The former child star Michael Jackson was among the minority of celebs standing by the late King of Pop as the HBO “Leaving Neverland” documentary aired.
Many of the allegations against Michael Jackson were well documented before Sunday night, but “Leaving Neverland” still stunned those who watched it, celebrities included.
While quite a few expressed shock and/or horror at the allegations in Part 1 of the doc, Corey Feldman, who knew the late King of Pop as a child himself, continued to stand by him in the face of grim charges of child molestation.
“Never once swore in my presence, never touched me inappropriately, & never ever suggested we should be lovers in any way!” he insisted in a lengthy Twitter thread. “I feel like if ppl could hear our convos they would hear the innocence in them. No hint of perversion.”
The “Stand By Me star” even claimed he had a tape he was considering releasing which would show “what a 30-year-old man/child & a 13-year-old boy would discuss” to prove the innocence of their relationship.
While he admitted he wasn’t around when the documentary’s accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck were, he claimed he knew many young kids — girls included — with whom he’s still friends and who were never approached in a sexual way.
“As much as those two men deserve 2 hav their voices heard, so do the thousands of kids who hung around him, that don’t agree! Most pedos r serial offenders. They don’y hav self control,” Feldman insisted. “So given the opportunity which he certainly had w me & others, being alone, w no parents around, how did he control those urges so well, while so blatantly sexual w those two boys? It doesn’t really fit the profile.”
Feldman also asked what other motivations Jackson’s accusers could have, besides money. He pointed put that both Robson and Safechuck had previously defended Jackson in court and the singer can no longer defend himself, having died almost a decade ago.
“I do take issue with the fact that this whole thing is 1sided w no change of a defense from a dead man, & no other evidence than the word of 2 men who as adults defended him in court,” he added. “Thank god 4 me, my memories of MJ were mostly fond, aside from r 1 & only fight because he incorrectly feared I would turn on him, & make up lies. I never did. I never would! I pray these boys can sleep w that same clarity of consciousness. Let god b thy judge.”
“I watched it all I know is what I experienced, & yes every experience was the same… right up 2 the sex part! That is where it becomes LaLa Land, instead of Neverland for me,” he added. “We never spoke about sex other than a few warnings about how sex was scary, & dangerous.
Also defending Jackson on Twitter was Geraldo Rivera, who was more aggressive in his attack on Robson and Safechuck’s credibility.
“Since #MeToo purported victims have been given extraordinary credibility. That’s a good thing. Still, when allegations are made by those – like accusers of #MichaelJackson — who’ve strongly testified opposite is true – & who’ve a strong profit motive to lie — disbelief can’t be suspended,” he wrote.
“Like virtually all #MichaelJackson accusers #JamesSafechuck & #WadeRobson had horrific stories to tell -except under oath,” he continued. “Both sold their stories after failing in lawsuits vs Jackson estate. Both sold their allegations to tabloids for profit, rather than testify to them in court”
“Along with vivid, damning testimony of the purported molestation victims in #LeavingNeverland is the recollection that their earlier exculpatory statements were just as convincing,” he went on. “Both have said repeatedly that #MichaelJackson never did anything bad. Now stories have turned 180.”
Celebrity defenders aside, Jackson also has an army of die-hard fans who refuse to believe anything negative about the superstar — which Ava DuVernay discovered firsthand when she shared an op-ed on Sunday. Before watching the doc herself, she posted a Vulture piece about the power Jackson held over his fans in the ’80s, adding, “Strong piece by @CraigSJ on the doc I’m dreading to watch.”
Michael Jackson super fans are really going hard in my comments for simply sharing an article by a cultural critic who shared his opinion on the doc. This is one of the kindler, gentler comments. I mean, Annie, are you okay? ‘Cause this is a lot. ? https://t.co/GWQIIPiyKa
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 4, 2019
In response, fans of Jackson came at her, including one comment which read, “Sellouts like you don’t deserve our respect you can kindly go to the trash with Oprah. #MuteAva.” Oprah Winfrey was recently deemed to have sided with the accusers by hosting a Q&A with them, which will air after Part 2 on Monday.
“Michael Jackson super fans are really going hard in my comments for simply sharing an article by a cultural critic who shared his opinion on the doc,” DuVernay tweeted. “This is one of the kindler, gentler comments. I mean, Annie, are you okay? ‘Cause this is a lot,” she tweeted.
For the most part, other stars reacted with revulsion and horror to the details within the documentary.
“Who would leave a seven – yes 7 – year old boy with a grown man – makes no sense to me as a mom,” Rosie O’Donnell asked. “Hard not to loathe them – the moms,” she added.
“As a former child actress, I can’t help but watch this documentary and think about how wrong it is for children to be put in the position of performing for the soul purpose of pleasing adults. It’s such a slippery, dangerous, often abusive slope. #LeavingNeverland,” Amber Tamblyn said.
Michael Ian Black added: “So it turns out Michael Jackson is exactly who we thought he was.”
Jillian Barberie wrote: “The whole thing is crazy creepy. I can’t even believe this. As a mom of a 9 year old boy, I just can’t even……… The stories are same from both accusers too.”
After posting “I’m afraid to watch this Michael Jackson doc but I have to,” Bryan Greenberg confirmed his own fears, tweeting: “7 years old?!?! Lot of disturbing details I wasn’t ready for. #LeavingNeverland”
Michael Rapaport live tweeted as he watched, and couldn’t seem to believe what he was seeing: “This crazy MF asked this kids Mother if she would leave her 7 yr old with him for a year. Even if nothing inappropriate happened the parents should’ve been like what the f–k Michael Jackson? Why the F–k you calling my kid everyday, sending faxes everyday. WTF is wrong with you Duke?”
“This nasty MF had Mock wedding with a little boy? The dude has the wedding rings on WTF. Duke was obviously bat shit crazy from the jump. This whole situation is sick,” he went on. “No parent would Let there kids have sleep overs with a regular grown ass man. No grown ass man would want a little kid to sleep over for days at a time unless you’re a nasty MF.”
He concluded: “Anyone who wants to believe this dude wasn’t a Nasty MF needs to watch this shit. #LeavingNeverland”
Rose McGowan also applauded Oprah for lending her stage to the alleged victims: “The survivors are brave. @Oprah is brave. The documentarians are brave. This is what brave is folks, standing against the grain, going against the norm, rocking the boat because sometimes it needs to be rocked. It is hard to hear truth, but that’s what growing pains are. #Brave”