Michael Jackson’s legacy tarnished after documentary

Child-molesting accusations resurface against deceased artist

Alyssa Bunde
Staff Writer

In 2005 pop star Michael Jackson was accused of molesting children at his Neverland estate, he was ultimately cleared of all charges, according to Forbes. It is now 2019 and while the star is long gone, the accusations are not. 

HBO’s new documentary, “Leaving Neverland”, tells the chilling story of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and their allegations of being molested by Jackson as children, according to CNN. 

During the documentary the pair describe their time at the estate with Jackson and the sexual assaults in great detail. Safechuck recalls, “there was a castle in the theme park and upstairs there was a bedroom. You could see if somebody was coming. It had just a small bed. Up there, we would have sex,” according to People Magazine.

Joy Robson, Wade Robson’s mother, also commented in the documentary stating, “they’d [Robson and Safechuck] take off for the day and I’d spend all day looking for them,” according to People Magazine.

Rewinding the clock to 2005, when the star was first accused of molesting children at his estate, Robson testified in favor of Jackson’s innocence, according to Forbes. Robson under oath stated that nothing sexual ever happened between them at the Neverland estate. When Jackson died Robson also stated, “I will miss him immeasurably, but I know that he is now at peace and enchanting the heavens with a melody and a moonwalk,” according to Forbes. 

It is now years later and with Jackson out of the picture this whole endeavor begs the question, why now? Why would these two men wait so long to come forward? In an article from Psychology Today, it explains why sexual assault survivors don’t always come forward right away. One of the main reasons being shame.

The article quotes Gershen Kaufman, author of Shame: The Power of Caring. Kaufman states, “shame is a natural reaction to being violated or abused. In fact, abuse, by its very nature, is humiliating and dehumanizing.” The article continues on stating that denial and fear of consequences are also common reasonings. 

HBO however, is not fearing any consequences, even a $100 million one. According to Vulture Magazine, days before Leaving Neverland released Jackson’s estate filed a lawsuit against HBO for $100 million.  The magazine continued explaining that the suit stems from a non-disparagement clause in a contract HBO signed in 1992.

This contract was created so HBO could air a live special about Jacksons Dangerous World Tour. This contract stated HBO could not engage in any actions that, “may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation or public image of Performer [Jackson].” 

Michael Jackson is a legend in the music industry, but with his public image in question it is currently unclear if the label of child molester will now follow his name for years to come. 

Header photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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