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It’s one of the most controversial documentaries in years, so it’s no surprise that Leaving Neverland has people divided. The explosive new documentary about Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two men who allege that Michael Jackson sexually abused them as young boys, had its premiere at Sundance in January and made its broadcast debut this week, with the documentary now available on Crave. The Jackson estate has responded with a $100 million lawsuit against HBO and Jackson’s longtime friend Corey Feldman is also fighting back against the abuse allegations.

In a series of tweets that Feldman posted to his account on Monday, the former child actor says that he was never abused by Jackson during their years of friendship. Feldman says that while he did not spend time with Robson and Safechuck, he was around the Neverland Ranch at the same time and had mutual friends.


Feldman says that Jackson never acted inappropriately with him…aside from the fact that he was a grown man hanging out with the child. But otherwise, all good in the hood?

In 2017, Feldman went to the LAPD with accusations of abuse that he says he suffered at the hands of an adult while he was a child actor in Hollywood. Feldman told police and later spoke to CNN about the abuse, which he said was also endured by his friend and fellow child star, the late Corey Haim. While we commend Feldman for coming forward and are sickened by hearing what he was exposed to as a child, it doesn’t give him a gatekeeper status on who does and who does not get to claim abuse.


Feldman said that he and Jackson never had any issues, aside from one major fight when Jackson feared that Feldman was planning on selling secrets about the King of Pop to the media.


One of the major issues Feldman brings up with the documentary is that it takes a one-sided looked at the abuse, a critique that has come up in other reviews of the documentary.

But as filmmaker Dan Reed explained in the new special Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland (available now on Crave), he didn’t see any point in having members of the Jackson family denying actions that happened behind closed doors. There’s also the fact that Michael Jackson died in 2009 and therefore could not be a part of the doc.

Jackson and Feldman became friends in the mid-80s when the child actor was at the height of his career thanks to his roles in Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand by Me. In his autobiography Coreyography, Feldman says that his friendship with Jackson helped him deal with the abuse he had suffered at the hands of an unnamed adult.

During the late ’80s and the ’90s, hundreds of children spent time at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, including child star Macaulay Culkin, who remains close to the Jackson children and is godfather to Paris Jackson. Unlike Feldman, Culkin has yet to release a statement about the documentary, although he did testify on Jackson’s behalf at the 2005 trial when Jackson was acquitted of charges of abuse levied against him by 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo.

We believe Corey Feldman when he says that Michael Jackson did not abuse him. But we also believe Robson and Safechuck when they say that Jackson did. Contrary to Feldman’s reasoning, just because Jackson did not abuse him does not mean that the allegations against him are false.

Jackson’s estate is continuing with their lawsuit against HBO. Unable to sue for defamation since Michael is dead, the family is, instead, going after the company for breach of agreement; in exchange for the rights to air Jackson’s 1992 concert film Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour, HBO reportedly agreed that they would not disparage Jackson’s image. In response to the documentary being released on HBO, the Jackson family uploaded the concert to YouTube this week.

As for Jackson’s children, they’ve yet to comment publicly on the documentary, although The Daily Mail is reporting that Jackson’s daughter Paris is concerned about her career as a model and an actor in light of the revelations in Leaving Neverland. We think there are likely much bigger issues with the documentary that Paris is concerned about, but we do understand that this film could not only destroy her father’s legacy, but also impact her future simply by association.

 

Watch Leaving Neverland and Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland on Crave.