marner says:

      The way Michael interacted with small children was about Michael’s needs, not the children. That is predatory. He used those children and bought them off with expensive things.

      • ThatBlackGirl says:

        The parents sold their kids to him. How do people not accuse the parents.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        @ThatBlackGirl
        My mom was a huge fan of MJ……..and that is exactly what she said. Those kids had parents who were starstruck or paid off, because who lets their kids go to an adult’s house by themselves? Without the parents….. That is a HUGE red flag.

      • A says:

        @ThatBlackGirl, because the documentary (if you watched it) goes into details about how Michael Jackson would target children who were specifically from families that had issues. Parents who weren’t getting along, parents who were desperate to get into the show business etc. It’s what manipulators do–they find weaknesses and exploit them.

        People do accuse the parents, especially the victims and the parents themselves. But you’d know this if you watched the documentary. Which I don’t think his fans will be doing any time soon.

    • cannibell says:

      Wow. No words, @Babs.

      • BlueSky says:

        I wouldn’t waste my energy on people like Babs. She or he is probably a troll and are not interested in being enlightened. They just want to provoke someone.

      • aenflex says:

        You’d be surprised by how many people refuse to believe his victims.

      • Mash says:

        @cannibell and everyone babs is entitled to her/his opinion….lets not call her/him a troll it could be a very real person with opposing view….this is what’s wrong with that hive cancel culture no one can have an different reaction than what is authorized by the hive.

        Now that said….i WOULD NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS let anyone outside of my fiance and mom and brother and my fiance’s immediate fam watch my future kids…and even then shit can happen…you just have to be dialed in as a parent and adult around children and guard them. They are NOT your equal in consent, knowledge, understanding and what not…. I would say boundaries are the responsibilities of the adults in charge (parents). Why would you let your child sleep with GROWN ASS man. MIke obv had issues and i really dont know what to believe as I’m naturally suspicious of everyone

      • petee says:

        The man prayed on children.Look at him he was strange.Thank you HBO for exposing people for what they are.I am sick of people making excuses for him.

      • A says:

        @Mash, call this a hollow argument if you will, but I find that people who often rail against “cancel culture” don’t have a real argument to make. That’s why they retreat into this particular line of thought.

        There are no opposing views when it comes to child abuse. I’m sorry, but there simply aren’t. Saying as much, and saying that holding child abusers accountable for their actions is “cancel culture gone wrong” is the epitome of missing the point, not to mention, it continues to put children in very real danger.

      • cannibell says:

        I was very careful in my response, @Mash. I called no one a troll. I said nothing about anyone not being entitled to express their opinion.

        The thing I will say I agree with in Babs’ statement is that lies and agendas still exist in the #metoo era.

        I haven’t seen “Leaving Neverland.” I am, however, old enough to have followed MJ’s career from his early TV appearances through his death. Short of some sort of – speaking of hives – mind meld among a group of people who never met each other – it’s hard to imagine any set of circumstances under which several men who’ve never met would be able to independently tell the same kinds of horrifying stories about the one person they have in common.

    • Tanguerita says:

      every time I wonder how these unspeakable atrocities could have been committed for decades and in full view of society, along comes Babs and people like Babs.

      • jan90067 says:

        The second part is on tonight. I just don’t know if I can watch 2 more hours of this. It’s heartbreaking. #IBelieveThem

      • OhMy says:

        Babs always capes for horrible people; Kanye, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, you name it.

      • Milla says:

        I posted insta story about watching the movie. And i had to close my account, the amount of hate i got was… his fans are the worst. I never wanted to have private insta, cos i like to post things that people may find useful. Now… jeeez.

    • Shrute’s beet farm says:

      Um, wow. The child who drew an accurate picture of Michael’s genitalia—that was lies too, was it? I have no words.

      • Zip says:

        Did MJ have some special “marks” on his privates or how can his lower bits look any different that any other male genitalia so it would be identifiable by a picture a child (!) had drawn? Serious question. I believe the victims but I have not heard about this info yet.

      • Shrute’s beet farm says:

        It wasn’t these boys (now men). It was Jordie IIRC. Michael had vitiligo, so yes, there were identifiable markings. One of which could only be found by lifting Michael’s penis.

      • Zip says:

        I see. Thanks! I wonder what kind of evidence it would have taken to lock him up. That’s not something you’d accidentally see by someone just walking around.

      • Mika says:

        Zip, actually yes, it is different. Michael Jackson suffered from the skin discoloration disease vitiligo, which created specific colour patterns on his skin and genitalia.

      • BchyYogi says:

        MJ preyed upon families who couldn’t match his attorney power. BTW, back in the day, we all loved “off the wall”, but let’s face it, subsequent albums were creepy, plus his styling became alarming. I stopped listening to his music when he started the whole “child companion” thing. As a survivor, my pedo o meter prevented listening to being a fan.

    • SM says:

      I am sorry, but how can anyone in their right mind not think there is something when Michael himself talked about kids in his bed? This is creepy and horrible that back in the day it was just accepted. Overall this story makes me think why with the metoo movement gaining some kind of momentum in Hollywood did not really impact the music industry, an industry where women are treated like sex object and it glamourised, where grouppies are a prestige and sign of success? Maybe I did not pay enough attention but did one figure in music fall during this recent “reckoning” with truth? I am side eying Leto and the likes.

      • BchyYogi says:

        Why would any of us want to “make up” stories about having been sexually abused? It’s so courageous to come out, but our culture stigmatizes the abuser, so why would anyone put themselves through that public hell, unless COMPELLED. No one would do it for the $$ because these victims have to pay attorney fees etc. My point is there is no point to false allegations- just do the math!

    • Dee says:

      Two words: Bill Cosby

    • CA Family Code says:

      I can’t help but be angry at the boys’ parents. Both Jordy Chandler and Wade Robson’s fathers committed suicide. Tragic.

      • Kat says:

        I feel the same way! I would never allow my children to sleep over a grown mans house, I don’t care how famous or influential. And leaving the one boy there for a week while the rest of the family went on vacation? I don’t know if it’s wrong of me to feel this way, but I’m just as angry at the parents. They practically gift wrapped their children for a monster.

      • ariel says:

        Before the Leaving Neverland doc aired last night, I watched a little of the Netflix doc – abducted in plain sight. And I had the same thoughts about the parents- are these the most stupid people that ever lived? All seem to love their children. And all fed them to predators. I don’t know how they live with themselves.

      • Lorelei says:

        @Ariel, omg I am so glad someone else watched “Abducted in Plain Sight” — I wanted to reach into my television and throttle those parents. I actually had to turn it off about halfway through because it was just too much.

        But yes, the parallels between them and the parents that allowed their kids to have sleepovers with MJ are undeniable. At least with Jackson, I can *sort of* understand the pull of the celebrity coloring the parents’ decisions, even though I would still never put my child in that position.

        AIPS was genuinely one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen.

      • Mich says:

        @ariel – OMG. I watched that documentary over the weekend. I couldn’t believe the parents. My God. How is it possible to be that stupid?

      • Lorelei says:

        @Ariel and Mich:

        I cannot believe how this is possibly true, but there’s more coming 👀

        https://k945.com/abducted-in-plain-sight-season-2-is-on-the-way/

      • A says:

        Worth mentioning–Wade Robson’s father was, himself, sexually abused as a child. The VF article in one of the tweets discusses it briefly.

        Like I said, MJ often chose families that were “broken” in a way, because they would be easier to abuse. It’s what manipulators do. We should absolutely blame the parents as well, I’m not saying this to defend them. But it does shed some light into why they were so easily taken in and manipulated in the first place.

    • ThatBlackGirl says:

      The FBI cleared him. He had no child porn. He was just a weirdo. Not a pedo.

      • SM says:

        Where is the line here? Is getting underage boys naked and in your bed, asking them to just hang around you, an adult wit toys is weird or does it crosses a line into creepy? May not be illegal, but definitely inappropriate. I would never ever want my son in thay situation.

      • aenflex says:

        Actually, pornograhpy in legal terms is tricky. He did have nude and partially clothed images of children, but they were deemed ‘art’.

      • SK says:

        The FBI did not “clear” him. WTF??

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        He had a suitcase by his bed with pr0n with his and children’s fingerprints on them.

        Who shows little pre-pubertal kids pr0n?
        Pedophile who are grooming children for abuse, that’s who.

      • Sterkviking says:

        ThatBlackGirl Yes, and I sure you believe that OJ Simpson was not guilty. The power of celebrity.

      • CairinaCat says:

        Well my uncle fucked me from the age of 3-9, and he only collected adult porn. This was before computers, so he had magazines. I know what he had because he made me look at all of it.

        Looking at child porn is not what makes a predator child molester pedophile.
        Molesting children is what makes a pedophile.

      • Christina says:

        I’m so sorry, CarinaCat.

    • Hmmm says:

      I wasn’t sure what to believe but safechuck seemed credible. He actually felt like he was in love with Michael and didn’t see what Michael was doing to him as wrong until he grew up. His description of events was really disturbing.

    • Wilady says:

      I absolutely cannot imagine why anyone would want to publicly go through the ringer like this if it wasn’t true.

