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HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

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HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Old 01-26-19, 10:59 AM
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HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

PARK CITY, Utah – After weeks of pushback from Michael Jackson’s estate, HBO’s highly anticipated “Leaving Neverland” bowed at the Sundance Film Festival Friday morning.

“We’re getting real really early,” festival director John Cooper said as he introduced the four-hour documentary, which details allegations of child molestation against the late pop icon. Police officers were stationed outside the Egyptian Theatre in case of protesters, and healthcare professionals were on hand in the lobby for audience members who could be triggered by the film’s graphic descriptions of sexual abuse involving minors.

“Neverland” centers on accusers Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, who allege that Jackson began sexually abusing them at ages 7 and 10, respectively. At the time, both boys were diehard fans with entertainment aspirations of their own: Robson, who went on to choreograph for Britney Spears and *NSYNC as an adult, first met Jackson after winning a dance contest during the singer’s 1987 Bad tour in Australia. Safechuck, a child actor, appeared with Jackson that same year in a Pepsi commercial and says he began to hang out regularly with the star in Los Angeles.

Robson and Safechuck each filed lawsuits against Jackson’s estate in 2013 and 2014, respectively, although judges denied both for technical reasons, and did not evaluate the merits of the allegations. Both men were on hand for Friday’s screening in Park City, where they tearfully appeared with director Dan Reed.

"Leaving Neverland" has been denounced by Jackson's estate and fans since the project was announced earlier this month. Jackson's estate said that the documentary, ''is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson." USA TODAY has reached out to Jackson's estate for comment on the Sundance premiere.

Here are five allegations presented in “Neverland,” which premieres on HBO this spring.

1. Leaving Neverland alleges at lot of sexual activity at MJ's Ranch -Safechuck claims that Jackson introduced him to masturbation while staying together at a hotel in Paris. "He told me I was his first sexual experience," Safechuck says, adding that one morning, Jackson told him he performed oral sex on him while he was sleeping.

Robson says he experienced similar sexual encounters with Jackson when he would visit Neverland Ranch, adding that the pop star kept a large, cardboard cutout of Peter Pan in his bedroom, which he would often look at, Robson alleges, as Jackson masturbated behind him. Robson says that Jackson later introduced him to porn and gave him alcohol.

2. He would allegedly run drills to avoid getting caught - At the start of their relationship, Safechuck alleges that Jackson would regularly test him on how quickly he could put on his clothes as quietly as possible. When Safechuck or Robson's parents stayed at the same hotel, both men allege Jackson often ensured they were staying down the hall or on different floors from the suites Jackson shared with the boys. He also had multiple locks and thick, wooden doors installed throughout Neverland Ranch, where Safechuck claims they had sex inside his castle, pool, attic and train station.

"It happened every day," Safechuck says. "It sounds sick, but when you're first dating somebody, you do a lot of it. At the start of their relationship, Safechuck alleges that Jackson would regularly test him on how quickly he could put on his clothes as quietly as possible. When Safechuck or Robson's parents stayed at the same hotel, both men allege Jackson often ensured they were staying down the hall or on different floors from the suites Jackson shared with the boys. He also had multiple locks and thick, wooden doors installed throughout Neverland Ranch, where Safechuck claims they had sex inside his castle, pool, attic and train station.

"It happened every day," Safechuck says. "It sounds sick, but when you're first dating somebody, you do a lot of it."

Jackson would repeatedly remind the boys that they could never share anything about what they did: " 'If anyone ever found out that we were doing these sexual things, we would go to jail for the rest of our lives,' " Robson recalls him saying. "I was terrified."

3. Jackson allegedly staged a mock wedding complete with rings and vows - Years into their relationship, which lasted until he was 14, "we were like this married couple," Safechuck remembers. There was one day when Jackson suggested they hold a mock ceremony at his condo, where they allegedly exchanged "vows" and he gifted the boy with a diamond-encrusted gold ring.

"I was really into jewelry, so he would reward me with jewelry for sexual acts," Safechuck says in the film. He claims that Jackson would take him to jewelry stores where they would pick out rings, acting as if the gift was for a woman.

4. Robson claims he was ordered to throw out this underwear after they first had sex. - After moving to Los Angeles to focus on dancing and to be closer to Jackson, Robson was devastated to learn that the singer had "moved on" to other boys including Macaulay Culkin and Brett Barnes (both of whom have denied that Jackson sexually abused them).

"There was jealousy from me," Robson says. "It was confusing."

