Michael Jackson’s Family Calls ‘Leaving Neverland’ Documentary a ‘Public Lynching’

Michael Jackson’s family released a statement on Monday condemning “Leaving Neverland,” the two-part HBO documentary that alleges the late singer molested young boys as a “public lynching.” The documentary premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, prompting a statement from the singer’s estate that called it a “tabloid character assassination.”

“We can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him,” the statement reads. “Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.”

Variety’s review of the film states, “Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both in their late 30s, [describe], with disarming eloquence and self-possession, how Jackson befriended them when they were children and then, for years (starting when they were 7 and 11 years old, respectively), sexually abused them. The film suggests that they were far from the only victims.”

As did the estate, the family notes that both Robson and Safechuck said the singer had not molested them during Jackson’s 2005 trial; subsequent lawsuits filed against the estate in 2013 were dismissed.

The family’s statement follows in full below:

Michael Jackson is our brother and son.  We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity.  We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for.

“People have always loved to go after Michael.   He was an easy target because he was unique.  But Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT.  There has never been one piece of proof of anything.  Yet the media is eager to believe these lies.

“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family – that is the Jackson way. But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.

“The creators of this film were not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families.  That is not journalism, and it’s not fair, ­yet the media are perpetuating these stories.

But the truth is on our side.   Go do your research about these opportunists.  The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations.

The Jackson Family­­­­­”

More TV

  • Edward Burns'Alex Cross' film premiere, Los

    Edward Burns Dramedy, Blumhouse TV Docuseries in Development at Epix

    Epix is eyeing some potential new additions on both the scripted and unscripted front. Network president Michael Wright unveiled Epix’s development slate, which includes two scripted projects and three prospective docuseries, at its Television Critics’ Association winter press tour day. One of the two scripted series hails from Edward Burns who is best known for [...]

  • Kim Kardashian WestFashion Group International's Night

    Kim Kardashian West 'Goes to War' on Mass Incarceration in Documentary Trailer (Watch)

    Kim Kardashian West is going to war on mass incarceration. Oxygen has released the trailer for her documentary “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” which sees the media personality declare that “there is a mass incarceration problem in the United States.” The two-hour documentary, premiering Sunday, April 5, captures Kardashian West as she explores the [...]

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of

    Harry and Meghan Will Give Up Royal Titles, Repay U.K. for House Renovation

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will lose their royal titles of “His Royal Highness” or “Her Royal Highness,” when they step back as senior members of the United Kingdom’s royal family, according to a new statement from Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace. However, the duo will maintain the moniker of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The [...]

  • Grey's Anatomy deaths

    The Top 13 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Deaths Ranked

    If there’s anyone that knows how to deliver a heart-wrenching death scene, it’s the team behind ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Created by Shonda Rhimes, the broadcast medical drama came out of the gate in 2005 with literal life and death stakes for its characters. Being set in a hospital meant that mortality was a constant theme [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    'Surviving Jeffrey Epstein' Docuseries Gets Greenlight at Lifetime

    Lifetime has officially ordered the four-hour documentary series “Surviving Jeffrey Epstein.” The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday. The series was originally announced as in development last summer and is expected to air this summer on Lifetime. Hailing from Emmy-winner Robert Friedman’s Bungalow Media + Entertainment, Anne Sundberg [...]

  • Lorena Gallo, Lorena Bobbitt. Documentary subject

    Lorena Bobbitt Biopic Greenlit at Lifetime

    Lorena Bobbitt’s story is getting the biopic treatment. Lifetime has greenlit “I Was Lorena Bobbitt,” a feature about the woman who became a household name and made tabloid headlines when she cut off her husband’s penis with a knife in 1993 after years of abuse. Bobbitt was the subject of a Jordan Peele-produced Amazon docuseries [...]

  • jeopardy

    'Jeopardy!' GOAT Ken Jennings on Trebek, Trash Talk and Why He's Hanging Up His Buzzer

    Well, that argument’s settled: Ken Jennings may now be hailed as the best “Jeopardy!” player in history, having earned the coveted GOAT title – and a cool million dollars, to boot – this week after defeating James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter at the show’s “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” multi-part tournament. But their spectacular [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content