      Anyone who would has no idea what trauma is and can do to a person.

      • Deedee says:

        Bingo. One of the reasons why people lie about what transpired and/or don’t open up until much later on in life.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Sexual abuse and harassment still exist in the “metoo” era.

    • Snap Happy says:

      Babs – Tito is that you?

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      It is impossibly difficult to get justice for sexual abuse or rape if the person who is the perpetrator is rich or famous
      The mountain to climb generally is almost impossible without recent evidence but fame and threats of legal action kills all stories dead

      I believe them. There are too many of them with similar stories.
      There is verification of markings on his penis

      For those of you saying blame the parents.
      Predators groom those surrounding their prey not just their prey
      Jackson was almost mythical and groomed everyone involved.

    • ariel says:

      People don’t accuse parents b/c parents are the ones who seduced and raped them. The parents are grossly negligent, naïve, star struck, complicit. But Michael Jackson seduced and molested those boys. And a lot of other boys.
      Lisa Marie noted when he was conning her that he wasn’t “child-like” that he used his real voice when he spoke with her and acted like a regular adult. The child-like thing was a put on, an elaborate put on by a pedophile – the end result was sexually training a string of 8-10 year old boys to please him around Neverland- which conveniently had out of the way bedrooms in every building on the property. The arcade had a hidden bedroom, the train station had a hidden bedroom. The entire thing was a factory to produce child victims spoiled and adored and trained to please, and keep the secret – told said child himself would go to jail if they were discovered. Disgusting.

      • Xpresson says:

        Actually… having worked in a concert for Jackson I can tell you he would play with little soldiers on the floor in his dressing room making machine guns notices. He was def not right in the head… I don’t think it was an act .

      • Mac says:

        Obviously he was not right in the head. He was raised by a monster, forced to support the family from an early age, and used plastic surgery to mutilate himself. It amazes me that for all the love there was for MJ, there was never an outpouring of concern for his mental health, especially after the sex abuse became public.

      • sunny says:

        @Ariel This. The parents were groomed like the children but it is harder to feel sympathy for them because they should have been less susceptible than the children. I think the power of his celebrity was such that they didn’t just want to believe that their kids were special but that they were special as well.

        One can believe MJ was a musical genius and still believe he was a monster- because he absolutely was. All of those accounts are eerily consistent as happens with predators with multiple victims. It is insane that he got away with travelling the world with young child companions.

        I remember when the stories first broke in the early 90′s and I was a young kid, my mother immediately believed the victims and I remember her saying, “Adults cannot be friends with children and that it implied a level of equality that was impossible between an adult and child”,

    • Pandy says:

      If he was your neighbor next door (and not a famous person), I highly doubt you’d think he was just an immature guy who liked to sleep in the same bed with little boys. And of course, the PAYOUTS – who would do that without fighting to clear their name? someone guilty.

    • Milla says:

      Sure Jan. Defending pedo today. If it walks like a duck then stop supporting monsters. Or do not ever say a bad word about cosby weinstein kelly woody ever…

    • Amelie says:

      No, no, no Babs. When rumors don’t go away like this, there is a reason for it. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Michael Jackson has been accused before and the first allegations go back to 1993. His first accuser accurately drew a picture of his genitals. How in the world would he know what they looked like if he hadn’t seen them? Michael Jackson is dead now, these two men aren’t looking for money or fame since they can’t sue him. And by going public they know their names will be dragged through the mud by people like you. It’s the same for the women who spoke up against R. Kelly, another one whose had lurid stories circulating around him since the 90s when it came out he married an underage Aaliyah.

      To this day I find it hard to believe that Macauley Culkin was not molested by MJ. He might never come forward about it but I don’t know why else he distanced himself from Jackson as he got older. There’s a lot he knows that he isn’t telling.

      • Mac says:

        I tend to think he did not abuse Macauley Culkin because he was rich and famous and his family could have gone after Michael.

    • Bunny says:

      No, they weren’t debunked.

      He was a grown man.

      He was a drug addict.

      He was a pedophile.

      He was vile.

    • Ain’tNoTelling says:

      Well, I for one, believe Babs is either trolling, or is in deep denial.

      I haven’t watched the documentary, but I’m not sure that it will reveal anything new, other than how the survivors are doing now.

      Let me say that I have lived Michael’s music. I believe that he was exceptionally talented, and I’ve yet to see any pop performers come close to the talent MJ had.

      All of the above being said, I have always believed his accusers. I’ve spent hours, in the past, researching everything I could get my hands on, along with watching his interviews with Michael Bashir.

      Michael was a very sick man, and a first class dangerous predator.

      Had Michael been innocent, he would have stopped having boys spend time with him completely. The reason why he didn’t, against the advice of all of his attorneys and family, is because he could not stop offending. He was no different than the pedophile who killed Polly Klass, or the men who get out of prison after serving time for previous offenses, who go on to kidnap and kill children.

      It’s a horrible situation, because true predators just can’t stop. They have no moral dilemma with their actions, and that became completely clear the moment Jackson told Bashir that there was nothing wrong with sharing his bed with children.

      Had Michael lived, he’d either be in prison today, or he would be living in a different country, or regularly visiting other countries, in order to sexually assault children.

  2. Booradley says:

    I know I’ll watch it eventually but not now, not like this, I’m not ready. We all remember the trial, it was horrible as a MJ loving teen.
    And his death, believe it or not it still hurts. and I know this doc will put everything in my face and make me hate him. I believe the victims but I’m just not ready to hear their stories. I may be alone in that, but I’m not ready.

    • smcollins says:

      I get what you’re saying. I was 9 when Thriller came out and MJ’s music was a huge part of my childhood. His music is still played to this day and still holds up. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and actually putting faces to the stories makes it all too real. I mean it was kind of right there in front of us all along, and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and the ramifications of being thrust into the spotlight at such a young age can only go so far in “defending” him. It’s all just so tragic and heartbreaking.

      • Good GRrrrrl says:

        From the man who wrote “keep it on the closet”?!?
        Here’s the thing- grooming – needs to be a household word. An Olympic coach, priests- these were TRUSTED adults who harmed children. We NEED this documentary!

    • LadyMTL says:

      You’re not alone, I feel the same way. I 100% believe his victims but I was a fan and can’t bring myself to watch the doc right now. I probably won’t be able to listen to his music anymore (just like I can’t bring myself to watch my old Cosby Show or Roseanne DVD’s) but yeah…another childhood idol bites the dust.

    • Dee says:

      I feel exactly the same way about Bill cosby. I grew up loving and trusting these men as shining lights of goodness in my horrible childhood. And it was all bs. They were both monsters whose crimes are all the worse for the comforting and protective image the were projecting. It’s incideous.

    • StellainNH says:

      It is so hard to reconcile being a fan of someone and dealing with the awful things they did as humans. I’m still dealing with the whole Bill Cosby thing. As a kid I listened to his comedy records, had them memorized. Then hearing what awful things he did as a person.

      These things shatter the images we have for our idols growing up because they become part of your family.

    • CA Family Code says:

      I was a MJ fan from the Jackson 5 and their little Saturday morning cartoon. I have believed him a pederast since the rumors about it in the late 80s/early 90s. To me it was obvious. What went wrong with the gatekeepers/parents and other adults who allowed him access?

    • geekychick says:

      In situations like this, I isually try to think anout the victims. Yes, I’ll feel awful seeing this. But my refusal to watch won’t make it any less true, it will just support the mesaage “let’s not talk about sad stuff, so it won’t hurt me”, which never helps. And IMO, public owes this to the victims-I bet it wasn’t easy listening and reading all the saintpy eulogies about MJ, while knowing what he did.
      I think that’s a big problem in today’s society: we don’t wanna look at what makes us uncomfortable and that’s how problems keep growing and growing.

    • Deedee says:

      I don’t mean to sound harsh, but in the case of child rape, it is time to put our own childhood heroes to rest and face the truth. MJ was very talented to be sure, but he was also a predator, and two are not mutually exclusive. The real heroes are the victims who share their stories so others don’t get abused and those who support them.

    • Slowsnow says:

      I’m a bit stunned by what I’m reading here. I don’t know what is happening in your personal life so maybe you are alluding to that but otherwise… why would a person who you did not know would be more important than kids suffering (including his own children)?
      People have to stop talking about entertainment celebs as if they cured cancer. I cried when Leonard Cohen died but if it was proved that he had done anything to one single child I’d take those tears back.

      • Milla says:

        Slowsnow

        Exactly. I did cry over George Michael, but because he was a great person not just a great musician.
        Jarvis Cocker call out mj in 1996 when i was 13. George did after the second trial. People in music business knew and wanted to talk. Prince did want duet with mj. Freddie did not want to work with him after one night. It was all very telling but he was too powerful. Mj was protected because the industry chiefs knew how to control him. Let him abuse and rape kids so he can make music which we sell. You can see the same MO with R Kelly. Naive parents, starstruck, even stupid, mostly poor, with their own problems…
        If mj was in Britain he would end up in jail. That worshiping celeb culture is all Hollywood. Too much money and power made already blurry lines invisible. There is a loooong way before we start seeing people for what they are.
        I was a fan of mj when i was a kid. I was also polanski fan until i was maybe 15, 16 and i got the internet then talked to my mum. I didn’t just cancel them, it was a process. No one should force anyone to stop listening to the music but it just get tired of it when you realize who made it. No one should feel guilty for loving the music. You grew up with it, it brings memories. It has been proven that you can be a monster and an artist.
        I never write long posts, i just keep going back to it in my head and it is a big deal. Bigger than mj. Like most of you, i did not get a chance to fully process this when i was younger. It is a lot of awful things that we saw in celebrity culture in the past few years. But at the end it is all about the victims.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Comments like this are painful for abuse survivors to read and hear because it means consideration of their pain and suffering is viewed as optional.it confirms that people believe it’s not bad enough and that they can turn away as they see fit.