After a few years of occasional encounters, the singer allegedly summoned a then-14-year-old Robson to his hotel room, where he had sex with the teen. The next day, Robson says Jackson called him demanding that he get rid of his underwear from the night before, in fear that Robson's mother would discover it. It was the last sexual experience they had together.

5. Jackson allegedly said relationship with Lisa Marie Presley didn't mean anything - As young children, both Safechuck and Robson claim that Jackson would try to turn them against their parents and make them hate women. He gave Robson nicknames such as "Little One" and "Doo Doo," and would leave him daily faxes and voicemails saying how much he loved having a friend like him.

Leading up to his short-lived marriage to Lisa Marie Presley in 1994, Jackson would try to comfort Safechuck by telling him that he "had to have public relationships with women" but "it wouldn't mean anything," Safechuck says. The manipulation continued as they got older, as Jackson allegedly pressured both men to testify in 2005 that he never sexually abused them after he was charged with molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo. Although Safechuck declined, Robson agreed, citing an obligation to support his lifelong friend. Robson continued to support Jackson three years later in an interview with Access Hollywood.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/...al/2681648002/

I never understood why parents ever let their children spend time with Michael Jackson. Also, the new layout of the board makes it more difficult to post articles. I have no idea why the keeps appearing. It won't let me edit it out.

Last edited by dex14; 01-26-19 at 04:27 PM. Reason: fixed formatting -- use SOURCE when copying/pasting articles
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Old 01-26-19, 11:13 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Something is wrong with the formatting. That is really hard to read
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Old 01-26-19, 11:43 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

The only real surprise here is that this is coming out now when nobody really cares anymore.

The sex acts described are what everyone had assumed was going on all along but Jackson's continual denial, supported by his celebrity friends, and eventual acquittal when a case went to court gave many reason to doubt.

We all wanted to believe that his weird fucked up childhood along with his abusive father just ended up leaving Jackson with a stunted personality that only related to children. The reality was always right in front of everyone and now we finally have the truth without the huge publicity machine of his record label and family to try confusing us.

I just hope his poor kids are able to find peace with their father's past and move on with their lives.
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Old 01-26-19, 11:52 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

so when is this airing on HBO?
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Old 01-26-19, 03:39 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by Sonny Corinthos View Post

I never understood why parents ever let their children spend time with Michael Jackson.
Because he didn't abuse them?

Originally Posted by bluesix View Post

The reality was always right in front of everyone and now we finally have the truth .
I don't know if we will ever really know the truth at this point.
IMO, if there is anyone who has credibility on this subject it is Lisa Marie, and she isn't talking.
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Old 01-26-19, 03:57 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Sonny, your post is a garbled mess. Can’t read it.
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Old 01-26-19, 08:28 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

From Hollywood Elsewhere :


Sweet Gentle Monster
Leaving Neverland is a talking-heads horror film — an intimate, obviously believable, sometimes sexually explicit story of two boys — Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, now pushing 40 — who became Michael Jackson’s special “friends” — i.e., lovers, masturbation buddies, fellators — while their more or less oblivious parents went along, thinking that the relationship was more of a kindly innocent bond.

Wake up: Jackson was a finagling fiend, a smooth predator, the kindest serpent.

You should have seen the faces of the audience members during the ten-minute intermission of LeavingNeverland at the Egyptian. They had that look of hollowed-out nausea, submerged disgust…trying to hide their revulsion.


Michael Jackson, Wade Robson sometime around ’88, when Robson was seven or eight.The Jackson-guilt denialists are finished. Jig’s up. Once this four-hour doc hits HBO, forget it.

Leaving Neverland is also, of course, a very sad story. Damage and dysfunction are passed on and on. You’re only as healthy or sick as the amount of ugly secrets you’re carrying around. Oh, and the two complicit mothers of the victims are dealt tough cards at the end by their trying-to-heal sons.

From Owen Gleiberman’s Variety review: “[Director] Dan Reed forces us to confront the reality that the greatest pop genius since the Beatles was, beneath his talent, a monster. Leaving Neverland is no thriller, but it’s undeniably a kind of true-life horror movie. You walk out of it shaken, but on some level liberated by its dark expose.”

From David Ehrlich’s Indiewire review: “Steel yourself for specifics, as dancing around them would defeat the purpose of this documentary: Jackson was a man who convinced their most innocent relatives to bend over and spread their butt cheeks while he masturbated to the sight; who forced them to suck on his nipples while he serviced himself; who installed an elaborate system of alarm bells at the Neverland Ranch so that he would hear if anyone was going to walk in on an eight-year-old boy with the pop star’s penis inside his mouth.

