#MJToo: Dancer who sued Michael Jackson for $1.6B alleges that the King of Pop raped him for SEVEN years in Leaving Neverland documentary – as singer’s family calls him a ‘scam artist’
- The film Leaving Neverland will premiere next week at Sundance and feature the allegations made by Wade Robson in a 2016 lawsuit
- This has prompted members of Jackson’s family to lash out at the festival and HBO, who will air the documentary later this year
- Robson testified under oath in 2005 that Jackson had never once touched him inappropriately or abused him during their time together
- Robson then filed a lawsuit against Jackson’s estate in 2016 stating that he was raped for seven years by Jackson, from the ages of seven to 14
The Sundance Film Festival is still a week away, but there is already one film that is generating a massive amount of buzz.
Leaving Neverland will take a close look at the allegations of sexual assault and abuse made against Michael Jackson by a number of men, including choreographer Wade Robson.
He is known to many as the man who reportedly came between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, and inspired Timberlake to write the break-up anthem Cry Me A River.
The Australian-born dancer, 36, previously filed a lawsuit against Jackson’s estate in 2016 asking for $1.62 billion in damages.
In his complaint, Robson claimed that he was raped by the King of Pop for seven years, starting when he was seven and ending when he was 14.
Revisiting claims: The film Leaving Neverland will premiere next week at Sundance and feature the allegations made by Wade Robson in a 2016 lawsuit (Robson and Jackson above in the late 1980s)
Hitting back: This has prompted members of Jackson’s family to last out at the festival and HBO, who will air the documentary later this year
That suit was eventually tossed, with the judge ruling that the singer’s estate could not be held responsible for the allegations being made by Robson.
The court made no comments in the validity of the lawsuit, but Jackson’s family was very vocal about the fact that Robson had testified on the singer’s behalf at his 2005 trial.
And the family is not staying quiet this time around either, lashing out at HBO for picking up the documentary and Sundance for screening the feature next Friday and Saturday in Park City.
Jackson’s nephew Taj, whose father is Tito, voiced his disgust about the documentary being screened on Twitter.
‘To all the sponsors of @Sundance. I suggest you do your own homework on Wade Robson and James Safechuck,’ read one of the tweets.
‘By supporting their lies, you are now part of this and we will remember that when everything implodes. You can’t plead ignorance anymore.’
He also wrote: ‘I’m sure there are some incredible films that will be premiering and shown at the festival. Films that people put their hard earned money and life into. But @Sundance is jeopardizing these films to accommodate, promote, and showcase a film that stars two proven scam artists.’
Robson testified under oath in 2005 that Jackson had never once touched him inappropriately or abused him during their time together
Jackson’s official account also shared a tweet aimed at shaming HBO which read: ‘In 1992, Michael gave HBO their highest rated special ever. Now, to repay him they give a voice to admitted liars. #StopLeavingNeverlandNOW.’
That was a reference to Jackson’s first ever televised concert, which aired on the network in October of 1992 after being filmed in Bucharest.
The special smashed the pay cable provider’s previews record, scoring a 21.4 rating and 34 share in the approximately 17.5 million homes with subscriptions.
It was at this time that Robson claimed he was being sexually abused by Jackson.
Robson detailed in his court filing the alleged abuse he suffered at the hands of Jackson.
He said it 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’.
Robson alleged in his suit that Jackson lost interest in him when he turned 14, but prior to that had told the young boy: ‘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.’
Fans of Jackson and his family were shocked when they learned about the filing given that Robson had been a crucial witness in Jackson’s acquittal on similar charges back in 2005.
At that trial he testified under oath that Jackson had never once touched him inappropriately or abused him during their time together.
Robson responded to the criticism by stating: ‘I did not believe that I was forced. I believed that I was a consenting participant in the sexual acts.’