The first episode in the two-part documentary series 'Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me' aired on Channel 4 last night. It tells the story of two men, James 'Jimmy' Safechuck and Wade Robson, who befriended Michael Jackson as children and say they were sexually abused by him.
The disturbing documentary sees the men, who are now in their 30s and 40s, as well as their family members, talk about their experience with Michael Jackson and how they ended up in his life. Directed by Dan Reed, the documentary presents a portrait of sustained abuse and grooming, and explores the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences.
Needless to say, 'Leaving Neverland' sparked a huge reaction from viewers. Many are horrified and vow never to listen to Michael Jackson's music again while others are defending the singer and claim the men are lying.
The sheer bravery and courage of Wade Robson and James Safechuck for their accounts of abuse at the hands of Jackson is highly commendable and hugely endearing. #leavingneverland
— Erin Brown (@Erin_Brown0210) March 7, 2019
As a survivor of child abuse, my heart breaks for these men. It is extremely difficult to go against an adult you love as a child. I applaud their courage of sharing their story. #ibelieveyou #LeavingNeverland
— Kelsie Wollesen (@KelsieWollesen) March 7, 2019
I married my abuser. I’d been groomed from a young age. My mother thought he was wonderful. Whilst I was under his spell I would have stood up in Court and given him an Alibi for murder. That’s why I believe them #LeavingNeverland
— MrsP (@MrsP90381578) March 7, 2019
All these mj fans saying why didn’t the boys report him, the boys where “in love” with him, he had groomed them into thinking this was a loving “relationship” and were heartbroken when he discarded them. Open your eyes #leavingneverland
— Christine Cusack (@ChristineCusac1) March 7, 2019
— Natalia 🌹 (@nat9210) March 7, 2019
So Wade Robson voluntarily testified under oath for Michael Jackson in 1993 and in the 2005 trial, he said nothing ever happened and Michael never touched him anywhere.
But now just randomly out of nowhere wants to change his story 😂😂 Okay mate 🥴🥴🤥🤥 #LeavingNeverland pic.twitter.com/q8KbKVwtWH
— Joe Dignan (@JoeDignan) March 6, 2019
A 4-hour biased documentary produced by proven liars > 20 years of FBI surveillance , investigations and a 300 pages FBI document with not even a small part of evidence. Where's the logic ? 🤦🏻♂️ #LeavingNeverland #MJInnocent
— Michael Griffiths (@TheGriffTV) March 7, 2019
It's not even about being a MJ fan anymore. We're talking about a man who's been found innocent many many times and the world allows two men, who provide no evidence whatsoever, to fuck up the legacy of a man who worked his ass of from the age of 5. Disgusting. #LeavingNeverland
— 🍏 (@jcdiimarshall) March 6, 2019
Wade & James have spent 6 years litigating Jackson's Estate for $millions. 6years to get their stories straight, stories that were repeatedly inconsistent and contradictory in their lawsuits.
Their claims in the doc directly contradict aspects of their lawsuits#LeavingNeverland pic.twitter.com/bX38ddrY5c
— Aidan (@AdSm130) March 7, 2019
A middle aged bloke that has sleepovers with kids in his house with an adventure playground in the back garden turns out to be a paedo... why cant people get that?
Imagine a bloke with a semi detached and a set swings having kids parties. Youd want him dead#LeavingNeverland
— Millwall Millwall MILLWALL (@ChunkMillwall) March 7, 2019
Having worked with survivors of emotional and sexual abuse for over 10 years I’m finding #LeavingNeverland difficult to watch. Not because of what they are saying it’s how they say it. Something doesn’t feel right. Something doesn’t add up.
— Steven O'Riordan (@StevenOR_) March 6, 2019
I’m also struggling to understand why a mother would allow their child to sleep in the same bed as a grown man who is effectively a stranger. Were times really that different or were they blinded by his fame and flattered by his interest in their lives? #LeavingNeverland
— Katie Rogers (@Katie_Rogers23) March 6, 2019
Whether or not you believe these 2 specific stories there is no denying that Jackson had an unhealthy obsession with children. It seems odd to me that anyone would defend a grown man sleeping with young children? #LeavingNeverland
— James + Romeo 💞💘💕 (@Hxllyoakz) March 6, 2019
The only person exploited in the life of Michael Jackson is Michael Jackson,forced to perform from the age of 5 by his bastard dad,no childhood to speak of,he hated himself yet conquered the world,he loved kids,loved watching them have the childhood he didn’t #LeavingNeverland
— Alexander ( Alec ) Gray Jr (@Fabinhohmydays) March 6, 2019
The live reactions to #LeavingNeverland are *precisely* why so many victims of abuse do not come forward until much later, and sometimes not at all.
— Hannah Charlotte (@hancharu) March 6, 2019
How can anyone defend a 44 yr old man in a position of power, befriending children, their families, grooming them over a period of time, sleeping in bed with them for weeks. The images of him just looking at them are enough for me. #leavingneverland
— Lolly (@Laurenyvetteb) March 6, 2019
If you think Michael Jackson is innocent, then congratulations, you've just experienced first hand how paedophiles get away with it ..... always defend your own #LeavingNeverland
— Mad Mike (@MadMikey341036) March 7, 2019
Think it is worth pointing out again tonight that Wade and James were NOT paid for their parts in #LeavingNeverland - so this is not a film they are making millions from, contrary to a number of comments on here.
— Mark Jefferies (@mirrorjeffers) March 6, 2019
'Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me' continues tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.