New claims emerge of alleged abuse by Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Michael Jackson. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
0
Have your say

Michael Jackson was “very manipulative and very deliberate in his grooming” of young boys, according to the director of a controversial documentary about the pop superstar.

Michael Jackson was “very manipulative and very deliberate in his grooming” of young boys, according to the director of a controversial documentary about the pop superstar.

Dan Reed said his film Leaving Neverland, which will air in two parts on Channel 4 next month, will demonstrate that the singer was very different from his “Peter Pan-ish image”. It features interviews with two alleged victims of Jackson – James Safechuck and Wade Robson.

Reed said: “I have always approached this film as a film about Wade Robson and James Safechuck, not a film about Michael Jackson.

“It’s about Wade and James and their families and that is the story that I set out to tell.

“The fact that it’s about Michael Jackson gives it an extraordinary reach and I really think will open a lot of people’s eyes to the way in which child sexual abuse – this sort of grooming mode that Jackson practised – actually all plays out.

“The attachment between the victims and the abusers. I think that’s very strongly depicted by these two guys in the film, and so I think you see through the film that although Jackson... this Peter Pan-ish image that he projected out there disguised a reality which was very different.

“He was very manipulative and very deliberate in his grooming and in his sexual activities with these children that took place over many, many years. And it appears that they weren’t the only victims and certainly then when Jordan Chandler and Gavin Arvizo stood up and made claims against Jackson, he very deliberately mobilised his lawyers to crush them, to pay them off, so there was nothing sort of innocent about the way that he pursued his sexual adventures with children.”

Jackson, who died in 2009, was accused of molesting the then 13-year-old Arvizo, conspiring to kidnap him and his family and giving him alcohol, but was found not guilty of all charges following a four-month trial.

Addressing why the film includes such graphic descriptions of abuse, Reed said: “For such a long time Jackson hid in plain sight, saying that his relationships with children were innocent and it was just sort of cuddles at bedtime, innocent slumber parties, sleepovers and what have you, and I needed really to establish in the most graphic terms that what Jackson was doing with little children was sex. It was full-on sex.”