'Leaving Neverland': Dancer alleges Michael Jackson raped him for seven years between the ages of 7 and 14
The documentary, which will air at the Sundance festival next week, features allegations made against Jackson by several men,
Lifetime's 'Surviving R. Kelly' documentary has caused quite the splash and resulted in a renewed backlash against the R&B singer, and it looks like HBO's 'Leaving Neverland' might feature some equally controversial allegations against Michael Jackson.
Set to premiere at the Sundance Festival which starts on January 24, the documentary will chronicle the allegations of sexual abuse and assault made by numerous men against the 'King of Pop' and has already seen members of the late singer's family coming out to criticize HBO for going ahead with it.
According to the Daily Mail, one of those to feature prominently in the documentary is choreographer Wade Robson, who claims that he was repeatedly raped by Jackson for seven years starting from when he was just seven-years-old and ending when he was 14.
Robson, now 36, had played a significant role in Jackson's acquittal during his 2005 trial over charges of child sexual abuse by testifying under oath that the singer had never once touched him inappropriately or abused him during the pair's time together. However, in a drastic turn, he then filed a lawsuit against Jackson's estate in 2016 seeking $1.62 billion in damages.
In court filings, Robson alleged that the abuse he suffered from Jackson included "kissing and French kissing, Jackson masturbating while watching Robson naked on all fours like a dog and fondling of genitals with hands and mouth."
He also claimed that before Jackson lost interest in him after he turned 14, the singer 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 to ever find out our lives and career would be over."
While the court never made any comments on the validity of the allegation, a judge threw it out and ruled the singer's estate could not be held responsible for the allegations being made by Robson.
At the time of the lawsuit, the family had pointed out how Robson had previously testified on behalf of Jackson, and this time round they are not too happy with HBO's decision to feature his allegations in their documentary.
Taking to Twitter, Jackson's nephew Taj wrote, "To all the sponsors of @sundancefest. I suggest you do your own homework on Wade Robson and James Safechuck. By supporting their lies, you are now part of this and we will remember that when everything implodes. You can’t plead ignorance anymore. #StopLeavingNeverlandNOW"
"I’m sure there are some incredible films that will be premiering and shown at the festival," he continued. "Films that people put their hard earned money and life into. But @sundancefest is jeopardizing these films to accommodate, promote, and showcase a film that stars two proven scam artists."
He also retweeted a post made by the official Michael Jackson account reminding HBO that the singer chose them for his first-ever televised concert in October 1992 which would go on to smash the network's previews records.
"In 1992, Michael gave HBO their highest rated special ever. Now, to repay him they give a voice to admitted liars. #StopLeavingNeverlandNOW," the post read.