      He wasn’t god. There are other pop stars and other dance songs.

    • Arpeggi says:

      I understand how difficult it can be for a fan, but… Ultimately, this is nothing compared to what those boys, and others, have endured. MJ was talented but there’s no amount of talent in the world that can excuse this type of abuse and we have to feel uncomfortable and acknowledge he was an abuser. And his career should have stopped long before his death as a result.

      This hits close to home because one of my relatives was molested by his older brother when they were kids; when he finally told his dad years later, he refused to believe him, the truth was too uncomfortable, it was easier to believe one of his sons was a liar. The hell with discomfort, we’re 30 years too late already.

    • Cate says:

      Stuff like this coming out about MJ makes me so glad my parents really did NOT encourage (and borderline discouraged) an interest in pop culture (music, TV, movies) etc. growing up. I know not everyone rich and famous is a creep or a predator, but the number of icons from my 80s/90s childhood who have now turned out to be guilty of assorted awful things….I’m glad I can just “cancel” their work without really changing how I look back on my childhood.

    • noway says:

      One thing people forget about Michael, and it has been as proven to be true as these allegations are, he was an abused child. The fact he was abused actually makes it more likely these men’s accusations are true, as abusers tend to have been abused. Granted this doesn’t make what he may have done any better. It just makes the situation more sad.

      Also, I don’t understand why people just totally cancel people’s artistic work if they did some terrible things, especially when they are dead. I mean it’s not like they are reaping the rewards dead. It doesn’t change the artistic endeavor, and in this case it may actually hurt the victims. There is still a possibility the victims will have their day in court on their appeal of their civil suit against the estate, and they are going to want to have the estate have as much money as possible. Sure it doesn’t change things, but who doesn’t think victims shouldn’t receive some sort of compensation as criminal punishment to Michael isn’t an option here.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        When states eliminate or drastically revise statutes of limitations for bringing charges about child abuse (all forms, including sexual abuse), it will be easier to find justice.

      • Arpeggi says:

        MJ is dead, but if he hadn’t been protected by his stardom and people that were making tons of money through him, he would have been in jail starting in the early 90s… All the work that came out after the 1st allegations should not have existed, he wouldn’t have those 3 kids, he wouldn’t have enjoyed another 20 years of fandom and more importantly, he would have made less victims. For that reason, because we enabled him and let him continued to tour and make records, yes he should be cancelled. The estate should not make more money, they don’t deserve it

      • noway says:

        Like I said Maryland put up new legislation to eliminate statute of limitations on a civil case which can go forward even though the perpetrator is dead. A lot of states have longer statutes on sexual abuse cases criminally, but in this case Michael’s dead so you can’t go after him criminally, and with him dead it will be hard to put together conspiracy charges too on others.

        @Arpeggi, You are punishing the estate with the cancelling of Michael Jackson’s music? The estate which according to his will consists of his three kids and a bunch of charities, and if they win their appeal these two victims too, as their award will be reduced cause the estate is worth less money. So I guess his kids, the charities and the victims don’t deserve it according to you. Sometime what seems like a good idea really isn’t. This may not be fair, but it is reality, and I feel like you would be hurting the wrong people. His kids I actually feel a lot of pity for too.

      • Arpeggi says:

        If the estate was to run out of funds because victims finally come forward and ask for money to compensate for what they went through, then be it, it’ll all be MJ’s fault for having been a child molester. I’m certainly not going to encourage people to buy MJ records and memorabilia to make sure that his kids (who are now adults) keep living lavishly. They can do like the rest of us and go to work and earn their money, they had plenty of funds and time to pay for a great education and much needed therapy. I pity them too, I’m sad that CPS did not take them away because no kid should have a child molester and an addict as their guardian. It’s MJ that is punishing his kids and the charities he was affiliated to, he’s the one who messed up.

      • Lady D says:

        “abusers tend to have been abused” One in eight abused grow up to be abusers. Most of those abused manage to live their lives without abusing anyone. The abusers make choices.

    • Keaton says:

      I totally understand @Booradley. I think alot of us have strong emotional attachments to artists and their creations. Particularly if we became fans of their work when we were growing up. It’s painful to let that attachment go because it’s so personal.

      IMO it’s really important that we not shy away from this stuff. This is how abusers go on for decades hurting people. No one wants to admit the truth. It’s too uncomfortable.

  3. Maya says:

    I totally believe them as there just too many of them and they deserve to be heard.

    • Millenial says:

      I believe them, too. And the others who have accused him and were shut up by lawsuits.

  4. runcmc says:

    I watched it and we only made it 80% of the way through before having to turn it off. I felt for the boys (now men). I felt for their families- the moms were interviewed too and you can just hear their guilt in not protecting their sons, they’re practically choking on it. And I found the stories to be extremely credible and believable. The second half airs tonight and I don’t know if we can bring ourselves to watch it (my husband was sexually abused by a relative growing up and he said what the boys were talking about was eerily familiar).

    MJ was part of my upbringing and I’ve always been a huge fan, and I’m disgusted with him and myself. Also I feel for his children. I’m not suggesting he did anything to them but this is going to be a really hard time for them to deal with the repercussions of his abuse towards others being aired.

    • CA Family Code says:

      It reminds me of Nicole Browns children. Living with a monster for a father all those years. Jackson became a HARDCORE addict. No doubt due to a lifetime of self-loathing. I don’t doubt that MJ was also abused as a child, but he was deceitful, premeditated, manipulative and used little children in unspeakable ways when he could have sought help and taken a different path. He was a selfish pig.

  5. Muffy says:

    Both things can be true—that Jackson was a child predator who was also targeted by grifters sensing an opportunity.

    • Christin says:

      Yes, both can be true.

      If MJ had not offered such a lavish lifestyle for the parents to enjoy, they might not have ignored what had to be obvious. The parents being nearby also gave cover (as in, but his mother was on the property…).

    • isabelle says:

      Very true Muffy.

  6. Kit says:

    Wade Robson used to dance in shopping centres in my home city as a little boy. I remember seeing him after school one day in the Queen St Mall. He was so little, and so good, and everyone knew of him. At first it was exciting when Michael Jackson noticed him, he was on tv telling everyone about it, but so shocking when he was suddenly uprooted and his whole family shifted to LA. So cultish.
    I believe him, anyway.

  7. Rae says:

    I have long come to terms with compartmentalising MJ.

    There are his songs in one corner, which I still love and turn up the radio for, and MJ himself on the other.

    I absolutely believe the victims here; MJ was a damaged individual who was coddled and protected by the top dogs ($$$).

    • Smalltowngirl says:

      Rae, this is how I feel. I feel like the same people who turned a blind eye to the abuse Michael suffered at his father’s hands turned and protected him when he became the abuser because that is what the industry does, protect the abuser because that is where the money is.

    • Arpeggi says:

      But if he hadn’t been protected, as it should have been the case, those songs would not be playing on the radio, he would have stopped singing in the early 90s because he would have been in jail, where he deserved to be.

      This is why we shouldn’t compartmentalize: MJ was talented, he had a terrible childhood and was abused himself, but he was also a freakin’ monster and a pedophile

      • MoxyLady says:

        His talent doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care how many records he sold, how catchy his songs are, how he influenced pop culture and music. That doesn’t matter. People matter. What he did to those children matters. Being talented isn’t unique. It doesn’t come with a price needed to be paid by society to earn it to experience it. Those children mattered more than anything he did. They did then and their stories do now. He was a human being who did terrible things. He was a human being who had terrible things done to him. And that in no way excuses his behavior. So many women are abused as children and raped and assaulted and they don’t abuse and torment children when they get the chance. No. I’m sorry if he was abused as a child. But that’s a full stop end of sentence sympathy goes no further sentiment. He chose to abuse children. He actively groomed and created and entire playground to entice children ao that he could abuse them. He deserved to be forgotten and to burn in Hell.

  8. Christine says:

    I couldn’t watch the whole thing. The details of how it led to rape, how the families were groomed too…and I know some people are saying how could mothers let this happen but let’s not blame shift. Jacksons employees and agents and managers and family knew all about it, at the very least that he had unhealthy friendships with children who he admitted slept IN HIS BED…. I went upstairs and hugged my 2 sons ages 8 and 12, and had “the talk” again about how I will always believe them and anything bad would never be their fault…

    • SK says:

      I read a long-form interview with Dan Reed and what he was saying is that – at the time the abuse was happening, the boys didn’t necessarily feel abused. He did such a solid job grooming them and they truly loved him. That’s a big part of why they denied it and defended him for so long. He noted that they both have complicated feelings about him because they now recognise what a terrible thing he did to them and how much he used them and how much that f-cked them up; but they also have residual love for him which confuses them and makes them feel ashamed. For them, they only really came to terms with it when they had kids of their own.

