Jermaine Jackson has hit out at a bombshell documentary which claims his brother Michael was a prolific child sex abuser as he described the star’s sleepovers with underage boys as simply ‘slumber parties’.
The 64-year-old wiped away tears as he passionately claimed he was ‘1,000 per cent sure’ that the pop star was innocent following the release of Leaving Neverland.
The film, set to air on Channel 4 this spring, makes several damning accusations of rape and sexual abuse against the singer, who died in 2009 from a drug overdose.
However the Jackson family have repeatedly rejected the allegations, calling the documentary a ‘public lynching’.
Among the accusations in the film are that Jackson gave his young male victims jewelry in exchange for sexual acts and even had a mock wedding with one boy.
Michael Jackson is pictured with Wade Robson, one of the two main accusers to take part in the new documentary Leaving Neverland
Jimmy Safechuck, left, pictured as a child holding hands with Michael Jackson, also features in the new film
Wiping away tears, Jermaine told Good Morning Britain: ‘We lost Michael, we lost our father. We are still mourning.
‘We lost a lot, just leave us alone, leave him alone, let him rest. Please, let him rest. He deserves to rest.’
Asked about his brother having young boys to stay overnight at his ranch, Jermaine told the ITV show: ‘Those were slumber parties.
‘There were little girls there, even with their parents, their uncles, and they were sitting down, watching movies, eating cookies, popcorn, having fun, watching films.
‘And Michael said “Why do people relate the bed to sex?” which shows you his innocence. Michael’s a big kid.’
The documentary, Leaving Neverland, features accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who have claimed for years that they were raped and molested by the singer at his Neverland Ranch.
Jermaine wiped away tears as he passionately claimed he was ‘1,000 per cent sure’ that the pop star was innocent following the release of Leaving Neverland
The documentary, Leaving Neverland, features accusers Wade Robson (left) and James Safechuck (right, pictured with the film’s director, Dan Reed)
The film’s director, Dan Reed, has said he has no doubts about the men’s validity.
He said he was ‘1,000% per cent sure’ of his brother’s innocence ‘because Michael was tried by a jury and acquitted on all of this because there was no real evidence’.
‘Wade was in Michael’s defence in the case in 2005,’ he added. ‘He was asked to take the stand and he was asked the question “Did Mr Jackson ever molest you?”
‘Wade said “No, absolutely not. Had he did, I wouldn’t be here”. Then Mr Mesereau asked has Mr Jackson touched you sexually, he said “No, I wouldn’t stand for it.”
‘What has happened that people don’t know, Wade has changed his story that he maintained before and after Michael’s death.
‘He tried to go out and shop a book deal, no publisher would touch it. He even sued the estate for $1.5 billion, it was tossed out of court.
‘The only thing left for him to do was to do a documentary, so he gets in front of a camera with a bunch of people and spews out all these nonsense statements.’
On the huge settlements Michael made during his lifetime, he said: ‘During the time I believe he was instructed by his legal team to do that… that’s why everyone is coming forth now.
The men took time to address their critics and naysayers after the screening at the Sundance Festival, while making it clear they were not paid in any way for their participation in the film
The film focuses on the accounts of Wade Robson and James Safechuck (pictured as a child with Jackson), who have long claimed that they were raped and molested by the singer
‘He did a lot for the world, let him rest. I will say this, there is no truth to this documentary.’
In a previous statement, the Jackson family said the star, dubbed the King of Pop, was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid on his Neverland Ranch, but was still acquitted at his criminal trial in 2005, in a case involving another young man.
Mr Robson testified at that trial, saying he had slept in Jackson’s room many times, but that the singer had never molested him.
Mr Safechuck made similar statements to investigators as a boy, but both have now changed their stories to say they were abused by the pop star.
Both men filed lawsuits in 2013 saying that stress and trauma had forced them to face the truth and admit they were sexually abused.
The suits have been thrown out on technical grounds, but are under appeal.
Leaving Neverland premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is set to air on Channel 4 in the spring.