Sat. Apr 13th, 2024
alert-–-lawyer-for-the-two-men-who-claim in-leaving-neverland-michael-jackson-sexually-abused-them-blasts-the-pop-superstar’s-new-biopic-as-‘shameful-propaganda’-–-and-accuses-the-jacksons-of-‘demonising-his-victims’Alert – Lawyer for the two men who claim in Leaving Neverland Michael Jackson sexually abused them blasts the pop superstar’s new biopic as ‘shameful propaganda’ – and accuses the Jacksons of ‘demonising his victims’

The new Michael Jackson biopic has been blasted as ‘propaganda’ by the lawyer for two men suing the late singer for child abuse.

John Carpenter accused Jackson’s companies of trying to ‘rewrite the history of what Michael Jackson did to maximise profits’ with the movie, which is due to be released next Spring.

Carpenter, who represents Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, said the abuse by the late King of Pop was ‘worse than you know’.

He said that the Jackson clan was trying to ‘demonise the victims’ in order to protect the singer’s image rather than reckon with the truth.

In another blow to Jackson, sources familiar with the case said that entirely new witnesses who have never spoken before could be called at trial.

The new Michael Jackson biopic has been blasted as 'propaganda' by the lawyer for two men suing the late singer for child abuse. John Carpenter, acting for Wade Robson and James Safechuck, said the abuse by the late King of Pop was 'worse than you know'

The new Michael Jackson biopic has been blasted as ‘propaganda’ by the lawyer for two men suing the late singer for child abuse. John Carpenter, acting for Wade Robson and James Safechuck, said the abuse by the late King of Pop was ‘worse than you know’

Wade Robson

James Safechuck

Wade Robson (left) and James Safechuck (right) both appeared in the harrowing 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland – and detailed their allegations of abuse against Jackson

Robson is pictured with Michael Jackson in an undated photo. The 40-year-old n met Jackson when he was five years old. He went on to appear in three Jackson music videos

Robson is pictured with Michael Jackson in an undated photo. The 40-year-old n met Jackson when he was five years old. He went on to appear in three Jackson music videos 

Safechuck is pictured shaking hands with Jackson in an undated photo. This undated image was shown in the Leaving Neverland HBO documentary in 2019

Safechuck is pictured shaking hands with Jackson in an undated photo. This undated image was shown in the Leaving Neverland HBO documentary in 2019

Robson and Safechuck are suing two companies that Jackson owned and controlled before his death in 2009 aged 50.

The case could go to trial in Los Angeles before or even at the same time as the new biopic about Jackson, titled ‘Michael’, is released in April next year.

The film, directed by Antoine Fuqua and backed by Jackson’s estate, will star Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar Jackson, as the King of Pop.

But it has already proved controversial with draft copies of the script suggesting it will gloss over Jackson’s alleged abuse of underage boys.

Jackson has undergone a resurgence of popularity of late with a hit Broadway show helping to reshape the narrative about his life.

The case brought by Robson and Safechuck will put the abuse allegations back in the headlines after taking a convoluted route to trial.

Robson, a choreographer and director now aged 46, alleges that Jackson started sexually abusing him in 1990 when he was seven on a visit to Neverland, the singer’s former ranch just outside Los Angeles.

Safechuck, a writer and director now aged 40, claims he was just 10 when Jackson began molesting him, with their first encounter in Paris in 1988.

Safechuck with Jackson

Safechuck with Jackson

Safechuck (pictured with Jackson left and right) claims that he was sexually abused by the pop superstar over four years, beginning when he was ten years old 

Safechuck is pictured as a little boy with Jackson and Liza Minnelli in an undated photograph

Safechuck is pictured as a little boy with Jackson and Liza Minnelli in an undated photograph

Safechuck appeared in the two-part HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland' by filmmaker Dan Reed. In the documentary, Safechuck said he was ten when he and his family were invited into  the singer's fairy-tale existence as his career reached its peak

Safechuck appeared in the two-part HBO documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ by filmmaker Dan Reed. In the documentary, Safechuck said he was ten when he and his family were invited into  the singer’s fairy-tale existence as his career reached its peak

Jackson's rape accuser Safechuck is pictured here speaking on Leaving Neverland where he said Jackson told him that his marriage to Lisa Marie Pressley was for show, and convinced the his parents to pull his from school at 16 to focus on filmmaking

Jackson’s rape accuser Safechuck is pictured here speaking on Leaving Neverland where he said Jackson told him that his marriage to Lisa Marie Pressley was for show, and convinced the his parents to pull his from school at 16 to focus on filmmaking

Speaking to , Carpenter said that ‘Michael’ was ‘propaganda’ from the Jackson camp.

He said: ‘Let’s not forget that in America, corporations are – legally – considered people.

‘The only reason for them to live is to make money. That’s their sole goal. I’m not surprised this corporation is trying to rewrite the history of what Michael Jackson did to maximise profits. It’s shameful they’re trying to do that but that’s what they’re doing.

