The hugely controversial documentary, Leaving Neverland, gripped the world when it aired last month, inducing feelings of sickness and disgust among some while oddly drumming up support for the late icon for others.
The four-hour documentary – which is actually really tough to get through – features allegations made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim that Michael abused them on numerous occasions when they were children.
From the very outset, MJ’s estate and family have vehemently denied the allegations levelled at Jackson, claiming that they’re nothing but lies.
And as promised, they’ve finally released their counter-documentary, titled Neverland Firsthand: Investigating The Michael Jackson Documentary, which will apparently “shed light” on information left out of Leaving Neverland.
The 30 minute documentary was created by Liam McEwan and contains interviews from Michael Jackson’s family and close circle. One of which includes Michael’s niece Brandi, who dated Wade Robson and refers to him as “a bit of an opportunist.”
“He knows how to position himself in different situations that will benefit him in a financial way. Once other jobs weren’t coming through, this was his next outlet,” she says.
It also features interviews with Brad Sandberg – Jackson’s technical director – who says: “Not in a million years did I ever see a child around Michael Jackson that looked like they had been distressed, hurt, or abused.”
A description for the doc reads:
“Neverland Firsthand: Investigating The Michael Jackson Documentary is a mini-documentary which further explores allegations made in HBO’s Leaving Neverland, that the King of Pop sexually abused two young boys.
Through interviews with those closest to the situation, as well as members of Jackson’s family, the film sheds light on information that was excluded from HBO’s broadcast.”
In the aftermath of Leaving Neverland, Michael’s nephew, Taj Jackson, said he was keen to create a counter documentary, so it comes as no surprise one has come out:
Speaking to NME, Taj said:
“It’s going to start off with the 1993 allegations because I think that’s where everything started. So, it’s going to start there. It’s going to talk about the settlement in terms of the civil suit and why he settled.
“At one point he [Michael] was very against settling and angry and then gave in. So why did he do that? It’s going to talk about all of that.
“1993/1994 to 2005 are the big parts of his life. So, this is not going to be a puff piece. it’s not going to be, ‘Oh, let’s show Michael Jackson the humanitarian.’ This is about exposing all the things that have been mustering for 20, 30 years, you know?
“I’m gonna go with the facts.”
The documentary has been released to YouTube and you can watch it in full below.
I have a feeling this is going to cause a stir…
Images via Netflix/YouTube