Corey Feldman Says He Can ‘No Longer Defend’ Michael Jackson

Corey Feldman says he will no longer stand up for his late friend Michael Jackson, People is reporting. Allegations made against Jackson over the years are being brought to the forefront again with the airing of the HBO documentary Finding Neverland. The film is an investigation into the various child molestation allegations made against the King of Pop, and has in-depth interviews with accusers.

Feldman, who was friends with Jackson when he was a child actor, initially defended the singer. Shortly after the first part of the documentary aired, Feldman was critical of it on Twitter, referring to the film as “one-sided.” Now that the second part has aired, Feldman is reevaluating the situation. The actor — who has spoken out about being molested before, but never by Jackson — elaborated on this “emotional time” as he struggles to find the balance between being an advocate for survivors and defending his friend.

“You’re a kid who has endured sexual abuse and during those times, I’m looking to somebody like Michael Jackson as a friend, as a big brother figure. And he was that person to me,” Feldman said during an interview on March 6 for CNN. “However, as you’re friends with this guy, all of a sudden you start to hear more and more accusations thrown around by various people.”

Feldman opened up about the sexual abuse he endured in the entertainment industry as a child in his 2013 memoir Coreyography. He alleges that his best friend and Lost Boys co-star, Corey Haim, was also abused — although Haim passed away in 2010 and is unable to corroborate his memories. Feldman filed complaints regarding the abuse in 2017, but the Los Angeles Police Department dropped the charges as the statute of limitations had expired. While the Jackson estate has questioned why some victims are only speaking out about their abuse now, Feldman has a personal understanding, leading him to change his viewpoints on the victims telling their stories in the documentary.

“It comes to a point where as an advocate for victims, as an advocate for changing the statutes of limitations to make sure victims’ voices are heard, it becomes impossible for me to remain virtuous and not at least consider what’s being said and not listen to what the victims are saying,” Feldman explained.

“I don’t want to be perceived as I’m here to defend Michael Jackson, because I can no longer do that,” he added. “I can not in good consciousness defend anyone who’s being accused of such horrendous things.”

Still, Feldman is conflicted as he considered Jackson to be an important person in his life. He maintains that nothing sexual ever came up during his times with Jackson, and is refraining from judging the late singer. At the same time, he wants to continue to support and encourage victims of sexual assault to speak out about their experiences.