“Penetration was a more complicated process, but one that got increasingly possible as the boys grew older. There was even a mock wedding ceremony at one point; the kid involved still can’t bear to look at the ring. The mothers chaperoned many of these vile trysts, oblivious to (or in denial about) what Jackson was doing to their sons behind closed doors. A teenage sibling even defended the pop star in court. She didn’t know any better, but will still regret that decision until the day she dies.”

Incidentally: I waited outside (25 degrees) in a ticket-holders line for 40, 45 minutes. Sundance staff & Park City police (checking bags, wanding everyone) didn’t exhibit the slightest interest in allowing the 9 am screening of Leaving Neverland to start on time. It started at 9:28 am — 9:30 am after the Sundance promos.
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Old 01-26-19, 09:18 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by bluesix View Post
The only real surprise here is that this is coming out now when nobody really cares anymore.

The sex acts described are what everyone had assumed was going on all along but Jackson's continual denial, supported by his celebrity friends, and eventual acquittal when a case went to court gave many reason to doubt.

We all wanted to believe that his weird fucked up childhood along with his abusive father just ended up leaving Jackson with a stunted personality that only related to children. The reality was always right in front of everyone and now we finally have the truth without the huge publicity machine of his record label and family to try confusing us.

I just hope his poor kids are able to find peace with their father's past and move on with their lives.
Yeah, his childhood was really fucked up. And the rumors keep coming up that MJ's dad chemically castrated him so Michael didn't lose his singing voice and that the mom mentally castrated him mentally by keeping any girl away from him.
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Old 01-26-19, 11:20 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
Yeah, his childhood was really fucked up. And the rumors keep coming up that MJ's dad chemically castrated him so Michael didn't lose his singing voice and that the mom mentally castrated him mentally by keeping any girl away from him.
Don't excuse his behavior away. That was a sick predator and no matter what his childhood was like, it didn't give him the right to prey on others.

I'm still sickened that while I was a pediatric resident in So Cal, I worked on a pediatric Hematology/Oncology unit where once every year we sent sick and recovering kids by the busload to Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara. We thought we were giving the kids an adventure of a lifetime, but in reality we were just showing off the merchandise to a sick pedophile so that he could pick what he liked best. Man, that still bothers me to this day.
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Old 01-27-19, 11:13 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Don't excuse his behavior away. That was a sick predator and no matter what his childhood was like, it didn't give him the right to prey on others.

I'm still sickened that while I was a pediatric resident in So Cal, I worked on a pediatric Hematology/Oncology unit where once every year we sent sick and recovering kids by the busload to Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara. We thought we were giving the kids an adventure of a lifetime, but in reality we were just showing off the merchandise to a sick pedophile so that he could pick what he liked best. Man, that still bothers me to this day.
Dex14 - Thank you for fixing the thread. I tried to edit all that extra stuff out but it wouldn't allow me to edit it out.

Decker - No one in the general public knew just how bad Jackson was abusing children. Don't beat yourself up about it.

Oldboy - It is supposed to air on HBO sometime in April.

melasnus - If Jackson was still alive, would you allow your children to spend the night or the weekend with him?

In my Mother's last few years of her life, I would go visit her every afternoon in the nursing home she was staying at. She always watched Oprah and after his death, she did an interview with Lisa Marie. She claims to have no knowledge of Jackson ever abusing children and this would be the last time she would ever speak on the subject. If she does know anything, she will take it to the grave with her.

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Old 01-27-19, 12:13 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by Sonny Corinthos View Post
She always watched Oprah and after his death, she did an interview with Lisa Marie. She claims to have no knowledge of Jackson ever abusing children and this would be the last time she would ever speak on the subject. If she does know anything, she will take it to the grave with her.
Wonder if Lisa Marie is under any legal gag order to not say anything bad about Jackson. Would be interesting to see what their divorce legal papers entailed.
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Old 01-27-19, 07:27 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

I didn't really follow this but I do recall reading that Robson and Safechuck both said under oath nothing happened. So, now they did a doc. saying shit did happened?
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Old 01-27-19, 07:41 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Maybe off topic but with his fame you would assume he would try to get the hottest tail imaginable but he he hung around kids?
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Old 01-28-19, 01:36 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by JeffTheAlpaca View Post
Maybe off topic but with his fame you would assume he would try to get the hottest tail imaginable but he he hung around kids?
Are you asking this as a way to show how he must've been a pedophile, or are you genuinely wondering why he chose kids over legal tail?