      This is in line with what I’ve read about other victims of pedophiles. I read a story recently about a boy who at 7 or 8 was violently raped by a pedophile in the toilets at a public pool. The pedophile threatened his family’s lives and continued to rape him for years. He described feeling devastated and betrayed when his rapist suddenly left town without telling him. Natural feelings of affection and love had been horribly warped and used by the pedophile to keep him in line. He ended up a junkie and a mess for a long time before finally facing it and coming clean to his family and suddenly everything made sense to them – why he had gone so far off the rails.

      Similarly, I’ve been reading about the Cardinal Pell case and the victim who died was asked point blank by his mother twice if he’d been abused and denied it – even after going completely off the rails post-abuse. This is pretty common. They also listed stats showing that most victims take something like 18-23 years to report / admit what happened to them (I can’t recall the exact number, it was somewhere in that range) and makes tend to wait longer than females.

      Heavy stuff. So what can you do? Okay, well for one, teach your children to be aware of their own bodies and to know what is not okay or appropriate from others. Teach them the proper names for everything when they’re young. Obviously be careful in terms of who you allow into their lives and how. And know what the symptoms are of kids who’ve been abused and if they ever pop up, seek professional guidance immediately.

      • Sue Denim says:

        Just to add, hopefully helpful… I have a friend who’s a psychologist who says victims’ confusion from feeling pleasure mixed in w the abuse is part of what makes recovery so difficult. I try to remember that if anyone tells me stories like this, so that I can fully support them in knowing that no matter how they felt or what they did that nothing, not any part of it, not one iota, was their fault.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        @Sue Denim,
        I hope your psychologist friend reassures them that the physical pleasure is simply a neurobiological feedback response, and that it is entirely separate thing from the nature of the abuse. I’m not really sure if I have worded that correctly, not being a psychologist or having had experience with this type of abuse, but I hope you can infer my meaning. They shouldn’t feel any guilt about it.

      • Bella Bella says:

        I highly recommend watching the movie, The Tale, which stars Laura Dern. It really shows how an adult can confuse abuse with affection. It is an incredible film about a difficult topic. The director/writer Jennifer Fox did an outstanding job. The script is so good. All the actors are excellent. This movie has stayed with me and is yet another movie made by a woman that should have received wider recognition last year.

      • CairinaCat says:

        As someone who was raped and molested from the age of 3-9 if you felt ANY pleasure it makes you feel like it was your fault, and exponentially adds to the shame you feel.
        I’m 49 now, with psychology degrees and I know the facts and I still feel bad/shame because not all of it was a nightmare.
        And I know better.

      • Sue Denim says:

        Sending you CarinaCat — and all others on here today who’ve been brave enough to share your stories — healing love and light…

    • isabelle says:

      Sorry in no way should the mothers or fathers be excused that lightly. There is no way in Hades I would let my tween/child go on tour or befriend a big time musician. Then give them permission to sleep in the same bed and have hangouts.

  9. Jenns says:

    I watched it. And I believe them. Both of their stories are so similar, from the grooming, to the abuse, and then to the abandonment.

    A grown man surrounding himself with young boys, holding hands with them and sleeping with them is f**ked up on every level. But because he was rich, famous and powerful, people just accepted it. I read on Twitter some people wondering how the parents could leave their boys alone with Jackson, but didn’t the public turn their heads when this was going on? Jackson never hid his obsession with young boys.

    • DIRTNAP says:

      @Jenns, I read an article on Slate about how competitive the mothers of these boys were to keep their sons in MJs favor. One mother said she would receive calls from MJ in the middle of the night to bring her son to MJs house, so she would wake her son up, drive him over there and send him to MJs room to sleep in MJs bed. I am horrified that any parent would think this is okay. No amount of money, fame or promises made to me would cause me to put my child in that situation. I am always my son’s first line of defense.

  10. Skyblue says:

    I grew up in a community that allowed an eighth grade teacher to prey on boys for decades and I’m not exaggerating when I say decades. I watched Leaving Neverland and felt a familiar wave of shame, complicity and horror wash over me.

  11. Adrien says:

    It was difficult to watch. We default at believing victims and easily cancelling the accused but we draw the line at MJ. His case is the #metoo litmus test. His fans are in full force right now that key celebs and opinion makers are now using codes when referring to MJ.

    • Deedee says:

      No, we don’t default in believing the victims. This is rubish. We tend to support the accused, if for no other reason that we don’t want to hear the ugly truth because we can’t deal with. Denial is very pervasive in our society.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I think there are a lot of fans out there going to the mat defending him and deriding his victims as liars, but I also think there is a lot of paid-for astroturf happening right now in comments sections and (especially) on Twitter. The MJ estate is worth a vast amount of money and its value will be directly affected if it becomes fully accepted as conventional wisdom that MJ was in fact a predatory pedophile and not just a weird guy who was more comfortable around kids than adults. A relatively small amount of money pays for A LOT of online trolling. But what Deedee says is also true — most victims still meet a wall of denial when they report sexual abuse by a non-stranger (i.e., the vast majority of sexual abuse), especially if the perpetrator is well-respected / loved in their community. In many cases the denial and shaming and character assassination is more emotionally devastating to the victims than the original abuse, especially when the failure of belief comes from a parent.

      • alyssa calloway says:

        There are so many people going to the mat defending him. I made the mistake of looking at the #LeavingNeverland tag last night after the first part aired and almost all of the tweets were in support of Michael and tearing apart Safechuck & Robson’s stories. Things like: the FBI investigated (surveilled him for 13 years is the common stat) & his home was searched and they found nothing; he was exonerated in other cases; the two men previously sued the estate for large sums of money and lost; one of them was trying to sell a book about Jackson; Wade Robson was a creep when he was a dance instructor.

        I think all of these things can be true and still believe the victims. Nothing is cut and dry except for the fact that it was inexcusable abuse. It’s still such a frustrating problem that people have to be “good victims” with spotless records to be taken seriously.

  12. Eleonor says:

    I am starting to think to the issues of Paris Jackson, I am sorry for the victims and for his children.

    • AnnaKist says:

      Me, too, Eleanor. Every time I read about Paris Jackson, I wonder. I just wonder… Her father may not have sexually abused her, but I still wonder about those kids’ lives growing up in that place with him as their sole parent.

      • Eleonor says:

        I don’t think he abused them, but they have an impossible legacy to live with: their beloved father, the musical legend and the predator, the last one: how can you accept tha your father, someone you love and miss, was a pedophile? When I read about Paris issues I think she must be dealing with all of this.

    • Arpeggi says:

      I’ve always thought he was unfit to be a father. While I doubt he molested his own kids, he was a very troubled man, an addict, a pedophile and he had none of the skills required to be a decent parents. CPS should have intervened and taken them away asap. Those poor kids never had a chance

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Same. Do you recall the horrifying video of him dangling the youngest by his hands over a balcony? With a blanket on the baby’s face? No one with any parental care would ever do that. Ever.

      • Arpeggi says:

        The balcony dangling was probably one of the least offensive and dangerous thing he did to those poor children, I think that their secluded upbringing was worst (especially given that their only parent was bats#*t crazy and high all the time). They were never prepared for a life without him/growing up/having to live outside of the bubble he created. He decided to have children for his own sake, but kids aren’t pets; they grow and need to be nurtured

      • Bella Bella says:

        Can you imagine being a child and always wearing what essentially was a hood over your face in public for the bulk of your childhood? He made them wear those cloths to cover their faces. I always found that awful.

      • Ange says:

        But then you have to look at Debbie Rowe who basically had his kids to sell to him, much like the other mothers did in a different way.

      • KidV says:

        Because of them wearing those masks in public when they were with him, they were allowed out in public with their friends. Paparazzi had no idea what they looked like. I remember reading he was afraid they’d be kidnapped, so again, no one knew what they looked like and he felt they were safer.

        I was never a MJ fan and always thought he was batshit crazy, but when Paris mentioned the reason for the masks in an interview sometime after MJ’s death, I thought it was brilliant.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I think it is clear that MJ preferred to prey on boys.

      • Tourmaline says:

        And not just boys, but boys of a very specific age range. Once a given victim aged out of the range, he discarded them.

      • Parigo says:

        It is also possible he sexually abused one child but not the others. I wonder if he was sexually abused himself as a child.

      • Deering says:

        Parigo—it’s a good bet he was repeating what was done to him.

  13. Anna says:

    I read a biography back in the 90s on MJ and it was written after the first abuse being public. The book goes into graphic details on the abuse and everything that was written is exactly the same details/stories that are now coming out. I believe these guys and it does break my heart as a huge MJ fan.

    • BB says:

      Or they read the same book you did. Look, I can definitely believe MJ was a pedofile. I don’t know about the John guy, but Wade Robson is a charlatan and attention seeker. I’m here to believe victims, but his stories don’t add and his behaviors indicate ulterior motives.