‘My challenge to them is to reconcile the truth of what Michael Jackson did with the merits of his music. Don’t rewrite the history on the backs of the children that survived Michael Jackson’s paedophilia’.

Carpenter said the Jackson camp needed to apologise to the victims, stop denying the abuse took place and make sure it never happens again.

He said: ‘This film is normalising very dangerous behaviour between children and adults and I’m sure it will be used by paedophiles, people who engage in these activities’.

Carpenter likened Jackson’s situation to that of the Catholic Church.

‘They have to get the truth out,’ he said. ‘There was a time not that long ago when the thought the Catholic church was abusing children was unthinkable.

Robson, like Safechuck, alleged the King of Pop sexually abused him at the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara for seven years starting in the early 1990s - beginning when he was seven

Robson, like Safechuck, alleged the King of Pop sexually abused him at the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara for seven years starting in the early 1990s – beginning when he was seven

Robson first met Jackson when he was five, after winning a dance competition. His prize, to the Thriller-obsessed little boy¿s delight, was to meet Jackson himself, then on the Bad tour

Robson first met Jackson when he was five, after winning a dance competition. His prize, to the Thriller-obsessed little boy’s delight, was to meet Jackson himself, then on the Bad tour

Robson, pictured with the star as a boy, and his family were befriended by Jackson and flown by the star to his famous Neverland ranch. He went on to appear in three Jackson music videos

Robson, pictured with the star as a boy, and his family were befriended by Jackson and flown by the star to his famous Neverland ranch. He went on to appear in three Jackson music videos

Robson, like Safechuck, went on to described the alleged sexual abuse he endured to the documentary maker Dan Reed in Leaving Neverland

Robson, like Safechuck, went on to described the alleged sexual abuse he endured to the documentary maker Dan Reed in Leaving Neverland

‘Now it’s accepted and the church goes on with its mission.

‘Jackson’s companies need to state the truth. Acknowledge the ugly, inconvenient truth and try to move on with promoting the music, if they can. Some of the music is probably so good it can do that’.

Carpenter said that it was ‘frustrating’ working on the case because there was so much he couldn’t talk about due to legal reasons.

He said: ‘It’s worse than you know. Michael’s gaslighting, making children think it was their idea to have sex with them. It’s gross’.

Carpenter accused Jackson’s camp of doing the same as Donald Trump by trying to delay his case as much as possible, ideally until after ‘Michael’ had come out.

Trump is facing four criminal cases in the US and has been able to delay all of them so far, though the first is likely to start next month.

‘It’s a very well-trodden course of delay because that’s their end game. It’s a win for them,’ Carpenter said. ‘We’re trying to get the case to trial’.

Robson and Safechuck both appeared in Finding Neverland, the HBO documentary which came at the height of the MeToo movement in 2019.

A decade ago they sued MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, Jackson’s production companies.

The civil lawsuits were initially dismissed due to being past the statute of limitations but refiled under a 2020 California law that gave a window for such cases to be brought.

Despite the claims of sexual abuse against the late pop superstar, a Broadway musical featuring his songs was a hit and has been taken to Lohelping to reshape the narrative about his life

Despite the claims of sexual abuse against the pop superstar, a Broadway musical featuring his classic hits has been very successful – and has been brought to London’s West End

They were dismissed again but in August last year, an appeal court ruled they could go ahead.

Both claims have now been merged into one case which is moving ahead towards trial in 2025.

Court documents reviewed by make clear that the coming months will be a bruising fight over what evidence should be allowed in.

The jury could even potentially see unseen footage from Finding Neverland to try and discredit the accusers.

In a motion filed by Thomas Mesereau, one of the lawyers for Jackson’s companies, he writes that there will be ‘issues related to (Safechuck’s) involvement in a highly publicised film, Leaving Neverland, in which he reiterated the substance of his allegations against Mr Jackson’.

According to the filing, Safechuck’s allegations in the case ‘differed materially between his statements in his complaint and those in Leaving Neverland’.

The filing states: ‘Defendants believe there are significant amounts of unused interview footage with Plaintiff (and the plaintiff in the related case, Wade Robson) that will demonstrate additional inconsistencies between Plaintiff’s claims and his later recitations of the alleged abuse, going directly to Plaintiff’s credibility’. 

One problem is that Jackson’s companies do not currently know who has the footage and suspect it is Dan Reed, the producer of the film, who is in the UK.

Jackson’s lawyers state they may have to use the Hague Convention to obtain the footage, the law which governs international legal disputes.

In an email, Redd told : ‘This is just one of the many delaying tactics used by the MJJ lawyers to try to postpone the trial.

‘They have no idea what’s in the unused footage so it’s a time-wasting ‘fishing expedition’. I assume that the High Court in London would see it that way, if ever MJJ get that far’.

Court documents state there could be dozens of witnesses from around the world, which could turn the trial into the biggest Jackson-related court case since his trial in 2005 on child abuse allegations, which resulted in him being cleared.