If it's the former, then I agree that if he weren't a pedophile - it's VERY strange that he didn't seem to spend much time seeking the companionship of adults.
If it's the latter, then the answer to that question is - he was attracted to kids.
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Old 01-29-19, 12:11 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
I didn't really follow this but I do recall reading that Robson and Safechuck both said under oath nothing happened. So, now they did a doc. saying shit did happened?
Sometimes money changes memories...

Originally Posted by Coral View Post

If it's the former, then I agree that if he weren't a pedophile - it's VERY strange that he didn't seem to spend much time seeking the companionship of adults.
If it's the latter, then the answer to that question is - he was attracted to kids.
The only thing most of us can say for sure about him is he was one messed up motherfucker.
His father was a narcissistic sadist of the highest order without an ounce of empathy and his mother was an enabler.
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Old 01-29-19, 03:42 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by JeffTheAlpaca View Post
Maybe off topic but with his fame you would assume he would try to get the hottest tail imaginable but he he hung around kids?

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Old 01-29-19, 06:48 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
I didn't really follow this but I do recall reading that Robson and Safechuck both said under oath nothing happened. So, now they did a doc. saying shit did happened?
Exactly. This is BS and looking to make a buck off the Jackson name. Yeah, MJ was WEIRD, but he wasn't a sexual predator. He was probably the most asexual celebrity in history.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:29 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

I lived in LA while this trial was taking place. It was widely known that Jackson had paid off several families for their silence. These stories were reported on the local news and in the independent newspapers but not in the national media. There was a Mexican family who openly admitted it. At the time most speculation was that the family of Jordan Chandler would reveal that their son had been molested while at Neverland. He was a blonde haired blue eyed kid (much like MacCauley Culkin) who was Jackson's favorite for several years. Unfortunately the family decided to take the money and sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The big question during Jackson's trial that his sycophants could never answer was if MJ is innocent and loves all kids, why is it only young boys between the ages of 7 to 13 that he takes under his wing for those special weekend long sleepovers at Neverland?

Do you really think lying under oath is such a big deal, especially for someone who is tortured by sexual trauma at a young age? I think in the case of Wade Robson and this Safechuck guy that they agreed to keep quiet because they really did love the guy. At the time of the trial his finances were not in good shape and they were probably promised money which eventually never panned out.

It was well-known that there were multiple families who had received payouts which during the trial MJ explained were to help out these poor families. In the case of the Mexican family which was a single mom raising a few kids it appeared possibly believable.

Keep in mind, if you were Wade Robson or Safechuck would you want to admit to being MJ's secret lover for many years and giving him fellatio and sucking his nipples? Im sure both guys were ashamed and embarrassed. It's only in the past ten years that men have begun to feel more comfortable to talk more openly about sexual abuse.

I hope the second half of this documentary contains even more damning evidence. Eventually more of his victims will talk. Who cares about a non-disclosure agreement when its 50 years later and you are about to die? What is Jackson and his estate going to do if someone breaks the NDA at this point?
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Old 01-29-19, 08:31 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Exactly. This is BS and looking to make a buck off the Jackson name. Yeah, MJ was WEIRD, but he wasn't a sexual predator. He was probably the most asexual celebrity in history.
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Old 01-29-19, 08:36 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by Hazel Motes View Post
Perfect.
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Old 01-29-19, 08:42 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by bluesix View Post
The big question during Jackson's trial that his sycophants could never answer was if MJ is innocent and loves all kids, why is it only young boys between the ages of 7 to 13 that he takes under his wing for those special weekend long sleepovers at Neverland?
Maybe he thought people would think he was sketchy if he had 7-13yo girls hanging out at his ranch so he stuck with boys to avoid controversy?
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Old 01-29-19, 11:19 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Dude's been dead for 10 years. So what's the point? Who's gonna get punished? The whole thing stinks.

This guy has some great points:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/joevoge...n-documentary/

Last edited by Gunde; 01-29-19 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 01-29-19, 11:33 AM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

I think it could help bring down the barriers that protect other abusers.

Even right here in this thread there are people with blinders on who still don’t believe it.
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Old 01-29-19, 03:27 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

After reading the Forbes column, I don't see how anyone could still say people skeptical of these claims have blinders on.

The most telling thing against all this - and even the director admitted it - is that, by design, only one side of the story is being told.

Added: About the healthcare professionals reportedly there to treat anybody "triggered" by certain scenes - if nobody else will say it, I will: William Castle lives!
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Old 01-29-19, 03:37 PM
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Re: HBO's Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Exactly. This is BS and looking to make a buck off the Jackson name. Yeah, MJ was WEIRD, but he wasn't a sexual predator. He was probably the most asexual celebrity in history.
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