      • Angie says:

        I’m not sure why you would say that. He hid the abuse for almost 20 years and his testimony is incredibly compelling and without any hint of what you accuse him of. I felt deep sadness for them both. As for the fact he sued the estate, MJ ruined their lives. He absolutely owes them. They are seeking justice albeit late because it tooo them that long to undo the brainwashing.

  14. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I can’t watch it. It makes me ill. Pedophilia gives me real physical symptoms.

    • Hmmm says:

      I don’t blame you and trust if you get physically sick you will not want to watch part one. I was not ready for the graphic details given by James safecheck. It was disgusting.

  15. Mia4s says:

    Yeah this conversation should have happened a long time ago. I mean, come on people. COME ON!

    And here’s the other thing we need to teach kids about artists and celebrities:

    Jackson was not so much popular in the 80s-90s he was WORSHIPPED. How could the world exist without Jackson and his ART?!?…

    ….just fine as it turns out.

    He’s dead. The world goes on. Soon there will be a generation of adults who only sort of know who he is. And that will be fine. These celebrities are not gods. They are not saviours. They can be wrong, bad, evil,…and talented. They do not deserve a pass because their music “made us feel good”. It’s time to pick our heros more carefully. It’s time to grow up.

    • Jen D. says:

      YES THANK YOU!!! We have such a cult of personality. The same goes for Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, and everyone of that ilk. We will be fine without them. There is a lot of talent in this world, and we don’t need to protect predators to enjoy some form of entertainment.

      We should never be so wrapped up in a celebrity that we deny any bad things we hear about them.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Remember when Jarvis Cocker jumped on stage at the Brits because he was outraged that they’d honour a child molester?

      That made me love Pulp and Jarvis even more

    • pinetree13 says:

      EXACTLY! After the documentary came out DECADES ago about his secret room filled with toys and alarm trip if anyone approached it I know the “rumors” were true. And I stopped listening to any of his music. It actually grosses me out that people are like “Well I know he’s a pedofile and i don’t support that but I’m still going to love his music” how can you listen to his voice and not be reminded of the terrible wrong he did? There are billions of songs out there, I’m sure there’s something else you could like just as much geez.

    • CLTex84 says:

      If you think Michael Jackson wont exist decades from now you’re seriously mistaken. No one will ever outsell his album and his musical influence will always exist

  16. AnnaKist says:

    We have the same naysayers here – about Jackson and currently about Cardinal George Pell. Last December, Pell was found guilty of sexual abuse of two boys (in 1996), a suppression order was in place, and lifted only last week. He was found guilty by a jury – unanimously – but there are several influential people, including two former prime ministers, who wrote charscter references for him, but now refuse to accept the verdict. One journo came straight out and said it: “I do not accept the verdict”. They all said he was of good character, a true man of god blah blah blah… My point is, some people cannot be swayed in their belief and support of a child sex abuser. There’s nothing we can do about them; they are wilfully ignorant and will not be convinced otherwise, no matter what evidence or testimony or verdict is presented to them. That’s fine,if it’s about a stolen car or whatever, but in cases ;Ike this, it is utterly isrespevtful to the victims. It’s really saying, “ I don’t believe you. I don’t want to know about it. so shut up about it.” That’s the despicable thing. Abuers might look nice, be very -talented, say all the right things, smile a lot, and do good works locally or globally, but as my sister often says: abusers don’t have horns. Believe the victims.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Thanks for this.

    • Mariposa says:

      Thanks for this. I come from Ballarat and went to a school Pell worked at.I always saw him as arrogant and extremely ambitious, but he never really liked children very much (he only like people in power) so it was difficult for me to see him as a pedophile. But, I believe the victim in this case, and so I HAVE to reconcile in my own mind that I was wrong. My gut instinct was that Pell’s abuse was very much about power, it wasn’t the type of abuse that was like Michael Jackson’s, with a lot of grooming and ‘seduction’.

      I am just disgusted at how TWO former prime-ministers have backed Pell. And, the same with Jackson, he will have people who will never admit he was an abuser.

      • A says:

        @Mariposa, one doesn’t have to “like” children especially in order to be a pedophile. If this man was as arrogant and power hungry as you say he is, then it makes all the more sense that he would go after children, purely because the difference in power is so high. He knows that he’ll be given the benefit of the doubt over those children, and that’s precisely WHY he targeted them.

    • sunny says:

      Great comment.

  17. Simone says:

    An adult having sleepovers with children in this manner is, at best (!) beyond inappropriate, and is inherently sexual in nature. Why would anything further need to happen to know he is a creepy trashmonster??? If you found out your 8 year old had slept in bed with ANY adult (male or female), you ought to be deeply concerned and disgusted. It horrifies me how high the bar is set for victims.

    • Deedee says:

      My brother is 11 years my senior and when I was young (about 8) I used to sleep in his bed with him as we were very close at the time. It was all very innocent, but it used to upset my mother very much and she wouldn’t permit me to do it anymore. At the time I did not understand, but now I know better.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Simone, exactly that. He was a GROWN MAN, and he courted these kids assiduously, then dumped them when they got too old for his tastes. Jackson’s own interviews are damning, and the fact that he obviously couldn’t even hear that he sounded like a pedophile was another red flag. This wasn’t like kids crawling in their parents’ bed in the middle of the night after a bad dream, these were random cute kids (and their families) being groomed by a predator when he saw something he liked. I don’t need to know details of sexual contact to know that he was cultivating inappropriate, manipulative intimacy for his personal gratification and without regard for the long-term mental health of the children involved. Even if he never touched those boys sexually (and I 100% believe that he did), he still was a terrible person who took advantage of children and never should have been permitted to be alone with them.

    • Mariposa says:

      And having his whole home set up like a wonderland for kids is also a huge red flag. I did a bit of research into child sexual abuse a few years ago, because I was setting up a volunteer program at a school in Nepal, and I wanted to make sure we weeded out any volunteers who were coming for nefarious reasons.

      One of the signs that the research says to look for is adults who have hobbies that are very child-like, and will attract children. (For example, magic tricks.) Of course, that on its own doesn’t mean a person is a predator, but coupled with other things, it can. Jackson didn’t just have some child-like hobbies…his whole estate was set up to lure kids!! Gross.

      • Sam says:

        He was pretty much The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

      • Marianne says:

        I dont think that Neverland was necessarily designed to lure children for predatory purposes. I think partially it was also for him. He never really had a childhood and so I think he was trying to vicariously be young again.

  18. msd says:

    The hoops people are jumping through to defend him are truly disturbing. Anyone else would be cancelled immediately. We haven’t learned anything at all if we regress so easily to disbelieving multiple victims, shaming parents, and falling over ourselves to make excuses.

    • CityGirl says:

      msd – you’re right about the hoops jumping to defend him. Thankfully, I don’t get HBO or I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from watching this…..I’ve been reading that people are actually saying Leave Michael Alone….He’s dead, let him rest in peace. I am utterly shocked by that statement. What about his victims…they are certainly not resting in peace and probably have not known/will not know peace during their lifetimes post Michael Jackson.
      It just makes me sick.
      I loved Michael Jackson’s music since he was a baby with the Jackson 5. Hell, I had his poster from that era hanging up on my wall when I was a kid. His contribution to music is profound and will probably never be surpassed. He IS cancelled for me, involuntarily even. I can’t listen to his music any longer without feeling all kinds of negativity. His music no longer gives me joy, or an upbeat in my mood or even in my step.

    • pinetree13 says:

      Exactly. It’s sick that people are falling all over themselves to excuse this predator.

  19. Audrey says:

    This conversation, and ones about Bill Cosby, are good for us. For too long, celebrities have been considered either saints or sinners, where in reality, the truth is nuanced. Yes, I believe MJ abused these kids and yes, I really admire him for his talents. It’s hard to come to terms with those two thoughts in my mind. This is a good learning experience.

    • Lady D says:

      With a childhood from hell, the Cosby family was my everything, my safe place. God, I wanted so badly to be part of his family instead of mine. I was crushed when the appalling revelations about him came out. He went from father of my dreams to monster that fast. I hate him. I hate him for what he did, and I hate him for fooling me so well. I will never look back at the Cosby show with any feelings other than revulsion mixed with a little shame, ever.

  20. Lady Keller says:

    Over the years I’ve waffled back and forth, is he a misunderstood man-child or is he a blatant pedophile? Pretty sure it’s the latter. With all that has come out of the #metoo movement we’ve seen how wealthy and connected predators hide in plain sight.

    For all the people defending him, what if someone like Harry Styles showed up to your door and asked if they could take your kid to a hotel room so your kid could sleep in bed with him. Wouldn’t your first thought be WTF is wrong with you. That is not normal or remotely appropriate. Whether its MJ or any other adult it is clearly inappropriate and crosses a line even if it weren’t sexual(and I believe the accusers when they say it was).

  21. Christin says:

    There has been a lot of smoke for years. I can remember his massive fame, and how the weirdness surfaced as the 1980s came to a close.

    Lisa Marie more or less married him as a show of support as allegations mounted, but that marriage quickly dissolved. I have always wondered what she suspected or saw, once she was in his orbit.

