Even though many people don’t want to face the music when it comes to accepting that Michael Jackson may have been a serial child molester, we’re all being forced to re-examine the Michael Jackson narrative as a two-part documentary called Leaving Neverland calls everything into question.
Coming on the heels of the ground-breaking Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, expectations on the impact of the Neverland documentary are high. Especially since Oprah Winfrey signed on to host a special featuring the two accusers, Wade Robson and James “Jimmy” Safechuck.
But the problem is that Neverland is nowhere near as thorough in its investigation as Surviving R. Kelly was.
For one, the Neverland documentary only features interviews with Robson, Safechuck and a few of their family members. Surviving R. Kelly, on the other hand, featured interviews the accusers, investigators, R. Kelly’s brothers and former associates.
The fact that the documentary unflinchingly relies on just Safechuck and Robson’s narratives is something that Jackson’s fans and defenders have latched onto as a reason to invalidate the entire documentary as false, flawed and without merit.
The other reason his defenders don’t buy this documentary is that both Safechuck and Robson previously testified under oath that Jackson never molested them. Robson, in particular, testified twice in Michael’s defense, the second time as an adult.
So there are definitely credibility issues here, but I will say the testimony of both Robson and Safechuck goes into intimate details that seem difficult to fake. Here are some of the more eye-popping and alarming moments from Part 1 of Leaving Neverland.
1Wade Robson and James “Jimmy” Safechuck claim Michael Jackson wooed his boys like lovers.
One of the starkest things about the documentary is the extent to which Michael wooed and essentially dated his alleged victims.
Safechuck at one point pulls out a kind of wedding ring that he says Jackson gave him. Robson admits that Jackson would take him on what pretty much sounded like dates.
And furthermore, both Safechuck and Robson admitted to feeling abandoned, heartbroken and jealous when Jackson would shift his gaze to other boys.
Michael supposedly made it a point to make the boys feel like they were his one and only and well, they just weren’t.
2Wade says Michael would have him spread his butt cheeks and stick his tongue in his anus.
Listen. One thing you have to prepare yourself for when watching this documentary is the explicit nature of the details of the abuse.
If you thought R. Kelly pissing on young girls was nasty, hearing Wade talk about how Michael would have him on all fours, spreading his butt checks while Michael masturbated and occasionally stuck his tongue in his anus will take you all the way out.
3Michael had a creepy pet Name for Wade and It was “Little One.”
Nicknames are common between friends, but the nickname Michael repeatedly used with Wade has an uncomfortable air to it: “Little One.”
Michael used the pet name in faxes that read more like love letters to Wade, and also in a creepy birthday video he sent to Wade.
4Michael (allegedly) showed porn to both Robson and Safechuck.
One of the ways Michael would allegedly get them in the mood was by showing the boys porn.
Robson says that Jackson showed him explicit heterosexual porn, starting with still images and moving on to video content.
For some reason, even though Wade and Michael had already been intimate on several occasions by that point, Robson said the exposure to the pornography had a major impact on him.
5Wade’s Mom abandoned her husband and oldest Child to chase fame with Wade.
As part of the grooming process, Wade and his mom detail how Michael worked to earn her trust and how they eventually built a close relationship. This relationship began to put a wedge between Joy Robson and her husband.
After constant contact with Jackson and a few visits, Joy decided to pack off to live in the States with Wade and her daughter Chantal, leaving behind her oldest son and her husband, Dennis, who later began to have a mental breakdown and eventually committed suicide.
The attachment and relationship Joy built with Michael had undertones that sounded similar to the parents of Jan Broberg in the Netflix documentary Abducted in Plain Sight.
6Both Jimmy and Wade’s Moms convinced themselves that it was OK for their sons to sleep in Michael’s bed.
It’s true that the cultural climate was incredibly different in the ’80s and ’90s, but the idea that Stephanie Safechuck and Joy Robson were perfectly ok with their 10 and 7-year-old sons sleeping overnight in Michael’s bed is mind-boggling.
Both Safechuck and Robson and their moms say that the progression from fan to friend to family felt so natural and organic that they just didn’t question it. This is how grooming works, folks.
7Michael allegedly did oral, masturbation and anal with the boys.
Even though Wade was a mere 7 years old, he apparently was tasked with performing oral sex on the very adult Michael Jackson.
At one point, with pain in his voice, Wade recalls how he struggled to fit Michael’s adult penis in his 7-year-old mouth.
Safechuck describes how Michael attempted anal play with him by inserting his finger in his anus, but he hated it and said Michael didn’t explore it further.
Wade, on the other hand, was more compliant and Jackson apparently was able to penetrate Wade anally on several occasions.
OK. Like I said, this documentary gets into some very graphic and disturbing accusations and this is just Part 1.
Part 2, followed by a special with Oprah, is set to air Monday evening (Mar. 4) on HBO at 8 pm.