NOTE: This article contains sexual and offensive language and may be triggering for some readers. Please read at your own discretion.
Jermaine Jackson has shared his thoughts on a recent documentary that explores sexual allegations against his brother Michael Jackson.
The documentary Leaving Neverland, directed by Dan Reed, focuses on Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both allege that they were molested by the Smooth Criminal singer as children.
Robson was a main witness at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial but he is now telling a different story in the new documentary.
Robson testified at that trial, saying he had slept in Jackson’s room many times, but that Jackson had never molested him. Safechuck made similar statements to investigators as a boy. Jackson died in 2009.
Jermaine told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that Michael “was tried by a jury of his peers and he was acquitted.”
“What has happened, people don’t know, is Wade changed his story that he maintained before and after Michael’s death. He tried to go out and shop a book deal. No publisher would touch it,” Jermaine said.
Jermaine went on to say that Robson “even sued the estate $1.5 billion. It was tossed out of court. He wanted to go for the head choreography part of Cirque du Soleil. He was turned down from that. So what was left for him to do was to do a documentary, so he gets in front of a camera with a bunch of people and spews out all these nonsense statements.”
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“That’s when everything changed — when he was turned down from the choreography part,” Jermaine said to host Piers Morgan.
Morgan then asked how sure Jermaine can be that his brother is innocent, considering he was not there during the time of the alleged assaults.
“Piers, I am a thousand per cent sure because Michael was tried by a jury of his peers and he was acquitted on all of this because there was no real evidence,” Jermaine said. “There was nothing there. And I will say this, our family are tired. We’re very tired.”
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“Let this man rest,” he continued. “He did a lot for the world. Let him rest. I’ll just say this, there is no truth to this documentary. You look at the series of events of Wade shopping book deals, the lawsuit and, not to say it, but he was very close to the family. He even went out with two of my nieces.”
He added: “We’re living in a time where people can say anything and it’s taken as truth. Under oath he said what he said. They would rather believe a documentary than (look) at what was said under oath, under a judge, jury, everything.”
Jermaine shared that Robinson was a close family friend who “took part in barbecues” with the family.
When asked if he will be taking legal action against the documentary, Jermaine said, “That’s something for the estate. And at the same time, we lost Michael, we lost our father, we’re still mourning. We lost a lot. Just leave us alone. Leave him alone. Let him rest. Please.”
“Let him rest. He deserves to rest,” Jermaine said.
Jackson’s estate has released a series of statements in wake of the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
In one of the statements, Jackson’s estate described the documentary as a “public lynching” and argued that Jackson is unable to defend himself.
Reed has responded to the estate’s particular claim that Leaving Neverland is a “tabloid character assassination.”
“It is a four-hour documentary by an experienced documentarian with a long track record in investigation and telling complex stories and this is a complex story,” Reed told the Hollywood Reporter.
“I’d say it’s beyond doubt a documentary. Anyone with any knowledge of that form would recognize a documentary. A four-hour piece, is that a tabloid? I didn’t characterize Jackson at all in the film — I think if you watch it you’ll have noticed that it’s a story about these two families and Jackson is an element of that story,” Reed said.
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He continued: “But I don’t seek to characterize him at all. I don’t comment on Jackson. It’s not a film about Michael. … The film itself is an account of sexual abuse, how sexual abuse happens and then how the consequences play out later in life.”
He added: “Wade and James were not paid in any way, directly, indirectly. The family were not enumerated. There was nothing. No compensation in any form whatsoever. I think that’s an important thing to establish.”
Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson recently created a GoFundMe page to raise money for his own documentary that will dispute the allegations against the star in Leaving Neverland.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.