  22. Jen D. says:

    What gets me is how many people must have known for sure what was going on and still supported him. I’m not talking about suspicions, but people in his immediate surroundings who knew for sure what he was up to. What did the staff at Neverland Ranch see? What did his family know? Any of his many handlers? The cleaning staff who saw his bedroom (and the sculptures within)? His security guards? What makes me truly sick is what his children might have seen and internalized as normal.

    • Rae says:

      A very good question. Whilst blame rests firmly with MJ himself, there are a LOT of people who have the figurative blood of those children’s innocence in their hands.

      I’m looking at his family. Even Janet et al.

      • Deedee says:

        La toya came out and implied that her mother suspected as much, but then she recanted. I must say though, that she claims both her older sister, Robbie and she herself were sexually assaulted by their own father and their mother Katherine was aware. That family really is a Shakespearean tragedy come to life.

    • BlueSky says:

      What is equally frustrating and mind numbing that people still continue to defend him. Stephanie Mills is on IG blasting Oprah and accusing her of defaming Michael. I’m like “Oh girl stop. Did you really think his behavior was normal?”

      Again it goes back to the conversation that the black community (black woman here)will still cape for this behavior to the detriment of victims.

  23. Michelle says:

    MJ has been messed up for a very long time. His childhood has a lot to do with it. No parent should ever leave their children with a grown man they don’t know. I believed the victims when he went to trial & i believe the victims now. This is coming from someone who was a huge fan of his growing up & still love his music, but every predator should be exposed & i fully support the very brave victims for coming forward.

  24. Victoria says:

    The documentary is triggering and horrifying, the detail of grooming and how it was ok for MJ to have a young boy companion during his tours??? 🤦🏻‍♀️

    Victims need support

  25. noway says:

    I think as a society we need to decide how we are going to proceed with things like this, especially when one party is deceased. I personally have a problem with guilt through media. I do feel victims have a right to tell their story. I just think innocent until proven guilty is getting lost in the process. I’m a bit conflicted on this, as I think the pendulum has swung hard to believe the victim no matter what, and I’m afraid at where that will take us. I just think there has to be a better way. We should be focusing on how to create a better system for victims to get true justice.

    I watched the documentary and it’s compelling. I’ve always felt there probably was more truth to Michael being an abuser, but several things made me question this documentary a bit. First, the men are still suing the Jackson estate, and contrary to their lawyer this does give them a reason to lie as public opinion does often change courts. (look at Bill Cosby) Second, the director didn’t interview the two boys who were supposedly the replacement boys for Michael, McCauley Caulkin and a dancer named Brett Barnes. The director said it wasn’t up to him to out anybody. That comment’s a bit prejudicial. Both Caulkin and Barnes denied any abuse and also Corey Feldman, who was one of Michael’s Neverland boys . Now Corey is interesting as he has said several men in Hollywood abused him. I don’t think he’d have a problem saying Michael did, if it happened. These men didn’t fit the narrative which sold the documentary, so they weren’t in it. The director also didn’t talk to the Jackson family, because he said they weren’t there. However some were specifically Michael’s nephews. Taj, who I believe is Marlon’s son, knew Robson the second victim in the documentary and was at Neverland a lot when he was there. He tells a different story, but he wasn’t interviewed either. I think this makes the documentary weaker, and it would have been better if he did try to present some of the other side, especially since Michael is deceased. The main cautionary lesson I got from this documentary is if this story is true, some parents are really willing to sell their kids for the “celebrity” life and good wine actually the first victims mother does talk a lot about the wonderful rooms at Neverland and the great wine. How do we prevent that?

  26. Renee says:

    I absolutely believe the accusers. My heart goes out to his victims. The people who covered for him should rot in hell.

  27. ariel says:

    There was a story recently- okay it was probably in the daily mail, about a housekeeper at Neverland who “knew” of what went on.
    And my question is- how is this bitch not in jail?
    You let your boss rape children and you knew and did nothing.
    A lot of Neverland/MJ employees should do prison time.
    His “investigators” should be at the top of that list.

    • Kitty says:

      I find your comment very ignorant. It’s not easy – and may not be safe – for a housekeeper to out her powerful, rich boss like that. What if she had gone to the police, and the police failed to arrest MJ? She would lose her job and means of providing for her family, maybe MJ would use his considerable influence to make sure she didn’t get employment elsewhere, and she would probably receive tons of threats and abuse from his (often crazy) fan base.

      Let’s not make vulnerable domestic workers responsible for the actions of their wealthy employers.

  28. Ruyana says:

    Michael Jackson has been dead for ten years. They can’t put him in prison even if they *prove* his guilt, which they never did while he was living. So what’s the point?

    My guess would be they’re just trying to establish a basis for going after the money in the estate – most of which was acquired *after* Michael’s death.

    • ariel says:

      Their civil suits were already dismissed due to statute of limitations. There is no money to be gained from their statements. And they have opened themselves up to a world of victim blamers and fans to make excuses to they themselves don’t have to re-examine their love for a man who may have raped little boys.

      • noway says:

        They actually have appealed this ruling. Sorry, but from a legal standpoint it does make sense to get as much public sentiment on their side to make the court rule in their favor. Plus, a lot of states including California are looking at changing statutes of limitations on abuse. Maryland just put one up for vote this week for civil suits for abuse because of several cases of abuse at a private school which happened in the 70′s. The perpetrator is dead, but the school still exists. The victims want to sue the school.

    • anon says:

      What’s the point? Shut up, will you?

  29. Amelie says:

    I really wonder about Michael’s kids, Prince, Paris, and the third one (he changed his name and I can’t remember what it is but he no longer goes by Blanket). Did the sleepovers continue once Michael had kids? Did he continue to molest these boys when his kids were around? What about his own sons Prince and the second one? I don’t think he abused Paris, it’s clear he preferred young boys. But were they aware of it at all? Maybe not on a conscious level but were there weird things happening they didn’t really understand and just chalked it up to normal behavior? It’s possible they had no idea and Michael hid it all from them. But he was clearly so unfit to be a parent. This whole story is just so tragic.

  30. Nubbins says:

    I found it infuriating, as a survivor of sexual abuse myself, that MJ was allowed to get away with these horrific acts just because he was MJ. I was even more disgusted reading the twitter comments while watching the documentary last night. People were raking those two guys over the coals, accusing them of lying because they didn’t get enough $$ out of MJ, or their careers didn’t go as planned. WTF, really?

    MJ was not the second coming of Christ, and y’all defending him need to knock it off NOW. He was a sick, sexual predator, who molested little boys repeatedly, for years. “Childlike” my ass. No grown man in his right mind would allow children to sleep in his bed. No grown man in his right mind would convince the parents of these little boys that what he was doing was normal and OK. Thank goodness he is no longer around to defend himself because there would be no defense!

    • KEEKS says:

      plus one here. he was the face of somebody who used his power to get what he wanted, and he groomed them after he found the insecurities in their family foundations. all abusers find a voice somewhere down the line. they deserve for theirs to be heard, on their own timeline.

  31. Andrea says:

    I watched an hour of it and decided I have to watch it in segments. I have so many questions…Why on earth were the victims family’s so wooed by money that they allowed their 10 and 7 year old to sleep in the same bed as a grown man? !? If the janitor at the kid’s school or even their uncle wanted to, that would be a no go. I don’t get how someone famous changes things completely.

    I also wonder greatly about Lisa Marie and his kids.

    • Marianne says:

      A Janitor isnt usually someone in a position of power. The parents were hoping that having a relationship (not saying a sexual one) with MJ would boost their popularity/careers. It especially helps if the person is well respected. It gives more of a sense that they’re someone to be trusted.

  32. Darla says:

    I remember back in the day, sometime after the first allegations surfaced, Liz Taylor getting annoyed at someone bringing this up, and stating that MJ was not a pedophile. I remember thinking well she would probably know, they are tight. Well, I was very young and stupid, a kid really, and I loved his music, and more importantly, his dancing. I do believe he was one of the greatest dancers who ever lived.

    Of course, now that I am older and wiser I do realize the accusations are true, and moreover, that he was also a very manipulative person. Like, insanely so. I am sure the manipulated Taylor as well. Paul McCarthy tells a story about MJ buying the rights to the Beatles songs that also highlights just how manipulative he was. Honestly it is very creepy.

  33. ZoeM says:

    Jacskon was weird. But I wonder how much society reads into that? A Peter Pan complex is not a crime. Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck both testified UNDER OATH in a courtroom that he never touched them, and repeated that claim on camera numerous times. Now, they change their tune when they are offered a documentary, spotlight, and cash. Honestly, when a single person can make a claim against Jackson with a story that doesn’t change, I would be apt to listen. That still hasn’t happened. Both original accusers had families with criminal histories of extortion and false claims prior to meeting him, then these guys. What are the odds? Serious credibility issues. Why did the director not discuss this or include it?

    • Sterkviking says:

      @Zoem

      Jordan Chandler
      Gavin Arvizo
      The maid’s son

      They have been others who have accused him other than the two in the documentary.

