Michael Jackson’s legacy has been on trial thanks to the documentary Leaving Neverland, which spotlights Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim the King of Pop sexually abused them as children. While some accuse the pair and director Dan Reed of attempting to profit off of Jackson’s death and denigrate his legacy, others suggest that Jackson indeed was a pedophile that preyed on young boys.
Per The Guardian, American musician Sheryl Crow appears to believe the accusations against Jackson and suggests that the music industry and people around Jackson enabled him.
“It’s like a death in the family, you know? It’s sad,” she said in an interview with The Guardian. “[James Safechuck] was a great kid and the whole time he was with us – which was the better half of an 18-month tour – I always wondered: ‘What in the world are his parents doing?’, you know?”
“And, yeah, I mean, I’m sad, and I’m mad at a lot of people,” she said later in the interview. “I feel like there was just a huge network of people that allowed all that to go on. It’s just tragic.”
Yahoo News reports that Robson’s beliefs echo Crow’s. He claims that the coverup of Jackson’s abuse is akin to the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. The 36-year-old dancer believes that employees of Jackson’s companies were aware of the abuse and knowingly let it continue.
In particular, Robson claims that one employee who was responsible for his meetings with Jackson was a “gatekeeper” who was aware of the pop star’s activities with children. He also claims that Jackson’s employees didn’t step in because Jackson was “too powerful to be controlled.”
The larger-than-life character of Jackson described by Robson was echoed during Crow’s interview. At one point, she described Jackson as a nearly “untouchable and almost alien-like [figure].”
Per The Inquisitr, others, such as the Jackson estate’s lawyers — John Branca and Howard Weitzman — believe that the accusations against the “Smooth Criminal” singer are part of a racist movement against his legacy. Variety reports that Branca believes Leaving Neverland is biased because it only covers Robson and Safechuck’s accounts of abuse, and claims that Reed was not interested in hearing other sides of the story.
The Sun also reported that one of the dates given by Safechuck in the documentary is incorrect, which lends support to people who believe the documentary is a misleading smear job against the late pop singer. But Reed claims that he did everything he could to poke holes in Reed and Safechuck’s stories and ensure their accuracy.