Barbra Streisand is clarifying her stance on the sexual abuse allegations made against the late Michael Jackson. In a recent interview, the 76-year-old singer reportedly defended Jackson in light of Wade Robson and James Safechuck’s accusations, which immediately led to a wave of backlash as fans expressed disappointment in Streisand. On Saturday afternoon, the A Star is Born actress amended her statement via a representative.
In HBO’s recent documentary, Leaving Neverland, Robson and Safechuck detailed several years of Jackson allegedly grooming and molesting them as children.
Streisand told the London Times on Friday that she “absolutely” believes Robson and Safechuck, but they were “thrilled to be there” with Jackson, and the singer’s alleged actions “didn’t kill them” because both accusers went on to marry and have children.
More recently, however, the singer clarified that there is “no situation or circumstance” where it is acceptable for “the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone.”
“The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children,” Streisand said, according to E! News. “It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy.”
This is just an unbelievably repulsive thing to say. Disgusting. https://t.co/pbboQeAnSn— Adam Serwer???? (@AdamSerwer) March 23, 2019
In her initial statement, Streisand also directed blame at Robson and Safechuck’s parents, noting that they “allowed” their children to sleep with Jackson. Finally, she added that Jackson’s “sexual needs were his sexual needs.”
Social media users sounded off on the singer, many calling Streisand “unhinged” or “stupid.”
“There is no other diagnosis for this woman other than too much Botox poisoned her brain,” one Twitter user wrote, according to Deadline.
Streisand did see someone on her side amid the criticism, though, as singer Diana Ross defended Jackson’s character on Twitter on Saturday. She noted that she believes Jackson was a “magnificent incredible force” to herself and many others, and even quoted the Supremes’ song “Stop in the Name of Love.”
Released at the end of January as a two-part documentary, Leaving Neverland sees Robson and Safechuck now in their 30s as they recount years of Jackson’s sexual abuse beginning when they were 7- and 10-years-old. The documentary also examines how the abuse affected the children’s families. Following its release, many fans of the late King of Pop expressed anger and questioned his reputation as a legacy in the music world.
Jackson’s family has denounced the documentary and continue to deny all allegations made against the singer.