    • Zip says:

      Apparently, there has been evidence which proves that MJ is not as innocent as many people want him to be. Why can a child describe vitiligo marks on his penis, why are there fingerprints of other boys on his pr0n mags that he kept next to his bed etc?
      I was also wondering why those guys are telling their stories now instead of doing so in court years ago, where they defended MJ under oath. If they lied back then they did a huge disservice to the boys who were suing.

      • CLTex84 says:

        If you look at actual invesitgation information, the picture didnt match. And if it did, why wasnt he arrested? Why didnt it go to trial? Why did they take the money?

        Also, have you thought that maybe the kids were snooping around in Michael’s room and found his porn?

    • KEEKS says:

      they weren’t offered cash for the documentary. this is the issue right here. judgement. how do you know when it is time for somebody to speak their truth? When they are being bullied in to giving testimony at 21? After years of sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of a very important public figure? It isn’t until you have been there can you ever relate. Opinions are yours to have, but judgement should be left to those who have been there.

  34. GreenQueen says:

    I was sexually abused as a child starting at the age of 5. It’s a horrible club you never wanted any part of. The thing is you can very easily connect with others whom have been abused. The feelings they had towards their abuse, all of the conflict in their faces and voices when they talk, I know that exact pain. It pisses me off to no end that people think they are faking it when you know they aren’t because the signs are all too real. Now as a pediatric trauma nurse whom deals with CPS on the regular, I know way too much about child abuse and it makes me near homicidal towards those whom harbor abusers. I loathe them nearly more than the abusers themselves. Because without their support the abusers would be out of the game. Looking at you Babs.

    • Parigo says:

      I’m so sorry for what you went through. Thank you for helping others. I’m lucky not to be in your club but I absolutely believe you all.

      I won’t be able to listen to his music again.

    • Canyon says:

      Thanks for sharing, GreenQueen. I am so sorry for what you experienced as well.

  35. Moxie says:

    One of the men claimed that he moved on to other boys including one named Brett I believe. He is now suing HBO because he claims that MJ was nothing but nice to him. I”m not sure about other things I have read including the fact that Robson tried to sue the estate a few years back but his story kept changing so it didn’t go anywhere and he also tried to shop a book around but no publisher would take it. I’m not on anyone’s side and I haven’t watched the show but on a round table this morning on the radio, they did bring up the fact that this really isn’t a documentary as it is so one-sided and the producers did not try to interview anyone else or corroborate the story in any way.

    • Sterkviking says:

      Moxie, Watch the show before you comment.

      • Moxie says:

        The details, audio and vid clips are all over the news today. I have enough information to make a comment thank you very much.

    • noway says:

      I did watch the show and Moxie is still correct. I personally lean toward the men telling the truth, but I see the other side. If it’s true I absolutely hate their parents actions and can’t believe they went on this documentary. They failed them miserably, as at the very least Michael is weird beyond belief and he actually shows signs of an abused kid now grown with extremes issues yet they went along. The parents were lured by celebrity and money, and it’s horrible.

      Still to dismiss all the signs the men may not be telling the truth is not fair either. One they are still appealing and suing the estate. Two the supposed “next Michael Jackson boys” claim he didn’t abuse them and they weren’t part of the documentary. Also, none of Michael’s nephews who were there with the second accuser a lot at Neverland were interviewed. The nephews tell a different story. The men claimed until recently it didn’t happened, one under oath. The second victim was still friends with some of Michael’s nephews until the suit, and was trying to cozy up to Michael’s kids according to the nephew, who by the way the nephew gets nothing from Michael’s estate. I mean it’s just not as clear cut as people want to make it seem. Still they were compelling.

      • Sterkviking says:

        No, it’s pretty evident that he molested young boys. And, Moxie is not correct. You really also do need to watch the whole show, not just clips.

  36. me says:

    Were any of his accusers little girls? Or only boys? You have to wonder why every single one of the accusers are little boys…I mean if you are one of those people that doesn’t believe the stories are true. Have you guys heard of all the death threats Oprah is getting? She is doing an interview with some of the accusers and people are going crazy about it.

  37. Veronica S. says:

    You know, money may not be the root of all evil, but it sure allows a lot to slip under the radar.

    The only Jacksons I feel sorry for here are his children having to live with this legacy.

  38. Canyon says:

    Nobody is surprised by this. He wasn’t just an eccentric; it’s a fact he shared beds with young boys. The parents (are absolutely also to blame though holding them accountable in no way takes away from the monstrocity of Jackson’s pedophilia) were probably a combinatino of (1) poor/disadvantaged getting amazing benefits, (2) stupid and choosing to turn a blind eye, and (3) semi-convinced or wanted to be convinced MK, who basically lived in a theme park for kids, was just a pure soul who loved boys – only boys, not girls.
    I remember one of his housekeepers testified she saw him lift Macaulay Culkin up and one hand was on his genital area. Anyway, these guys are 100% convincing and I hope they get the healing they deserve.

  39. LL says:

    Honestly, the support for MJ reminds me of the support for Trump in a sense. You fall in love so heavily for a performer/con man/ savior that when reason and truth are right in front of you- you respond with “they did it for the money” of “FAKE NEWS!” And I cannot get out of my head what Chuck Schumer said in the beginning of trump’s presidency. It was something like, just because you go to bed and there is no snow on the ground, and you don’t see it snowing, doesn’t mean that it didn’t snow the next day when you see 3 inches on your lawn. Just because we did not physically see Michael Jackson abuse these boys- there is enough evidence and testimony to state otherwise. The faxes that he would send to LITTLE ONE? Not okay. The jewelry that the other man had given to him by Michael? Not okay. The fact that he slept in a private room with these boys at such a young age? NOT okay. The details of every room, their abuse, the parents being pushed away, all common signs of a major pedo. What about the creepy video that he made to one of the boys saying Happy birthday? All just totally OKAY because why? He was rich, famous, and talented? We watch documentaries of regular people like ABDUCTED IN PLAIN SIGHT and feel outrage at what had happened, or stories about the Catholic Church abuse and want the church to pay- and then literally the same thing is shown on Leaving Neverland and people are up in arms defending the perp? How? Why?!
    The fact that he always had ONE boy with him that was his favorite and it would switch out every year? One critic from the Sundance festival tweeted that MJ basically had 10 year old boyfriends in public for years and we as a society let it happen and excused the behavior because of his talent and success.
    After watching the documentary it makes so much sense why these boys were so confused and had deep affection to him. It is very common and happens with children regarding regular adults, could you imagine adding on the celebrity that MJ carried with him too? Talk about grooming times 1,000,000.

    Now in regards to listening to his music, I choose not to because the more we turn our back on it the less star power he has, and the less star power he has the more people will
    Hopefully begin to see him for what he really was. I know it’ll take a lot for his star to fade, but if I can do my part I will.

    • Sterkviking says:

      @LL I completely agree with you. Your first sentence could not be more true. I thought the same thing. Those who support MJ are like those who support Trump. They will see no reason or facts. Or use plain common sense!

    • DP says:

      I had that thought as well- that his rabid fans remind me of Trump’s. How they are able to ignore evidence and excuse his disgusting behavior, is shocking and sickening. Quite frankly, their enablers are complicit.

  40. semloh says:

    I’ve been a long time lurker on this site but i’ve never commented but I felt I had to now. Before I watched this documentary I was inclined to believe what the MJ fans were saying when they were attacking men’s credibility and I thought nothing was going to change my mind. I’m only in my early 20s and I was raised on MJ He was my idol and icon and nothing could ever convince he would ever do something like that. But as soon as I watched those men tell their story it’s like a switch flicked in my head and I felt so guilty and horrified that I had ever defended him. There is absolutely 100% no doubt in my mind they are telling the truth. And there is also no doubt in my mind that my lifelong idol was a monster and he should have went to prison in 1993 or 2005

  41. DP says:

    It is so sad and sick that some people continue to defend a child rapist bc they like his music. WTF?!

  42. Meadow says:

    The correct response to finding out someone you admire isn’t to cry and whine about how talented they are so you should still be able to compartmentalize and appreciate their talents separated from their horrific acts. That just shows that you care nothing about their victims, you only care about yourself.

    I used to love the band Lostprophets. Their music was wonderful. And as soon as I found out what a monster their lead singer was I deleted all their music off my iPod. There are thousands upon thousands of other equally talented artists out there. There’s no justification for supporting a monster.

    • A says:

      @Meadow, I agree with this. Honestly, I get it. I get that music and art and other things have a powerful and immeasurable impact on our lives. But if anything, that should make us more angry when the artists who create those things betray us by not being good people. And it is a betrayal of our trust. We trusted them to do better, to be better, and instead of honouring that, they exploited it to protect themselves when they did reprehensible things.

      Any one of us could have been abused by these people. That’s the part that I think people miss. People victim blame because they think they can protect themselves, but the truth is, we often can’t. We rely on society to be good to protect ourselves in more cases than not. And given that we’re a part of society, we should output that which we hope we’d receive for ourselves if it ever came down to it.

  43. A says:

    There’s something about the conversation about the “lone genius” thing that I feel is incomplete right now. I agree that a lot of people protected MJ, and others like him, because they felt that his music was incredibly profitable and they wanted to protect his profits rather than risk them in the pursuit of the truth and justice.

