Michael Jackson's longtime tech director refutes claims that Wade Robson was abused at Neverland studio
In 'Neverland Firsthand: Investigating the Michael Jackson Documentary', those close to the late singer have mounted a vigorous defense against allegations made in 'Leaving Neverland'
Late pop legend Michael Jackson has come under intense scrutiny after the release of HBO's documentary 'Leaving Neverland,' where he has been accused of sexually abusing James Safechuck and Wade Robson when they were children at his Neverland Ranch.
While the accusers maintain that Jackson abused them, some people close to the late singer, including his longtime tech director Brad Sundberg, his nephew Taj Jackson, niece Brandi Jackson and private investigator Scott Ross, have revealed a different side to the story in a new mini-documentary titled 'Neverland Firsthand: Investigating the Michael Jackson Documentary'.
In the documentary, Jackson's niece Brandi Jackson, who dated Robson for over seven years, claims that Robson has not been truthful with his allegations.
Brandi said that Robson bent the truth in his favor in a bid to benefit financially from the uproar and outrage that 'Leaving Neverland' has caused. Brandi said she believes that she was not mentioned in 'Leaving Neverland' as it would discredit Robson's claims. "It would discount or discredit the things he is trying to claim and I find it fascinating that he thinks he is able to erase 10 years of his life," Brandi revealed.
If given the chance to confront Robson, Brandi said she would tell him to "stop lying" and regardless of his reasons, "he needs to stop."
Meanwhile, Sundberg who worked with Jackson for around 18 years, discredited claims by Robson in his lawsuit that suggested that some of the abuse had taken place at a recording studio called Record 1.
Robson has claimed that the 'Thriller' hitmaker had a "green room" where the abuse would happen. However, Sundberg said that even though Jackson did have a private lounge like most celebrities, the studio was very private and nobody was allowed to come in it.
"All those who were in the studio had a reason for being there. It wasn't like Michael had guests there every day. Guests were actually pretty infrequent. The perception that Michael always had kids there, there is really no validity to that. We were working," Sundberg shared.
When asked whether he believed Robson's claims, Sundberg said that he was a father at that point and had two daughters and had worked with children in church for several years. "I'm very aware of kids. Not in a million years, did I ever see a child around Michael Jackson that looked like they had been distressed, hurt, abused. I can't put my hand on a bible and say, 'Absolutely nothing happened in that room.' It's just, there weren't that many instances."
"I remember seeing Wade once or twice in the studio but it was not a regular occurrence at all and there just wasn't a sense of [any] wrongdoing," Sundberg continued.
Sundberg, who was given the opportunity to help Jackson design the music and video systems in Neverland, also addressed rumors that the ranch was a place where children were abused.
"Neverland was unbelievable. It was such a peaceful, safe, fun place designed very specifically for kids that were underprivileged or burn victims, or sick kids, or make-a-wish kids. I have been in every corner and in every closet. There was that level of trust. There was nothing that even hinted at 'Oh Wow, what is this guy into?'," Sundberg shared.
Private investigator Ross who looked into Jackson's trial in the 1993 Jordan Chandler case shared that the money which was given to settle the case did not come from Jackson but from his insurance company. He said that much against popular belief, the musician did not pay the $20 million to settle the case, his insurance company did. Jackson was at the peak of his career and like most celebrities was no stranger to lawsuits and scandals whether the accusations were true or not.
According to Jackson's nephew Taj, Jackson was a repeated target of lawsuits as he was a nice person and people took advantage of that.
In November 2003, Jackson's now infamous Neverland Ranch was checked and searched by the police who found no incriminating evidence against the 'Thriller' singer.
However, he was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of committing a felony. In a 2005 trial, Jackson was found not guilty on all the 14 counts made against him.