In the wake of the overwhelming response to the Lifetime docu-series, "Surviving R. Kelly", which details the singer's alleged history of mental, emotional and sexual abuse of underage girls, the Sundance Film Festival has added a new documentary on the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson to its world premiere lineup.
"Neverland" refers to the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, Calif., where Jackson lived between 1988 and 2003. Neverland was raided by authorities in 2003 after a 13-year-old boy accused Jackson of molestation. In separate but parallel stories that echo one another, two boys were each befriended by Jackson, who invited them into his singular and wondrous world. It follows two men in their 30s, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who were friends with Jackson as preteens, and who claim he subjected them to sustained abuse. A probate court in 2015 rejected his claim against the estate itself, which left the two business entities as defendants.More news: Barcelona plays down Coutinho transfer: ‘He will give us a lot’
With the backlash R. Kelly received as a result of the docuseries spelling out his sexually exploitative and abusive ways, it will be interesting to see the reception of this film and the reaction to the two men's stories. Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed 'master of deception, ' filed lawsuits against Michael's Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both men have tried to bring their accusations into the courtroom, but their cases were dismissed.
It's unclear which of Jackson's accusers are the focus of Leaving Neverland.
"This so-called "documentary" is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations".More news: Kohli says Pandya's 'sexist' comments not reflective of team
At the time of the ruling, Jackson's estate said in a statement, "In my opinion Mr. Robson's allegations, made 20 plus years after they supposedly occurred and years after Mr. Robson testified twice under oath - including in front of a jury - that Michael Jackson had never done anything wrong to him were always about the money rather than a search for the truth". "It's baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project".
Jackson died in 2009 in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles following a pharmaceutical drug overdose.More news: The Accidental Prime Minister: Delhi HC dismisses PIL against trailer ban