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Michael Jackson’s family responds to ‘Leaving Neverland’ claims: ‘I know my brother, he’s not like that’

Michael Jackson's family rejects assault claims detailed in new HBO documentary

Michael Jackson‘s family have advocated for his innocence once more following Sundance Film Festival’s premiere of Leaving Neverland — the upcoming four-hour HBO documentary.

On Tuesday morning, brothers Tito, Marlon, Jackie, as well as nephew Taj Jackson, addressed the claims that the “King of Pop” had sexually abused several young boys in the 1990s and 2000s during a brand new two-part interview with CBS’ Gayle King.

The film was spawned from recent sexual-abuse allegations made against Jackson following his death, by two men who befriended the singer during their adolescence.

Although none of them have seen the movie, the Jackson family previously spoke out against the exposé piece in January, claiming it was “a public lynching” against the late singer.

“This documentary is not telling the truth. There has not been one piece of evidence that has corroborated their story,” claimed 61-year-old Marlon.

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(L-R) Wade Robson, Dan Reed and James Safechuck pose for a portrait to promote the HBO/Channel 4 film ‘Leaving Neverland’ at the Salesforce Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
(L-R) Wade Robson, Dan Reed and James Safechuck pose for a portrait to promote the HBO/Channel 4 film ‘Leaving Neverland’ at the Salesforce Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File

READ MORE: Michael Jackson estate calls disturbing ‘Leaving Neverland’ allegations a ‘public lynching’

“You say that it’s lies and that you don’t intend to see it,” said King, “but how can you complain or challenge something that you have not seen?”

When challenged about their collective decision not to watch the Dan Reed-directed piece, Jackie, 67, replied, “He’s my little brother. I know my brother. He’s not like that.”

“Don’t you feel that you need to see [it though]?” she replied.

Since the Smooth Criminal singer first went on trial in 1993, his family has consistently defended him; claiming that he had no ill-intentions with any of the children he became close to.

“I don’t have to see the documentary, added Jackie, “I know Michael, I’m his brother.”

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“I know what he stood for and what he was all about… Bringing the world together and making kids happy.”

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The supposed victims, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, came forward in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Together, with the same attorney, they launched lawsuits against the Jackson Estate.

In 2017, both cases were dismissed due to the statute of limitations.

WATCH: ‘Leaving Neverland’: Michael Jackson’s legacy facing new sex-abuse claims in HBO doc

‘Leaving Neverland’: Michael Jackson’s legacy facing new sex abuse claims in HBO doc
‘Leaving Neverland’: Michael Jackson’s legacy facing new sex abuse claims in HBO doc

READ MORE: Jermaine Jackson speaks out against ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary

Years prior to the allegations, the two denied any counts of sexual abuse involving Jackson and even defended him during his 2005 trial.

In wake of the Leaving Neverland controversy, both are now seeking an appeal for their lawsuits.

Along with two of the men involved in the People v. Jackson trial, Robson, 36 and Safechuck, 41, will be interviewed by King on Thursday before the television debut of Leaving Neverland.

Taj Jackson, 45, revealed that he had been present at a number of Jackson’s sleepovers when he was a child. He claimed his uncle never had the capacity to see his actions in a sexual way and that it was all “very innocent.”

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“My uncle didn’t have that bone in his body to look at it the other way,” he claimed. “I think that was the thing, that his naiveté was his downfall in a way.”

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Taj further claimed the accusers only wanted money from the Jackson estate. “It’s always been about the money,” he added.

“I hate to say it, but when it’s my uncle, it’s almost like they see a blank cheque.”

Michael Jackson with Jordan Chandler at Disneyland Paris on July 27, 1993, in Paris, France.
Michael Jackson with Jordan Chandler at Disneyland Paris on July 27, 1993, in Paris, France. Alain Benainous / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

READ MORE: Michael Jackson estate sues HBO over documentary

Although, HBO and Time Warner were sued last week for allegedly violating a 1992 contract to air a Jackson concert, the companies have not changed the premiere date of Leaving Neverland.

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Leaving Neverland will air in two separate parts on March 3 and 4 respectively.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca
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