Audiences say they were left feeling ‘literally sick’ over claims made in the new Michael Jackson documentary, which puts forward sexual abuse allegations against the so-called King of Pop.
Some distressing scenes show James Safechuck, who claims to be a victim of sexual assault at the hands of Jackson, say the singer ‘taught him to masturbate’.
You can watch the trailer for the documentary, Leaving Neverland, below:
Safechuck recalls his relationship with Jackson, who died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication in June 2009 at his Holmby Hills home, Los Angeles, California, aged 50.
A young James was just nine years old when he met the Billie Jean singer on the set of a Pepsi commercial, and he explained the unlikely pair became inseparable.
According to Safechuck, speaking a decade after the singer’s death, the sexual abuse started when they were in Paris, where Jackson allegedly introduced him to masturbation.
Even so, Safechuck said he didn’t have any ‘unpleasant’ memories of the alleged incident other than being unable to go to toilet.
In the Channel 4 documentary, the first part of which aired last night (March 6) in the UK, Safechuck claims Jackson gave him a glass of cold water to put his penis in.
Viewers have taken to Twitter to share their responses to the allegations:
I’m biffed at this Michael Jackson documentary and feel a bit sick 🤢
— Shez✨ (@moodybxby_) March 6, 2019
Couldn’t watch that man 🤢🤢🤢 physically feel sick and want to cry man, Na how could anyone actually do that to someone. Turned the telly of man, it’s vile 🤢🤢#MichaelJackson
— Olivia🦄x (@oliviacarlinggx) March 6, 2019
Leaving never land Michael Jackson !!!making me feel totally sick 😷
— Cheryl Black (@Babesblack) March 6, 2019
Feel sick watching @leavingneverland:Michael Jackson
— Karen Soutar (@kcjs02) March 6, 2019
Safechuck continued to detail other allegations of sexual abuse against him when he was just a child, and a number of viewers said the man’s testimonial left them feeling angry, confused and physically sick.
One person wrote:
I’m not sure I can carry on watching this. It’s making me feel sick #FindingNeverland #repulsive.
During the first part of the documentary, Wade Robson claims he was just seven years old when first abused by Jackson, and said an eerie full-sized replica of Disney character Peter Pan was kept next to his bed.
He had me bend over on my knees…I was kind of on display.
Right in front of me there was this Peter Pan cutout. So I was either looking back at him masturbating or looking forward at Peter Pan.
Then we’d get up in the morning like nothing happened.
As some fans of his music are calling for a boycott, others have defended Jackson, who maintained his innocence regarding allegations of child molestation until his death in 2009.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30).
Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.