|(promo image via HBO)|
HBO has released the trailer for the upcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland.
The two-part, four-hour documentary explores the separate (but similar) allegations of two men who were both befriended as children by Michael Jackson.
James Safechuck (who met Jackson when he was ten years old) and Wade Robson (who met the singer at age five) both allege they experienced numerous incidents of sexual abuse by Jackson.
In 2005, Robson testified in Jackson’s defense during the singer’s criminal trial saying he had stayed at the Neverland Ranch more than 20 times – usually sleeping in Jackson’s room – and Jackson never sexually abused him.
But in 2013, years after Jackson’s death, he changed his story and sued the Jackson estate for what he described as seven years of molestation. The judge in that case dismissed the lawsuit saying the estate “couldn’t be held responsible for Robson’s exposure to Jackson.”
Safechuck filed a complaint in 2016 alleging Jackson had sex with him “hundreds” of times when he was a boy. That case was also dismissed.
Directed by Dan Reed, the film features in-depth interviews with both men as well as family members.
According to The Guardian, the Jackson estate dispatched a ten-page letter to HBO’s CEO denying the allegations and denouncing Reed for not interviewing anyone from Jackson’s family or legal team.
Robson, who became a successful choreographer in the 2000s for acts like Britney Spears and *NSYNC, says in the trailer that Jackson “told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives.”
“I want to be able to speak the truth as loud as I had to speak the lie for so long,” added Robson.
“Secrets will eat you up,” Safechuck tells the camera. “You feel so alone.”
The comments on the YouTube page for the trailer are overwhelmingly negative about the film and the allegations with the ‘Dislikes’ outweighing the ‘Likes’ 5 to 1.
Part one of Leaving Neverland airs Sunday, March 3, on HBO, with the second part following on Monday, March 4.
Watch the trailer below.