Michael Jackson fans protest against sex abuse film

Michael Jackson protest

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Michael Jackson fans have gathered outside Channel 4 to protest against a documentary alleging he sexually abused two boys.

British director Dan Reed's Leaving Neverland contains interviews with two men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who allege in graphic detail that Jackson abused them as children.

The film aired in the US this week and will be broadcast in two parts by Channel 4 in the UK on Wednesday and Thursday.

It once again shone a spotlight on the life and legacy of Jackson, widely considered one of the greatest entertainers of all time but who was dogged by allegations of abusing young boys for decades.

 

But the film is being criticised by Jackson supporters who say it maligns the singer’s reputation and is based on unreliable testimony. 

Luna Nightingale, 30, told talkRADIO: “We didn’t want to be doing this ten years after he passed, we shouldn’t be doing this after he’s been cleared.

“If you can be cleared and still considered guilty what chance have any of us got?”

 

'We know him as a person'

Protesters chanted "Shame" and "Facts don't lie, people do" outside Channel 4's headquarters in Central London. 

Sandra Stadler, 39, and her husband Cos Argyrou, 29, say they were close to Jackson towards the end of his career and believe the allegations deeply affected him.

Ms Stadler said: “I’ve been to Neverland many times, I’ve stayed with Michael in his hotel rooms, gone shopping with him and spent weeks and months with him.

“We know him as a person, this just isn’t true.”

“We know, because we spoke to him and saw him, we know how sad this would have been to him and his family, and that’s why we’re here today,” Mr Argyrou added.  

The film has led to speculation about whether the estate can survive the latest storm and provoked a furious reaction from the family's lawyers.

They launched a lawsuit against Channel 4's co-producers, US TV network HBO, claiming damages from the film could exceed 100 million dollars (£77 million).

However, Adam Streisand, a leading Los Angeles-based trial lawyer specialising in celebrity estates, said he was "sceptical" of the impact Leaving Neverland could have on the estate, citing the fact that the allegations were not new and Jackson has been dead for nearly a decade.

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