The case involving Robson and Safechuck could go to trial in Los Angeles before or even at the same time as the new biopic about Jackson, titled 'Michael', is released in April next year

The case involving Robson and Safechuck could go to trial in Los Angeles before or even at the same time as the new biopic about Jackson, titled ‘Michael’, is released in April next year

The new Michael Jackson biopic called 'Michael' is due to be released in April 18 next year and stars the King Of Pop's nephew Jaafar Jackson (pictured in 2019)

The new Michael Jackson biopic called ‘Michael’ is due to be released in April 18 next year and stars the King Of Pop’s nephew Jaafar Jackson (pictured in 2019) 

Jaafar has told of his excitement at playing his famous uncle in the the film, directed by Antoine Fuqua

Jaafar has told of his excitement at playing his famous uncle in the the film, directed by Antoine Fuqua

Lawyers for Safechuck and Robson have said that the producers of the Jackson film want it to delay it until after ‘Michael’ comes out.

Court documents reviewed by show why: it will go into extensive detail about the alleged abuse by Jackson, which he always denied.

It is claimed that between 1988 and 1992 Jackson abused Safechuck ‘hundreds of times’ in various locations.

The lawsuit claims that Jackson forced Safechuck into a bizarre ‘marriage’ with a ring and signed documents to make it look like a wedding.

Whenever Safechuck went to Neverland, he slept in Jackson’s bed and they would ‘mess up’ another bedroom to make it look like the boy had been sleeping there.

READ MORE: Michael Jackson’s children Prince, 27, Paris, 25, and Blanket, 22, appear awkward as they lead stars at London premiere of controversial MJ: The Musical

Jackson allegedly had cameras in the hallways to warn him when somebody was coming to his bedroom, and even had a ‘secret closet’ in the bedroom that required a password.

Safechuck claims Jackson would often abuse him inside the closet.

Robson grew up in and was obsessed with Jackson from the age of two after seeing one of his music videos.

A talented dancer, he moved to the US with his family when he was eight and got in touch with Jackson, who invited him to Neverland.

The alleged abuse began in 1990 when he was nine and continued until Robson was 14.

In his complaint, Robson describes in graphic detail how he was forced to engage in ‘kissing, Jackson rubbing (Robson’s) penis, Jackson masturbating while watching (Robson) from behind on all fours, naked like a dog on all fours’.

Jackson would supposedly say things like it ‘feels so good’ and make moaning sounds while they have intercourse.

Like with Safechuck, Jackson allegedly swore Robson to secrecy and told him: ‘We can never tell anyone what WE are doing. People are ignorant and they would never understand that we love each other and this is how we show it.

‘If anyone were ever to find out, OUR lives and careers would be over’.

The filing states that Jackson’s staff ‘joked that Jackson did not have any girlfriends ‘because he likes little boys. He likes little white butts’.

Among the witnesses who could be called is Mariano Quindoy who was the estate manager at the Neverland Ranch between 1989 and 1990.

The filing states: ‘He stated he had witnessed several incidents of suspicious activity at the Neverland Ranch, including finding Jackson’s and plaintiff’s underwear lying next to Jackson’s bed.

‘He also saw Jackson put his hand down the front of plaintiff’s shorts while the two were in the jacuzzi’.

Legal documents note that Jackson’s security guard, Charli Michaels, saw him ‘holding Robson’s genitals in the dance studio’ at Neverland.

Among the other claims is that as early as 1991, Jackson began paying one child victim hundreds of thousands of dollars in ‘hush money’ to cover up his abuse.

That was before the 1994 settlement with Jackson accuser Jordan Chandler for $23 million to stop it going to trial – Jackson did not admit guilt.

A source said that potential new witnesses were ‘extremely credible’ but they were wary of the attention that would come with testifying.

Redd declined to address the new film about Jackson but recently called it a ‘complete whitewash’.

The lawsuit against the Jackson estate involving Robson and Safechuck is likely to still be rumbling on when the biopic is released next year

The lawsuit against the Jackson estate involving Robson and Safechuck is likely to still be rumbling on when the biopic is released next year 

The men allege that horrific sexual abuse took place at Jackson's Neverland ranch (pictured)

The men allege that horrific sexual abuse took place at Jackson’s Neverland ranch (pictured)

Speaking to The Times, Redd said he was appalled by a draft screenplay of ‘Michael’, which is written by John Logan, the Oscar-nominated producer behind Gladiator, The Aviator and Hugo among other films.

Oscar-nominee Colman Domingo is playing Jackson’s abusive father, Joe, while Miles Teller is signed up to be John Branca, Jackson’s manager.

Redd said: ‘It’s an out-and-out attempt to completely rewrite the allegations and dismiss them out of hand, and contains complete lies.

‘You never even see him (Jackson) alone with any boys, when it is a matter of fact that he shared his bed with small children for many years’.

The lawyers for Jackson’s companies did not respond to requests for comment.

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