    But I also think that a lot of it is also that people like MJ are essentially gatekeepers in a lot of ways to the world of better opportunities and success, and that’s another huge issue. It’s a lot like Harvey Weinstein. He held the keys to the kingdom. And that’s the other problem. More than these people being “geniuses” (which, imo, I don’t believe because geniuses are always made by the people they surround themselves with), we’ve got to create a society where power, esp so much economic power, doesn’t rest in the hands of so few. We need more check and balances. It’s the only way we can proceed in a way that’s more fair and equitable and protective of those who haven’t gotten as much success and power and privilege.

  44. Amy Tennant says:

    There was always a lot of denial about Michael being a pedo. It was more palatable to believe that he was just a Peter Pan type, really a little boy himself, and so everything from his living in his private Disneyland to surrounding himself with “age-appropriate ” playmates was just innocent and not sexual. As time went on though, the suspicion that something wasn’t right would get stronger and become more and more difficult to ignore. Obviously some people managed to drown out that little accusing voice no matter how loudly it started to shout. I think we all wanted it not to be true. But I don’t see how it could possibly not be true. I do think he groomed the families as well as the boys. I believe Michael himself was terribly abused, and mentally ill, but thousands of people are abused and don’t become abusers themselves. I have sympathy for his children. I hope they have a strong support network around them right now. That is not to say I don’t support the boys, now men, that Michael abused, because I absolutely do.

  45. Cate says:

    It was difficult to watch (I’ve seen both parts). I wasn’t sure how triggering it would be having been molested by my dad from age 4-9. I believe Wade and James. Look at their pain, the agonizing detail, how this has affected their families. Particularly the animosity they feel towards their mothers now for not protecting them. This made me cry. Everyone is going on about MJ and yes he was eccentric and weird and one of the most famous people in the world. But insert faceless man into this scenario, does your ability to have some compassion for Wade and James change? Neverland was a pedophiles playground with beds everywhere (arcade, movie theater, tee pees) it was designed for the seduction of children. I cancelled MJ 20 years ago, if I heard one of his songs now I think I would become instantly nauseated.

  46. Elle1989 says:

    Just watched part 2. Immensely triggering but so important. I wish I could reach both of them through the screen to give them a long hug, and tell them how coming forward with their stories will most likely help other victims, whether it’s to come forward or to give them comfort that they are not alone. So heartbroken for the both of them.

  47. LL says:

    You should watch the Oprah portion afterward

  48. Littlefishmom says:

    We’re any of the Jackson’s molested? I’m unfamiliar with them. Was Michael ever molested?

  49. HeyThere! says:

    Im late to the comments but I think I read them alll.

    I was a small child in the 90’s and even I could tell something was off about him in interviews on tv!

    I have two small toddlers of my own and hearing stuff like this is hard but necessary because we want this to never happen to anyone ever again. I watched Abducted in plain sight and had to keep pausing it and saying WTF?! I was like ‘no I heard that wrong that can’t be what the parents just said?!?!’….sadly I heard correctly. We HAVE to do better for our children. The hurt these individuals experienced is unlike anything I could ever imagine.

    The worst part is this happens to so so so many children that it’s heartbreaking and terrifying. I don’t trust anyone with my kids besides my husband and my parents. I would never forgive myself if something like this happened. It’s always a ‘family member or trusted family friend’ and THAT is also what makes it so terrifying. Protect children at all costs! They are so precious and innocent.

  50. SpilldatT says:

    I barely made it past the 1st hour.

    But we’ve all been knew, didn’t we?

    I was a kid when rumours came out in 1993 & despite not being a huge fan, I thought people were after his money. Part of it had to do with the culture I was born in where sharing beds weren’t a big deal. I know I shared beds with my cousins or aunts, and naively I thought it was fine that MJ went to bed with a bunch of kids like a fun sleepover.

    It took me years to realise that the world wasn’t that innocent.

    Friends & I joked about “Jesus Juice” when that case went to court.

    I cringe to think how stupid we were in making fun of that horrible crime back in 2004/2005?

    At the time, we still didn’t believe that MJ was a paedophile, we really thought he was incapable of feeling any sexual desire, let alone something as horrible as molesting children.

    He had the entire world fooled with that sing song kid voice, didn’t he?

    But little by little, the mystique wore off for me as I found out how people manipulated their victims. And the tales of Joe Jackson came to my attention.

    I’m sure that Joe physically & mentally abused most of his kids. And I really think he used MJ as sexual bait to secure deals & money for the family. I also think Joe sexually abused MJ & that Katherine Jackson knows & once she us dead, a lot of it will come out.

    But that doesn’t excuse MJ.

    He definitely did manipulated kids & drove a wedge between the kids & their families. How many kids did he really abuse? We might never know & that’s ok with me.

    Because the unknown victims don’t have to come forward.

    And because we already have one known victim too many.

    Doesn’t mean that Corey & Macaulay are lying or weren’t abused. MJ picked his victims carefully & based on his gross requirements, I’m sure.

    My problem is with Wade Robson. His actions are suspect, his history of lies, lawsuits etc. makes him difficult to sympathize with 100%.

    Not that I don’t think he was abused, just that he’s shady in his own way about things. But I’d never send him the amount of sheer garbage that people are throwing at him. He can both be a victim & also a not so great a human being.

    I just feel more for Safechuck somehow. You can really tell how difficult it is for him & how he really thought he was in love with MJ. It was so disturbing to watch & hear him talk about the abuse.

    I don’t think I can watch the rest of it. It’s too gross & upsetting. Every time I see a photo of MJ with a kid now, I look at his hands & just get creeped out.

    How much pain had those hands brought to his victims?

    And JFC, the parents. And the other people who protected this hellish nightmare…they should all be punished for being enablers. There’s no excuse for them, just as there’s no excuses for MJ.

    Unfortunately MJ is gone & I don’t even know if or how his helpers & the parents of his victims can be punished for their parts in this whole tragedy.

    Because by God, they should all be held accountable.

    • Christin says:

      I watched most of part one, and all of part two. Having grown up during MJ’s heyday, I came away with a lot of the same thoughts. He went from mega-star to eccentric to downright creepy within a few years. He kept having accusations, yet persisted with the whole “lost childhood”, kid-voiced defense.

      Another strange chapter was his marriage to Lisa after the first round of allegations. Amazing how he got so many people (including parents) to defend him and think his behavior was normal.

  51. Carmen AIC says:

    A huge factor in this and what allowed him to do this repeatedly, to different victims, was the mothers’ infatuation with him. They fancied themselves in a special relationship with MJ. It was evident in Bashir documentary with Arvizo’s mom, she’s smitten with him.
    And it’s even more obvious in this documentary with James’ mom – a very beautiful woman in her prime – who was obviously pretty much in love with MJ, spending hours on the phone with him, going on exotic trips with him, etc. She craved that relationship with him and she was blind to anything else.

  52. Hanahk says:

    I agree Carmen AIC. This documentary is also about how he carefully selected the parents.

  53. Justjj says:

    I can’t believe those mothers aren’t in jail. They are basically human traffickers. I almost felt a shred of empathy for them because they appeared to be lower-middle class, uneducated, and emotionally vulnerable women, with obvious mental health issues of their own… but how in the world do you leave your kid unsupervised with a grown man you barely know? I know they were victims of his manipulation too but honestly, what in the f? As a mom, their actions are incomprehensible and seem actually criminal. I watched both parts. Can’t believe those mothers gave that kind of access to their young sons. Unbelievable.

    • HeyThere! says:

      JJ I know!!! It all seems so easily avoidable and that to me makes this twice as heartbreaking!! I try not to judge in these situations but as a mom of two young toddlers, every ounce of me wants to jump into the TV and stop it from happening! I won’t even go to the beloved pediatric dentist here in town because one of his ‘rules’ is the mom or dad can’t go back with the toddler/kid. One mom told me that when I was asking how she liked him…. and I went NOPE, NEXT!

      • DP says:

        Agree! So sad!
        Btw, strange you aren’t allowed to go in with your kids at the dentist. We’re allowed and encouraged to be there. Hmmmm….. I wouldn’t send my kids there either.

      • HeyThere! says:

        DP: The reason the mom gave me for the rule was that ‘the kid is more nervous when the parent is back there blah blah his staff is trained to entertain blah blah’ I was like NO WAY!!!

  54. KEEKS says:

    The best and most emotion evoking comment for me came from an ex NFL in Oprah’s audience after the second part premiered:

    When you do this kind of thing to a child, you kill their soul.

  55. Roo says:

    I wholeheartedly believe James and Wade and I will never intentionally listen to that abusers music again.

  56. Sheigh says:

    Meanwhile guess who are living la vida loca in Caboza, Weinstein, Allen, Singer, the seven heaven’s pastor etc…and who are fuc*king monsters ? Same color, right!

  57. HeyThere! says:

    Okay, wow, just watched part 1 & 2….I am broken for them. I believe them, there was never any doubt in my mind even before this. It breaks my heart the pain and confusion they feel trying to process what that MONSTER did to them. I am grateful for them that they seemed to find very supportive spouses. I wish them peace if possible.

    On my personal note, I will never be able to hear anything MJ again or want to. Nope.